Dogs can feel pain just like humans and while sometimes it is obvious that something is wrong, there can be times when this is more difficult. Some dogs are able to hide the signs of pain. Many believe this is a natural survival mechanism, showing pain makes them more vulnerable to attack.
Signs of pain and distress can vary tremendously among individual dogs, depending on their experience, age, and environment. Some dogs have an amazing pain threshold; others are much more sensitive.
None of us like to think of our dog in any sort of pain and knowing how to recognise some of the signs can mean early intervention by a veterinary surgeon with the possibility of a more positive outcome should treatment be needed. It may also allow you to stay safe when attempting to examine a dog that may be in a degree of pain.
Some of the signs a dog may show when in pain:
· Tense jaw
· Panting/Increase in heart rate
· Licking lips
· Ears back over the head
· Lower tail angle
· Showing teeth
· Changes in mobility/posture
· Avoidance of human interaction
· Withdrawn or seeking attention
· Changes in appetite
· Changes in toileting
· Repeatedly licking/chewing an area of its body