What can I give my dog for pain?

Recogniziing that your dog is in pain is not always easy. Obviously a dog cannot simply tell you that it is hurting and oftentimes instinct will cause them to hide their pain. Finding out early that your dog is in pain will not only aid you in relieving its pain as early as possible, but may also save you an expensive trip to the veterinary clinic. Keeping a close eye on your dogs behaviour can help. Sudden behavioral changes like depression, anxiety, fatigues, sleepiness, trempling, falling, stumbling and lack of appetite can occur when the dog is in pain.

Do what can you do for your dog when you know it is hurting and what can you give your dog to help ease the pain?

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Symptoms that your dog is in pain

A doctor would usually ask you of the severity of pain, the location of the pain. You may also be able to specify what causes the pain. This is not so with our furry friends. You will hear the dog whimpering, notice that it is not its usual self but you can never ask dogs what pains them. We love our dogs; we worry about them and it is during times like these that we wish our pets can talk. Dogs though would give you subtle signs. You have to be very discerning to see the signs. Whining is one of the telltale signs that the dog is in pain. Healthy dogs do not whine, unless they want to go out and you ignore the pleadings. A dog that whines should be taken to the vet at once especially if the pet has repeatedly turned away from its food, when it is lethargic and prefers to sulk in the corner rather than play.

One of the most common causes of a dog’s pain is arthritis. Pain can also be due to an injury, an infection or an illness. You certainly would not want the pet to be in pain. You would not want the dog to live a poor quality life. Dogs are naturally energetic animals but a dog that is in constant pain would have a decreased activity level, would seem to be distressed or aggressive.

What can you do to alleviate the pain?

The dog will certainly need proper treatment and the right medication can only be prescribed by the vet. The vet will usually give the dog a physical examination. Sometimes blood tests and x-rays are also needed to help determine the cause of the dogs pain.

Veterinarians often recommend one of or a combination of drug treatment, surgery and physical treatment. But there are also things you as a dog owner can do at home.

  • A massage will help the dog relax and soothe the pain. Additionally it gives you the opportunity to discover abnormalitites like lumps, bumps, scrapes, soares and bruises on your dogs body.
  • Watching your dogs response to exercise. A dog that over a period of time begins to act more sluggish during your normal exercise routine could be developing chronic pain and should be seen to by a veterinarian.
  • Monitoring your dogs diet and water intake can help your discover symptoms of pain. A sudden increase or decrease in appetite or if your dog suddenly stops drinking or maybe it is drinking an unusually large amount of water. This may be a sign that there is something wrong with your pet. In this case you should consult your vet for advice on possible causes and dietary changes. Some illnesses like reduced kidney or liver function require special dietary measures in order increase your dogs quality of life.

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14 comments

Jane 7 years ago

First, I'd like to write that as well as you know your pet, you may not know your dog is in pain. Even a dog who is in serious pain may not whine.

Our dog recently dug his way under our fence and out of the yard and got hit by a car and he ran home and never whimpered or anything. He just sat quietly outside the back door and waited for me to notice him. Later, after his surgery, he had a splint on his leg and never whimpered or complained - except that he would lick at his bandages and chew away at the bottom of the splint. We would not naturally think of this as a sign of pain, merely a sign of annoyance. But he had a sore under his bandage that was irritating, which we found out about when the bandages were removed.

I recently spoke with a dog owner whose dog was found to have cancer in the brain; the dog had never complained (i.e. even whined) and acted completely normally. The cancer was discovered completely by chance.


jackinabox profile image

jackinabox 7 years ago Author

Jane, you are correct. Dogs will sometimes try to hide their pain and it can thus be difficult to get a feel for how serious a dog is wounded and as you say. Sometimes you may not even notice.. I'll make sure the hub is changed to better reflect this behaviour.


happygiggle profile image

happygiggle 7 years ago from A long way from home

It took me awhile to learn how my pug shows he is in pain. He stretches his neck as if he is trying to get a crick out of it. His neck muscles go so tight as he slowly turns his head to the side. It was heartbreaking when i first saw this. I rushed him to an animal hospital as i thought he had something lodged is his throat. He now has prescription medication to help in times like this.


Karen Strickland 7 years ago

My "problem" is with my 12 year old Cairn Terrier. Recently she has run from me several times when she knows I coming. She prefers dark places in the house to "hide" so I hzve to look for her. I cannot get her to play with her favorite toyw


vicki 6 years ago

can i give my dog otc meds for pain, she was injured in a scuffle and appears to be sore


cassie 6 years ago

All of a sudden my god - basset h. and it is 13 yrs old, started having troubles with her back leg, she is falling constantly, I will take her to the vet tomorrow, in the mean time can I give her regular aspirins, I don't have baby aspirins


Jessica 6 years ago

so what can i give my dog cuz his legs got ran over!!so what can i do?


jackinabox profile image

jackinabox 6 years ago Author

Jessica, you should defintely take your dog to the vet to have it looked at. He can also give you advice on pain relief in your specific situation.


Maria Cecilia profile image

Maria Cecilia 6 years ago from Philippines

YOu know this concerns me too, I can say I am an exaggerated pet owner, but can you blame me my dog had undergone six surgeries for Perineal hernia, and I am always very sensitive when my dear peso whines, but I really can tell if he is in pain or just heard another cat walking on our roof.... but I felt relief that he never lose his appetite.. but still I wish they can tell us if they are in pain.. I don't want to rely on appetite alone...


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

All of my dogs have been given medication for pain etc.. that is given to humans. And YES from my vet


Amanda 5 years ago

my dog has Arthitus what can i give him from home that will help with his pain?


people are dumb 5 years ago

jessica from 16 months ago... take your dog to the vet a**hole.


Ed 4 years ago

My dog billy has such bad pain in his front leg he can't put no pressure on it at all. Trying to find a vet that I can make payments to I live in ca. Does any one know of any vets


Livvy 4 years ago

Ive had my 1yr old dog at 4 different vets 8 different times for an abcesse in his front paw, he's been given anti biotics by all vets which is fine but at the end of the courses his paw flares up again, he has now licked it so much it's raw. After getting an Elizabeth collar his abcesse healed but the swelling never went down, it's now been four weeks with out his collar and this morning I found him chewing his paw and limping!!! What do I do? All the vets have xrayed him and say there's nothing they can do!!! Please help!!!!

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