For Midwesterners, winter means snow, iced over lakes and slippery walking paths. For our canine companions, it often results in dry noses, cracked paws, aching bodies and new injuries. In a nutshell, pain. Dogs communicate in their own way, but you need to be aware of the signs. Some indications are obvious (your fur kid yowling in distress) but many times they are far more subtle.
FIVE SIGNS OF PAIN
Your ever-hungry pup refuses to eat, even when you tempt her with the good stuff.
- Breaking house training: If your dog is suddenly defecating or urinating in your house, pain could be the cause.
- Localized grooming: Obsessively licking and biting their fur, you, the barn cat or even a plush toy.
- Destructive chewing: Dogs retaliate against hurt by furtive chewing, sometimes injuring themselves or other animals. She may shred her favorite toys, gnaw on a sofa or annihilate your new designer handbag.
- Hiding: The distressed pup may disappear under a bed, in a closet or under a pile of blankets. She may shy away from you, or suddenly become very clingy.
- Restlessness: Nervous pacing, walking in circles, refusing to lay down and tail biting are all signals of distress.
3. BODY LANGUAGE:
Look for a change in posture, crouching or leaning over injuries. She may squint her eyes, flatten her ears or hold her tail between her legs. A distressed dog may tilt, droop or furiously shake its head and ears. Is her muzzle tight, is she gritting her teeth?
- Jekyll and Hyde: Your easy going dog becomes aggressive; snarls, snaps or bites. Or your usually overly friendly dog refuses to interact, avoids petting or handling of any kind.
- Vocalization: Your well-mannered dog barks and whines non-stop. Or your usually vocal dog, shows no interest in barking, but growls, whines or moans.
- Touch: A dog in extreme pain becomes sensitive to touch, use caution when you approach to avoid snapping and biting.
5. PHYSICAL STAMINA:
- A normally active pup may become sleepy and docile, refuses to play, and is reluctant to exercise. You may observe limping, lameness, rising or laying down takes effort.
- Pay attention to altered breathing, heavy panting, shortness of breath.
You have observed the signs of pain, now what do you do?
- First assess the source of the pain. If you can do it safely, gently examine your dog thoroughly to locate the pain. If you are unsure, pain is severe or suffering persists, consult your veterinarian.
- If pain is a chronic condition (an old injury flare-up, arthritis, hip, or joint issues) consider exploring an alternative to traditional pain medications. GreenDog Botanics Pain Spray and Balm are natural solutions for managing chronic pain and an excellent alternative to drugs or pain killers. Apply GreenDog Botanics Pain Spray directly where it hurts, then along dog’s spine.
- Next apply GreenDog Botanics Pain Balm to nose and paw pads. GreenDog Botanics Pain Spray and Pain Balm combined ensures rapid relief. Pain Balm is also healing for cracked paw pads and dry noses. Apply Pain Spray and Balm as needed throughout the day.
- Once the pain is under control, encourage healing by limiting exercise and allowing space and time for plenty of rest. Make sure your fur-kiddo has a comfortable bed with plenty of support. Consider an orthopedic bed or pillow.