If you fall over or kick a table you can tell a doctor, friend or loved one exactly where it hurts, and how badly; however for your dog it is impossible to communicate in this way. So how do you know if your dog is in pain? Of course this is a common problem among dog owners, after all, our pooch is unable to tell us the source of its discomfort, and only a trip to the vet can glean any information. There are numerous reasons why your dog may remain a closed book when in pain; often it can be hard to know the source.
How to tell if your pet is in pain
Identifying pain in your dog can prove to be a difficult task because your pet may manifest this pain in a variety of ways. There is now much scientific work being carried out that can help us to understand how to locate, and aid pain suffered by man's best friend. And through research it has been found that dogs are very individual in the way they express their pain, much like they are in other aspects of their behaviour.
For example a dog may seek attention or shy away from contact if it is in pain, while the latter is the common perception the former is not uncommon. In controlled camera tests, cameras placed in animal hospital recovery wards revealed that if a dog is distracted sufficiently it may hide any pain or discomfort. Of course if you have an affectionate or even a distant dog, it may well be that your animal is behaving normally, however it is key to look for a break in this pattern. If your dog usually likes attention but is keeping distant then it is safe to assume something is wrong.
Remember as a dog loving owner you are the one who may recognize your dogs pain better than even a vet. Dogs are animals of habit and they are not always comfortable in the presence of strangers, so in front of a vet your dog could well mask any pains that are not obvious upon inspection.
Why do some pets hide pain?
As a pack animal how a dog displays pain can be different from breed to breed. Some species intuitively hide their pain if they expect their pack would leave them behind if they are injured, while other species will more readily exhibit signs of pain, such as limping, if they expect their pack will help them.
So there are times where the pain is obvious such as limping or wounds, but more hidden problems require more stringent observation. Once you realise that your dog is in pain you can take it to your vet, who will then be able to locate the pain and diagnose its cause. Dogs suffer from countless ailments such as humans, and common causes of pain in your pet pooch are gastronomic issues and joint and spine pain.
Once a successful diagnosis has been made your vet can set about treating what ails your beloved pet and hopefully find a solution to the problem. The key is knowing how your dog displays signs of pain, and like many things with your pet it is all about getting to know it and its nuances in personality.
A dog may not be able to show that it is in pain, but it can show that it has fleas, as any dog owner who has seen their dog scratching incessantly can attest. For a great anti flea solution try out Revolution for Dogs flea control.