How To Detect Pain In Your Dog

on Dec 13 in Dog News

Unlike people, dogs are selfless and do not complain. When a person gets something as small as a paper cut you’ll hear them whine for an hour about the pain, while dogs may not even produce a small whimper when faced with terrible pain. Some cases they may try to hide their pain and like people, it varies from dog to dog. Some dogs have a higher pain tolerance, but all dogs do not easily show signs of pain. Keep in mind, anything that causes us pain causes a dog pain. This is backed up by most pain research. Some pain is obvious while some is not and the owners are the best to determine if their pet is in pain, because they observe their pet’s normal behavior and will notice any changes.

Dog’s don’t have a voice so they can’t talk about their pain, express it, or tell you where it hurts or what happened. This is why a veterinarian’s job is so difficult, and so is an owner’s when you have to watch your pet go through it. Owners can find it challenging to recognize pain in their dogs however, because some signs can be confusing and you must determine the difference between anxiety and pain. A dog that is lying down quietly in the corner is not necessarily free of pain, being quiet is not an indication of happiness. However, a whining dog is not necessarily in pain either, dogs can whine for a variety of reasons.

Also don’t forget there are two types of pain, acute and chronic. Acute results from injury or infection or sometimes is the result of surgery. It is usually short-lived and can come and go suddenly. Once the cause of the pain is addressed it often is only temporary and goes away. Chronic pain is ongoing pain as the result of a continuing condition. It can develop gradually and it can be hard to watch your pet go through. It can be the cause of a disease or an age-related condition. If you think that your dog is going through pain, chronic or acute, see your veterinarian for management and treatment right away, just as you would see a doctor for your own pain!

Keep in mind that again, like humans, there are individual variations of pain and pain tolerance as well as different types. Joint disease and arthritis cause ongoing and long term pain unless corrected by orthopedic surgery. However orthopedic surgery (TPLO, Total Hip Replacement, TTA etc) and other surgeries involving the chest, face, ears and paws cause the highest levels of pain. This is because there are a higher concentration of pain-sensitive nerve endings that are more susceptible to pain. Therefore, when your pet has undergone an orthopedic surgery (or any kind really!) you must place them on pain medications. Would you put yourself or your children through surgery and then not take pain meds as part of your recovery process? Absolutely not! So why put your dog through it without them?

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The oldest reliable age recorded for a dog is 29 years, 5 months!

The oldest reliable age recorded for a dog is 29 years, 5 months for a Queensland ‘heeler’ called Bluey in Victoria, Australia. The average dog lives to around 15 years of age.