When you notice that your dog is in pain, it can send you into a panic. It’s tough to know exactly how and where they’re hurting. Unlike humans, our canine friends don’t have the ability to tell us about their pain.
As a pet parent, it’s on you to recognize when your dog might be experiencing discomfort. Because your dog can’t communicate like a human, it’s important to recognize signs of pain in dogs.
Some conditions may look painful, such as a deep cut, but the ones on the outside tend to be less painful than what they may be experiencing on the inside. It’s possible your dog could be suffering pain from arthritis, ear infections, or even cancer. No matter what the condition is, understanding your pets circumstance and acting quickly and efficiently will help save your pets life.
There are certain health conditions in pets that are more painful than others including:
- Bone Cancer
- Periodontal Disease
- Slipped Disc
- Ear Infection
- Cystitis (bladder inflammation)
In this article, we’re exploring the most common causes of dog pain and highlighting why these diseases happen. We’ll also explore dog pain symptoms, as well as common treatments for each illness.
As you learn about the tell-tale signs of dog pain and get an understanding of your particular dog, you’ll be better able to advocate your canine friend. You’ll know when your dog is experiencing pain, and even gain an understanding of its root causes.
If you notice that your dog is experiencing pain, contact a veterinarian immediately. A veterinarian can diagnose and treat your dog so that he or she can get back to playing fetch as soon as possible.
Pancreatitis occurs when a dog’s pancreas, which is an organ that helps control blood sugar, gets inflamed. Sometimes, pancreatitis can be a passing condition. Other times, it will stay for longer periods.
Scientists aren’t sure exactly what causes pancreatitis in dogs, though some breeds are more likely to get it than others. Pancreatitis can come as a side effect from a drug for something else, or can be triggered by the dog eating something fatty like bacon or pork belly. It seems to occur more often in dogs who are overweight, or older in age.
Your dog may have pancreatitis if he or she has lost his appetite, vomits, and appears to have abdominal pain. Sometimes, a dog with pancreatitis will have a fever or even a low body temperature, lethargy, diarrhea, or a hard time breathing.
There isn’t a drug that can cure pancreatitis for your pup. The most important thing to do is to help your dog get through the attack. Veterinarians may suggest that you don’t give food or water to your dog for a certain period of time, and may administer products, such as hemp, for dog pain.
For more information on pancreatitis in dogs, see this article.
Bone cancer in dogs, scientifically known as osteosarcoma, is a common form of cancer usually found in larger dog breeds.
It’s unknown what causes bone cancer in dogs, and has not been linked to certain genders or genetics. The only common thread is that the cancer seems to affect very large breeds. Some say that a dog is at a greater risk for bone cancer if they have experienced a blunt bone injury in the past.
At first, you may not know your dog is experiencing osteosarcoma and the pain it brings. Symptoms may include swelling, difficulty walking, and pain in the bones or joints. Sometimes, dogs will have a very visible tumor.
Unfortunately, bone cancer in dogs is an aggressive disease, and it may spread quickly through a dog’s body. Many veterinarians may recommend chemotherapy or surgery, but the long-term prognosis for a dog with bone cancer isn’t good. Many veterinarians recommend medications and supplements that can help your friend tolerate pain, as well as reduce inflammation.
For more information on bone cancer, or osteosarcoma, in dogs, see this article.
Arthritis, which is essentially inflammation and stiffness in joints, is very common in dogs, just as it is in people. If your dog is out and about, its joints will take a pounding over time, resulting in arthritis as your dog gets older.
Usually, arthritis in dogs occurs when ligaments degenerate over time. As the ligaments disappear, it will become painful for your dog. Eventually, it may be difficult for the dog to walk.
Although arthritis is one of the most common health problems in dogs, it may take a long time to recognize it. Your dog will do everything they can to stay active as long as possible. When your dog has arthritis, you may notice that they’re less able to enjoy the activities as they did before. It may be difficult for them to climb stairs, or jump into the back seat of a car.
If your dog has arthritis, your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids and NSAIDs. Unfortunately, these drugs, especially steroids, can have tough side effects. Many pet parents are turning to hemp to help their dogs cope with swelling and pain.
For more information about arthritis in dogs, refer to this helpful guide.
Periodontal disease in dogs, often referred to as canine periodontitis, is a bacterial infection in a dog’s mouth. This disease may begin as plaque, become gingivitis, and ultimately wind up as periodontal disease, which could lead to your dog losing teeth.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that the dog ingests when he or she eats, which then forms a plaque over the animal’s teeth. Your dog’s body will recognize that these bacteria shouldn’t be there, and will send white blood cells to the site. The bacteria, however, tells the white blood cells to break down tissue. This interaction can result in sore gums, an inflamed mouth, and eventually the loss of teeth.
It’s tough to notice periodontal disease in a dog, and most won’t notice until the disease has progressed. You may notice that your dog has bleeding gums, loose teeth, exceptionally bad breath, or trouble picking up toys or food by mouth. You may also see bloody saliva, as well as bumps in the mouth.
There’s much to be done to prevent periodontal disease from occurring in the first place. You should take your dog in for regular teeth cleanings, feed your dog high-quality food, and make sure that the toys you give your dog are safe for chewing. If the disease has already progressed, it’s most important to help your dog manage his pain, which can be done using hemp.
A slipped disc is a condition that happens when the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column bulge, or even burst, into the spinal cord space. When the vertebrae burst, this is known as disc herniation.
In smaller dog breeds, such as Dachshund and Shih Tzus, a slipped disc may occur in the next area. When the dog jumps or lands, the discs can slip or burst. Sometimes, a slipped disc can occur over an extended period, simply because the discs get hardened with time.
A slipped or herniated disc will cause substantial neck and back pain in your dog,