Dogs are good at hiding when they are in pain. Read here how you can recognize pain in your dog and help it.
For a long time it was believed that animals suffer less from pain than humans. This misconception was probably held because animals rarely whine and usually try to hide their pain. Scientists now agree that animals feel pain the same way we do, and maybe even more. Because while humans can often explain why they are in pain, animals suffer “for no reason” – they don’t know why it “hurts” so much. And most of the time it can’t help itself.
Watch the dog closely
If the dog suffers, it must be helped quickly. To do this, the owner must reliably recognize that his animal is in pain. If the dog hobbles or avoids being touched, this is a clear signal of pain.
But the signs can also be less noticeable. Only people who pay close attention to their animal stand a chance of noticing pain. Because animals often hide their suffering. This is an innate behavior: those who show weakness are easy prey for predators.
Stomach pain, for example, is often less obvious. Some affected dogs are restless, drooling and licking their lips intensely. The posture is cramped, the animal often stretches. Abdominal pain is often accompanied by diarrhea or loss of appetite.
Dogs usually go to dark, cool rooms when they have a headache. They often withdraw from their people, move less and have watery eyes. Some dogs scratch their heads or vomit when their heads hurt.
These signs betray pain
But how do you know that your dog is not doing well? The following signs may indicate that the dog is in pain somewhere:
- The dog retreats
- The dog eats less or not at all
- The dog avoids going to the toilet
- The dog is breathing faster than usual
- The dog avoids touch
- The dog’s posture and movement are cramped
Deviating from normal behavior is a symptom
Which pain symptoms a dog shows also depends on its personality. He can react aggressively or apathetically, be restless and nervous or listless and listless. Dogs only cry out at the first pain; rarely do dogs “whine” or “cry” in pain.
All the dog owner usually hears is a low moan. That’s why it’s so important to know what your dog’s normal behavior is. Only those who know their dog well can see when something is wrong with them.
The vet can confirm the suspicion
If you suspect your dog is in pain, you must go to the vet immediately. This also applies in the evening or at the weekend. Ask your veterinarian how the emergency services are organized in your area so that you don’t have to ask and search for a long time in an emergency.
Tip: With the PrimePet app, you can not only reach an emergency call center for pets at any time and anywhere in the world, but you can also record all of your dog’s vital and emergency data. In this way, your pet can be helped quickly and reliably in an emergency.
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Many owners “wait and see” whether stronger symptoms appear and believe that otherwise “it can’t be that bad”. This is a wrong approach: by the time your dog can’t help but show his pain, he’s been through a long road of suffering and it may even be too late to heal.
The vet determines the medication
Never give your dog painkillers without consulting the vet! Many drugs that help humans are toxic to dogs. A meaningful treatment also begins with the search for the cause. And it can’t be treated with painkillers.
Often the cause of the pain is not so easy to find. Therefore, be prepared for extensive examinations by your veterinarian. This is sometimes tedious and expensive, but the only way to eliminate the root of the problem.
Be supportive of your animal
In addition to treating the cause, pain control is important so that the dog can recover. Because we now know that chronic pain itself can become the cause of the disease. In the meantime, effective painkillers for animals are available to the veterinarian.
As the owner, you can help your dog heal. The following tips will make it easier for your dog to fight pain:
- Make sure the dog actually swallows his medication
- Avoid fear and stress for the dog because they can make the pain worse
- Support your dog without pushing it
- Remain calm: the calmer you are, the more secure your dog will feel
- Create a quiet place for your dog
- The dog should be able to watch the family from the spot
Many pains can also be relieved with heat or cold packs. Talk to your vet about what they recommend in your particular case. This way you are there for your dog when he is in pain and can prevent further suffering.