8 Signs Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs do not express pain the same way humans do.  They are very stoic and rarely whimper or cry.  How then do we know something is wrong?  Many dogs will limp when first getting up and/or walking.  But when they get excited they run without a limp.  Owners often think this is an indication that the dog is not experiencing pain.  However, when dogs get excited they go into prey drive, adrenaline takes over and they ignore pain.  After the chase, when the adrenaline recedes, they feel the pain and start to limp.  Here are things to look for to determine whether your dog is uncomfortable:

  • reluctant to jump on/off furniture
  • hesitating/refusing to go up or down stairs
  • difficulty getting in/out of car
  • stiff when first getting up after lying down
  • on again/off again hitch/lameness
  • reluctant to interact with other dogs in the household
  • reduced interest in exercise or not as active as usual
  • loss of muscle mass/tone in a limb(s)

If your dog exhibits any of these signs or symptoms you should have them evaluated to identify the cause of the pain and develop a treatment plan to manage the pain.