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Chronic Pain Conditions in Dogs

Seeing your dog in pain or discomfort can be distressing. In this article, our Des Moines will discuss how dogs typically handle pain or discomfort, the signs that indicate your dog is suffering, and how to determine when your dog requires immediate medical attention.

How to Tell If Your Dog is in Pain

When they are in discomfort, dogs are very good at getting into hiding. People who have dogs as pets and want to ensure that their dogs are happy and healthy will find this to be unfavorable. However, it was helpful for them when they had to survive on their own before they decided to become pets. 

You might be able to tell if your dog is in pain, even if it is not immediately apparent, if you have a good understanding of your dog's personality and pay attention to any behaviors that are out of the ordinary. As soon as you become aware of anything that may indicate that your dog is experiencing discomfort or pain, it is imperative that you react promptly and in the appropriate manner.

How Dogs Handle Pain

The majority of the time, dogs will conceal their discomfort until they are no longer able to do so. Because animals in the wild may give the impression that they are vulnerable to predators if they show signs of pain, this may occur. For this reason, owners of dogs should be on the lookout for any indications of discomfort in their canine companions and should take them to the veterinarian if necessary. Getting treatment at an earlier stage can result in better health outcomes, fewer problems over the long term, and less risk while the patient is receiving treatment.

Types of Pain a Dog Can Experience

Just like us humans, dogs can have health problems that cause pain. These can range from dental issues to internal disorders like heart, immune system, and gastrointestinal problems. Pain can also be caused by tumors or cancer. Sometimes, acute pain can occur from injuries or accidents like a foreign object getting stuck in their paw or a fall. Dogs of any age can get parasites that cause sickness. Older dogs may experience pain from joint or bone issues, diabetes, or other health concerns.

Signs of Pain in Dogs

When people ask us how to tell if their dog is in pain, we get a lot of questions. There are some signs that are obvious and some that are not so obvious that you should keep an eye out for.

The following are some examples of these signs: 

  • Significant decrease in appetite 
  • Tail tucked in or lowered
  • Spending more time sleeping
  • Yelping or whining 
  • Irritability 
  • Limping 
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or jump 
  • Reduced play or enjoyment of exercise 

If your previously active and friendly dog is now avoiding petting, is not interested in playing, or has lost its appetite, it could be because they are in pain. Changes in your dog's behavior may indicate pain, and it's important to take them to the veterinarian to be examined and diagnosed. Pain can make dogs tired, just like it does with humans.

If your dog is experiencing chronic pain or has recently started experiencing pain, you may notice them sleeping more. If you see your dog showing signs of pain, contact your vet so they can identify the underlying problem. If your dog has been injured and is bleeding, unconscious, vomiting, or having diarrhea, it is considered a veterinary emergency and needs immediate attention. Our vets in Des Moines are able to diagnose and treat health conditions that cause chronic pain.

How Pain in Dogs is Treated

If your pet is in pain or has a medical issue, we may suggest different treatments depending on what is causing the problem. This could include giving them medicine for pain, caring for their wounds, trying different types of therapy, or even performing surgery. Our veterinarians are skilled in many types of surgeries, both planned and emergency, like fixing problems with soft tissue, bones, teeth, or removing things that shouldn't be inside your pet's body.

Laser Therapy Treatment for Chronic Pain in Dogs

Veterinary laser therapy is a fairly new method of treatment for symptoms related to various disorders and is most commonly used to help manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing for your pet.

Laser therapy employs light waves of a particular wavelength in order to bring about a change in the physiology of the tissues that are being treated. During the course of treatment, the light that is emitted by these lasers will assist in stimulating the cells that are present within the tissues, which will allow for a more rapid regeneration of the cells.

Because of the wavelength of the laser that is being used, the tissue that can be affected will be determined. With the use of lower wavelength lasers becoming more common, the lasers that are most commonly used emit light that is near-infrared. Low-wavelength lasers are utilized for the treatment of areas that are close to and involve the skin, whereas higher-wavelength lasers are able to concentrate on the repair of deep tissue.

If you are interested in learning more about the potential benefits of veterinary laser therapy for your dog, you should consult with your veterinarian.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our Des Moines vets today to book an appointment if you suspect your dog is in pain.

Welcoming Cats & Dogs to Our Animal Hospital 

Des Moines Veterinary Hospital welcomes cats, dogs, and their people to our clinic! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Des Moines companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's appointment.

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