Owning a dog is one of life’s greatest joys. They do not call them man’s best friend for no reason, and they can provide us with a lifetime worth of memories. While owning a dog can be a rewarding and fun experience, it also means a lot of care, patience, and work. Having a living animal in your home and under your care is no walk in the park, which is why it makes for such a rewarding experience, but also a lot of work. Dogs can be a handful because of their curious, rambunctious nature.
One of the things you need to always be careful and cautious of is paying attention to your dog’s health. It can fluctuate because of things they eat, the mischief they get up to, or any manner of genetic causes. Dog’s get up to a lot which means they can run into pain problems from their activities or because of old age, which makes it so vital to recognize and know how to treat it so that they can continue to live a healthy life at any point in their life. Being a good dog owner means treating your furry friend, and here are some must-have tips on recognizing dog pain symptoms, and what to do to help treat it.
Causes For Pain in Dogs
The list of causes for pain in dogs is quite long so it is hard to list them all, but there are very common causes that affect dogs. Some of these are from play or activity, some are from foods they eat, and others are genetic or hereditary issues related to their breed. The list of physical causes from activity include:
- Scratches, cuts, or other marks from branches, rocks, etc.
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments in legs/knees
- Strained muscles
- Infections from scratches
- Reactions to bug bites/stings
- Dog or animal bites
- Tooth or mouth infection
Dogs love to play and it is impossible to keep them from running around but they can also cause a good deal of harm if they are unsupervised while playing outside or with other dogs. These causes are pretty common for injuries so pain management could be as easy as cleaning up a or giving them CBD for it which will be discussed further on, but some are less likely to happen so it is less of a concern. Dog’s muscles are very strong and developed so torn ligaments or strains are less common but still possible.
Food-related pains that dogs can come across usually involve them eating food that is not good for them, and there is a lot. These pains usually pass and are symptomatic of discomfort not unlike problems that humans deal with:
- The constant need to relieve themselves
- Inability to move much
- Growling stomach
These problems could lead to short term pain as they are experiencing common symptoms of discomfort. This could come from eating small amounts of chocolate, fruits, and vegetables that are bad for them (grapes, raisins, unripe tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms), dairy products, or processed/greasy foods. These types of pain are often quickly resolved after relieving themselves, but serious consumption of things like chocolate requires attention immediately and this will be addressed in a later section.
Sometimes dogs will suffer from hereditary or genetic predispositions to painful conditions that are unavoidable. Often this occurs later in their life, but sometimes it can be triggered by something like an infection, injury, or similar. Some of the genetic disorders or conditions that are painful for dogs are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Cancerous tumors
- Painful fat lumps or growths
- Urinary bladder stones
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Gastric dilation or stomach flip
Some of these conditions can be incredibly painful for dogs and can occur over time naturally. Cancerous tumors and fat lumps are less likely to cause severe pain for dogs, mostly when something squeezes or touches these lumps, but other conditions can be chronically painful. Arthritis can impair a dog’s sense of mobility and make it painful for them to run, walk, or climb. Hip dysplasia is common in bigger dogs as well and can be very painful. Stomach flipping is a potentially deadly condition if not treated quickly by a veterinarian.
These three categories of painful conditions make up the bulk of what to look for in dogs. They range from physical problems as a result of activities like playing or running, while other conditions can be problems from food or ingestible, and others are genetic disorders related to specific breeds of dogs or age-related problems. Each of these painful problems or conditions need to be identified as quickly as you can when you notice a problem because they can lead to serious complications if unchecked for too long.
How to Manage Dog Pain at Home and What to Use
Most of the time dog pain is manageable from your own home. Some of it can be a simple clean up job with anti-bacterial medication or a little wrapping to keep your dog from getting blood all over the place from small cuts. There are more options for managing pain in dogs as well, like CBD oil which could help with recurring problems like arthritis or pain from fat lumps. These ways to help your dog deal with pain can easily be done from home as they are simple fixes. It is still very important to always monitor your dog’s conditions to make sure that they are not worsening if they receive any cuts or if there is an underlying problem in their mobility from bone or muscular injuries.
There are some more unseen issues that can occur with dogs and injury as well. While there are very apparent symptoms of pain, like whining or wincing, limping, or noticeable injuries, there are other ways that dogs signal to us that there is something wrong. These include depression and the lack of desire to play, irritability and growling, hiding, rapid or shallow breathing, sensitive to the touch, and grumpy mood swings. These are signs that your dog is trying to retreat because they are in pain or they are vocalizing in an aggressive manner that they are hurt. Helping out your dog can be as simple as some natural remedies or medication but sometimes the problem can be too big to deal with which is when you would want to seek out real help to keep your dog healthy and happy.
What Pain is Worthy of a Veterinarian Visit?
As was briefly mentioned, some problems are much more severe, while others can be a simple matter of waiting it out. Dogs eating dairy products will have stomach discomfort and stink up your house, but they will quickly digest the food, remove the waste, and be back to normal as quickly as it would for a human, depending on how much they consumed.
These are nothing to worry about, but eating chocolate can be potentially fatal. The general rule is that milk chocolate at 0.5 ounces per lb of bodyweight can possibly poison a dog, and dark/semi-sweet chocolate is 0.13 ounces per lb of bodyweight can be poisonous. This is a cause for immediate concern and should be monitored and if any vomiting or changes occur then take your dog to the vet immediately.
Scratches and cuts will heal normally and sometimes you may need to apply an antiseptic to prevent any bacterial infection but they are often just minor scrapes. Broken bones, displaced hips, and other serious issues need to be treated by animal professionals. Setting a bone back in place quickly and getting it into a cast will give your dog a much better chance to recover if you do it soon. Displaced hips are a problem that could be chronic and are harder to manage than others. After your dog is healed, the vet might suggest reducing their weight through diet, giving them anti-inflammatory medication, and helping them with physical therapy that is less stressful on the body, like water therapy.
How to Prevent Pain or Dangerous Situations for Your Dog
Making sure your home is a safe environment for your dog to play is important for keeping them from hurting themselves. This applies to the backyard as well and especially if there is a lot of traffic near your home. Fences should be a must and keep any tools or sharp objects in a shed or out of the yard. Staircase gates might be necessary for some dogs to keep them from fall or harming themselves as well. It also goes without saying that anything in reach of your dog’s grasp like those toxic foods should not be left out on counters for big dogs to reach. Keep your dog’s weight in check, provide them with healthy food, do not overexert them, give them regular exercise, and do routine checkups to ensure they are in good shape. These are all really simple preventative measures to keep your dogs from harming themselves in the first place, but sometimes accidents do happen.
All of this information is important for any dog owner. Dogs are fun-loving, and loving animals that we wish we could spend more time with. Knowing that your dog’s entire life could be spent in your care should be more than enough motivation to give them a safe, comfortable, and happy life but sometimes things are out of control and sometimes dogs get up to no good on their own. These tips on dog pain management will help you keep them running around without the slightest concern, and if they do happen, you will know how to recognize them and how to relieve their pain.