For a long time it was believed that animals suffer less pain than humans. Probably this wrong opinion was held because animals seldom whine and mostly try to hide their pain. Scientists nowadays agree that animals experience pain just as much as we do, and may suffer even more. Because while humans can often explain why they are in pain, animals suffer “for no reason” – they do not know why it “hurts” so much. And most of the time it can’t help itself.
In order to save the dog unnecessary suffering, quick help from humans is required. But before that, the person must first recognize that their four-legged friend is in pain. If the dog hobbles or evades contact, this is of course a clear signal.
But even with stomach pain it becomes difficult to recognize the symptoms. Only pet owners who watch their pet closely have a chance of noticing this pain. Because as I said: animals usually try to hide the fact that they are in pain. However, this is not vanity, but an innate behavior: Anyone who shows weakness is an easy victim for predators.
Watch your dog closely. © stock.adobe.com/rodimovpavel
But how do you know that your own dog is suffering? It is not completely impossible, because there is a difference to “normal” behavior. The following signs may indicate that the dog is in pain:
Sick dogs often don’t want to eat. © stock.adobe.com/velimir
The pain symptoms a dog shows also depend on its personality. He can react aggressively or apathetically, be restless and nervous, or limp and listless. Dogs only cry out at the first pain; dogs rarely “whine” or “cry” in pain.
All the dog owner usually hears is a low moan. This is why it is so important to know about your dog’s normal behavior. Only those who know their dog exactly can see if something is wrong with them.
Some sick dogs withdraw. © stock.adobe.com/Khaligo
If you suspect your dog is in pain, see a veterinarian immediately. This also applies in the evening or on the weekend. Inquire with your veterinarian how the emergency services are organized in your area so that you don’t have to search and ask questions in an emergency.
Many owners “wait and see” whether they show stronger symptoms and believe that otherwise it can “not be that bad”. This is a wrong approach: if your dog can’t help but show his pain clearly, he has come a long way through suffering, and it may even be too late to heal.
If in doubt, you should urgently see a vet. © stock.adobe.com/LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS
The dog must never be given painkillers without consulting the veterinarian. The cause of the pain remains untreated even with pain relievers. Many pain relievers that are safe for humans are toxic to dogs. A meaningful treatment for pain begins with finding the cause.
Often it is not that easy to find. You should therefore be prepared for extensive examinations by your veterinarian. This is sometimes tedious and expensive, but the only way to get rid of the root of the problem.
The vet decides which pills the dog will take. © stock.adobe.com/mnikolaev
In addition to treating the cause, combating pain is important so that the dog can get well again. Because today we know that chronic pain can itself become the cause of illness. Well-acting painkillers for animals are now available to veterinarians.
As the owner, you can support the healing of your dog. With the following tips you can make it easier for your dog to fight pain:
In addition, many pains can also be relieved by warming or cold packs. Talk to your vet about what they recommend in your particular case. So you are there for your dog when he is in pain and can prevent further suffering.