The thought of our pups being in pain is deeply distressing, and the idea of them silently suffering is even worse. Unfortunately, our dogs can’t tell us how they’re feeling by using words; but if you watch for certain signs, they can let us know that something is wrong through their behavior and body language.
Below are 5 of the most common conditions that cause dogs pain, as well as signs that your dog is suffering – and what you can do about it. Be sure to consult your vet if your dog shows any of these symptoms or others that causes you concern.
Like humans, dogs are prone to allergies. Whether they’re environmental or food-related, these irritants can affect your dog’s skin. Maybe your pup seems exceptionally itchy and the spot she’s been chewing has developed into a hot spot. Either way, all that itching and chewing often leads to raw skin, which can become infected and painful. Many dog owners these days are turning to Omega-3 fish oil supplements for help with skin issues.
Especially for aging pets, joints can really start to cause problems. This could be do to arthritis, a common, yet painful condition that affects both dogs and humans. If your dog seems to be slowing down, limping, or showing less interest in activities he once loved, it could be because these things hurt him now. (Check out these signs of canine arthritis.) Of course, you should consult with your vet to rule out any other medical conditions.
The good news is, there are a few easy things you can do to help alleviate your dog’s discomfort: keep him as active as possible (without aggravating the arthritis), keep him at a healthy weight, buy him a comfortable, supportive bed, and add supplements to his diet that support joint health.
Like skin irritation, ear infections can be caused by allergies. Or, bacteria, parasites, or something else could be to blame. Either way, ear infections are not fun for anyone. If you notice your dog shaking her head or scratching her ears, or there’s a foul odor or drainage seeping from the ear, an infection may be to blame (check out this advice from our resident vet). Keeping dogs’ ears clean and dry and managing allergies (should that be the culprit) can help clear up and prevent ear infections. To keep things nice and clean, try ear cleaning pads and solutions.
Nobody likes an upset tummy! If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, it could be due to his diet or something that just didn’t sit well. If these symptoms continue for multiple days, you should definitely seek professional medical advice. But once serious issues are ruled out, a simple diet change or a few days’ worth of eating simple foods, like plain chicken and rice, may be just the trick.
A whopping 85% of dogs over the age of 3 has periodontal disease, whether their humans know it or not. Sadly, gone untreated, this condition could mean that your pup is silently suffering from mouth pain, and even worse, it can be deadly. The good news is this disease is preventable with regular tooth brushing at home, annual professional cleanings from your vet, and treating your pup to plaque-scraping chews in between brushing.