International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management
has deemed September Animal Pain Awareness Month. With the campaign slogan, “Their Pain Is Our Pain” vets are hoping to spread awareness about how our pets let us know they are in pain. When it comes to dogs, pain can be hard to detect. For dog’s wolf ancestors, showing signs of weakness made a wolf vulnerable, and being vulnerable was dangerous. Therefore, it’s in a dog’s nature to not purposefully reveal when they are feeling hurt, sick, or injured. Which is why it’s important for dog owners to be on the look out, and recognize the signs that signifies their dog is in pain.
1. Gait - Changes in a dog's walk, like limping, hobbling or favoring one leg over another, is a good indication that something is hurting your pet.
2. Energy - If your dog is acting more lethargic than usual it may mean he or she isn't feeling well.
3. Appetite - A dog disinterested in food either means the dog is sick, or hell has frozen over.
4. Eyes - Puppy dog eyes can do more than trick a couple of treats out of a pet owner, they can also be very telling. Bloodshot and dilated or constricted pupils can be a sign something is awry. A dog in pain also tends to squint a lot.
5. Demeanor - Some dogs can become defensive when they are hurting. If an otherwise friendly, well-behaved pup is snaps at you, you may want to take him or her to the vet to get checked out.
6. Breath - Fast, shallow breaths or excessive panting for no discernible reason could be a sign your dog isn't feeling well.
7. Posture - If a dog is hunching over, fidgety, or particularly rigid it may mean they aren't feeling well.
Trust your gut and be sensitive to your pup. Noticing when your pup is in pain, and taking him or her to the vet could be the difference between life and death for your pet.