Focus on Family: Recognizing symptoms of pet pain

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Dr. Tony Kremer

Kremer Veterinary Services

Pain Symptoms:

Limping –
A dog will avoid putting weight on a leg that is in pain.

Vomiting –
Nausea, drooling and an upset tummy are all signs that a dog is in pain.

Vocalizing –
Whining, whimpering, moaning and unusual barking can all signify pain.

Panting –
All dogs pant, but excessive panting at unusual times is one of the most obvious signs that a dog is in pain.

Licking –
Licking or chewing on one place may indicate that the dog is hurting.

Loss of appetite –
Appetite changes are a telltale sign that a dog isn’t feeling well.

Restlessness –
A dog that is in pain may have difficulty getting comfortable.

Change in sleep –
Watch for a change in your dog’s sleep pattern. A dog that is hurting may not be able to sleep or, conversely, may sleep all the time.

Changes in behavior –
Pain can change a dog’s behavior dramatically, from extremely lethargic to aggressive or defensive. Be careful if your pet begins acting out-of-character. Even the most docile dog could bite if it’s in pain. Because dogs tend to be active and adventurous, and they will also ingest almost anything, Dr. Kremer suggests erring on the side of caution when a dog behaves unusually. Go with your gut instinct and take your pet to the vet.