12 signs that your dog is in pain

Pain can be a sign that your dog is ill. So, you need to know: what signs indicate that your dog is in pain?

    Dog pain

    Is your dog trembling? Is he not drinking or drinking too much? Is he acting suspiciously? There are numerous signs that your dog is in pain. These can point to serious illnesses such as a stomach ulcer, as well as flatulence, cystitis or other comparatively easy to treat complaints. Unfortunately, your dog can’t tell you what’s hurting so how do you recognise when your dog is in pain?

    Do you know the signs dogs demonstrate when they’re in pain?

    Dogs communicate differently to humans. You probably don’t know your new dog that well yet. How can you know if he’s suffering if he can’t speak? If your dog shows one or more of the following symptoms, this may indicate he’s in pain:

    1. Your dog drinks a lot

    Excessive drinking can be the result of a walk in the summer heat as well as an indication of serious illness. If your dog has diabetes or an inflammation of the bladder or uterus, it will have an increased need for water. Painful kidney disease, for example, can also be a trigger for your dog to drink a lot.

    2. Your dog pants excessively

    You haven’t worn yourselves out playing but your dog is still panting like crazy? This can also be a symptom of pain. Is your dog’s breathing particularly shallow or fast? Listen closely and monitor the situation.

    3. Your dog doesn’t drink or shows loss of appetite

    Your dog doesn’t drink and suddenly shows no interest in his favourite food? A typical cause is stomach ache. The lack of water can also lead to dehydration. If your dog is showing these signs, something is definitely not right.

    4. Your dog avoids certain movements

    If your dog has pain in his joints or bones, then it will first show in his movements. Your dog will assume certain easy positions and suddenly avoid movements that were not a problem before, such as jumping into a car, climbing stairs, or fetching a stick. This symptom can indicate diseases such as spondylosis, arthrosis, or hip dysplasia.

    5. Your dog is very restless

    He’s constantly stretching in his basket, he absolutely will not lie down, he’s walking around all the time and will not rest. Just like with humans, pain won’t let your dog relax.

    6. Your dog is licking and scratching noticeably

    You don’t see any external reason why your dog’s constantly licking himself, but he can’t stop? Excessive licking of the coat, gnawing on certain areas or licking the muzzle can be signs of pain. Excessive scratching should also be a cause for alarm. The animal is trying to “lick or scratch away” the deeper lying pain.

    7. Your dog howls

    Normally, your dog is the quiet type. Now, out of the blue, he suddenly howls more often. Howling is probably the most obvious way your dog can show you he’s in pain.

    8. Your dog seems very stiff

    You notice that your dog adopts a cramped posture. Maybe he has a stomach ache and is literally writhing with it. Stiffness in the morning, a drooping head or a tucked in tail are also signs of pain.

    9. Your dog is sensitive to being touched

    If something hurts, you don’t want to be touched. Does your dog suddenly not want to be stroked anymore? Perhaps he’s so overwhelmed with stomach pain that he cannot react to your displays of affection. Some dogs even snap at their mistress or master.

    10. Your dog seems disinterested or weak

    Your new flatmate has always been very playful, but now he lies apathetically in the corner when you try to lure him with his favourite stuffed animal? Lethargic behaviour is a typical symptom of pain. Your dog retreats, doesn’t approach you, but rather avoids contact and looks tired.

    11. Your dog is trembling

    Trembling in dogs can obviously have many causes. It’s part of normal sleeping behaviour as well as self-heating. However, with internal injuries that could be life threatening, your dog will tremble conspicuously. Gastric torsion is often the trigger for this shock-like state. When the stomach is twisted, it rotates around its own longitudinal axis. As soon as you notice the symptoms, you should act quickly. If your dog is choking, shows restlessness and inflates his stomach, you should go to the vet immediately.

    12. There’s something wrong with your dog’s eyes

    Healthy animals have clear eyes. If, on the other hand, the pupils are dilated or constricted or the eyes are bloodshot, a painful condition is likely. Some dogs even squint when they’re not well.

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    Your dog is trembling or drinking a lot? Close monitoring helps.

    You know best what kind of behaviour is unusual for your dog. Anything that deviates from the previous norm can be a sign of pain. The following must be understood in relation to dogs and their pain behaviour:

    Dogs are masters of concealment

    A wounded animal is weak and threatens to be excluded from the pack. Therefore, dogs don’t show it when they’re in pain. However, as the owner, you can see a clear change in your dog’s behaviour, and you should monitor this closely.

    People have to recognise the signs

    Your dog doesn’t know why he’s hurting. He can’t look up which diseases are the reasons for his pain on the internet. He’s dependent on your help. So, if you notice that your dog is showing one or more of these symptoms, then it’s your job to relieve his pain.

    What to do when your dog is in pain

    As soon as you notice that something isn’t right, a trip to the vet is inevitable. Don’t wait until it gets worse because, depending on the illness, this could have serious consequences for your dog. Always remember: If the pain is already visible, then the animal really is miserable, because he’ll try to hide it for as long as possible.

    Playing doctor yourself or using medicine designed for humans is not a good idea. These are usually poisonous to dogs. Of course, examinations at the vet’s are costly and time-consuming, but at least then you’ll know. At home, you can then take care of your dog, create a safe space for him, administer the prescribed medication and, above all, continue to observe him closely.

    Painful – also for your wallet: a dog bite

    Illnesses come as a surprise, but unpleasant encounters with other dogs can also cause pain. Some dog liability insurance policies, like those offered by Luko, protect your dog with special SOS packages in case of a dog bite. Quick treatment at the vet’s is no longer a financial burden on your wallet thanks to up to €500 in immediate aid. Now take a look at what other toppings Luko's dog liability insurance offers you and your dog.