What’s the first thing you do when you feel pain in any part of your body? You flinch and twitch and try every possible measure to help relieve the pain. You might apply a pain-relieving ointment or pop a few painkillers to reduce the pain. If the pain persists, you’ll likely consult a doctor to find its root cause and get the right treatment.
Dogs feel pain the same way that we do. From infections and injuries to inflammation and bone cancer – there are various factors that can cause pain in your dog. While acute pain caused by an injury or infection is temporary and curable, certain conditions such as osteoarthritis can cause chronic pain in dogs.
The sad part is unlike us, a dog can’t say it out loud when they’re in pain. Nor can they point to the exact location or cause of the pain. As a dog parent, it’s up to you to keep an eye on your furry companion and watch out for any signs of pain. It’s also your responsibility to help relieve their pain by providing them with the right care.
What You Should Never Do
No. A regular painkiller such as aspirin or ibuprofen isn’t going to ease your dog’s pain. On the contrary, they can cause severe complications in dogs including poisoning, kidney damage, and stomach ulcers.
Even if you have any specialized pain-relieving medicine for dogs at home, don’t administer the medicine on your own. Giving the wrong dosage of pain-relieving medicine can do more harm than good. That’s why you should always get in touch with your regular veterinarian whenever you notice any signs of pain in your dog.
In this blog, we’ve outlined a few things you can do to help relieve your dog’s pain. Let’s take a look.
1. Watch Out for the Warning Signs
Has your dog suddenly developed an aversion to physical activities such as running, jumping, and exercising? Have they become particularly aggressive and anti-social? Are you noticing a decrease in their appetite and overall energy levels? These could all be indications that your dog is hurting and in pain.
Here are a few more symptoms and signs you should watch out for:
- Excessive growling, howling, and yelping
- Changes in posture such as a hunched back
- Extreme tiredness and panting after light physical activity
- Excessive licking and grooming
2. Create a Comfortable Space
The best way to ease your dog’s pain at home is to provide them with a cozy space where they can sit or lay down. This might be a good time to get a soft and comfortable bed for your dog (if you don’t have one already). If your dog is growing old, you could also consider getting a specialized orthopedic bed for them. Also, make sure you fill the space with their favorite toys and other belongings to help them feel relaxed.
3. Spend Time with Them
What do you crave the most when you fall sick? You crave a familiar face who can take care of your health and wellbeing. It could be your parents, sibling, best friend, or spouse. Make sure you do the same for your whenever they exhibit any signs of pain and distress. Even if they aren’t in the mood to play around, you can just sit near them and pat their body or caress their fur.
4. Change Their Exercise Routine
Exercise is necessary for your dog’s physical and mental health. However, if they’re in pain, it may not be ideal to engage them in any rigorous physical activities or exercise. If you observe that your dog gets particularly restless or tired after playtime or a long run, you need to modify their exercise routine. Try taking them out for shorter walks or cut down on their playtime. You could also consider trying alternative physical therapy techniques such as hydrotherapy to help relieve their pain.
5. Consult Your Vet
It goes without saying that you should book an appointment with your vet as soon as you notice symptoms of pain in your dog. Make sure you maintain a written or visual record of the symptoms. This will help the doctor examine your dog to find out what’s causing the pain. The course of treatment will depend on the root cause.
For instance, if the pain is being caused by a wound or fracture, your vet will try to fix it with a bandage or cast. Likewise, they can prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Previcox pet med for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. In some cases, they’ll also recommend certain lifestyle and dietary changes to help manage the pain.
Do you use any other pain management techniques for your pet dog? Share your tips in the comments section below.