How do I know if my dog is in pain?
Posted in Chiropractic Treatments for Dogs

How do you know your dog is in pain when they can’t communicate with you? Unless, what if they can, and what if they are, but we just haven’t picked up on the signs?

There are 2 types of pain: Acute and Chronic

Acute pain would result from a fractured leg or a torn cruciate ligament in the knee. Or when your dog gets knocked into in the park and bowled over – your dog tries to stand up and holds up a paw.

With acute pain, we can see the CAUSE, i.e; a fractured toe, and the dog can communicate clearly that they have pain because you can SEE the dog holding up their foot. This makes it easier to get the veterinary attention they need to address the pain and get it under control.

But Chronic pain is tough. Chronic, or long-term pain, is slow, gnarly, insidious, and unrelenting. Chronic pain begins in one part of your dog’s body, e.g. a sore stiff hip, and gradually works around the body, creeping into the back muscles, then shoulders, the neck, the forepaws. It’s a constant ache with every step, it’s in the fear of being handled, or young children and puppies wanting to play. Chronic pain is the slow decline into immobility and a loss of quality of life.

Chronic pain is NOT the onset of old age, this is a myth, and it needs busting right now.

Here are 10 signs your dog is suffering from chronic pain;

  1. Sleeping more
  2. Slowing down on walks
  3. Panting when it isn’t warm
  4. Licking front legs and paws
  5. Weight gain
  6. Changes in temperament
  7. Refusal to jump in or out of the car
  8. Incontinence
  9. Isolating themselves
  10. Greasy, matted coat

If your dog is displaying any of these signs, you must do two things;

  1. Ask your vet for a full wellness assessment
  2. Book an appointment with a physical therapist who has a speciality in chronic pain

You will be amazed at the difference appropriate help can make to your dog’s life.

One of the most wonderful things I’ve heard from a client with a dog in chronic pain is; “Dani, you have given me my dog back”.

There is support available, not just in a little white pill every day, or an injection every month, but with consistent treatment plans, appropriate exercise, and more than a little bit of love.


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