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How to tell if your dog is in pain

Love is said to be a universal language, but it’s not particularly useful when it comes to trying to communicate with a different species. While your dog undoubtedly loves you and you love them back, it’s possible that they’re suffering without you knowing it, as they can’t tell you what hurts and why. Instead, our pets communicate through body language and signals to show pain and discomfort, and we need to pay attention and be vigilant to these signs. If you observe any of the following in your pup, they might be sick or injured.

  • More vocal expressions than usual

Dogs bark. A lot. However, beyond the usual “woof” at strangers walking past 50m away from the front door, there are other audio cues to listen out for. An out of the ordinary howl, whimper, growl, grunt or whine can be a sign of distress.

  • Picking a fight at every turn

Uncharacteristic aggression against other dogs and humans can indicate your dog’s not well. Your pet might be more sensitive to stimuli if they’re in pain or discomfort. You’ll notice restlessness and more fighting incidents if this is the case.

  • Shortness of breath & intense panting

All dogs pant to cool off on a hot day or after exercise, but when dogs exhibit this behaviour without any activity to incite it, there’s something wrong. If you notice random panting, your dog may be experiencing internal or physical pain.

  • Antisocial behaviour

Dogs that are in pain tend to change the way they interact and posture themselves. Your dog may hide itself, reject displays of affection or try to protect or paw at a specific body part.

  • Difficulty moving around freely

Painful injuries and conditions slow down dogs and reduce their physical activity. Lethargy, a limp or inability to use a leg may also indicate pain of some sort.

The best way to treat your dog’s pain is to take it to your local Melbourne veterinary clinic. If something’s amiss, they’ll help to diagnose and treat it before it gets worst. Don’t wait until things escalate. Trusting your instincts will give your dog the best chance of recovery from whatever’s got them down. Contact us today to get them the help they need.