Pain (Acute, Chronic and Postoperative) in Dogs

Dog pain is usually a symptom of an underlying illness either severe or minor in nature. Most dogs mask signs of illness and pain. They are unable to convey pain if suffering from it. Dogs may show some signs of suffering from pain and it is upto the owner to determine the source of pain. Different dogs may have different responses to pain; breed, age, experience and current environment will all affect response level.

Pain can be due to a variety of causes, most of which are commonly associated with tissue damage. Among common signs of a state of pain in a dog is vocal cue or sign of significant agitation. Vocalized symptoms include howling, whimpering, moaning, yelping and groaning. Such unprovoked vocalizing can indicate an internal injury or other bodily problem.

Dogs experiencing pain can communicate via behaviors such as licking or biting the affected area. Other behavioral symptoms that should be considered seriously include refusing to leave bedding, refusing to play, isolating itself from the rest of the family, changes in toiletary habits and oversleeping.  The affected dogs may become extremely sensitive to touch and stimuli which can cause them no harm.

Dogs suffering from long-term pain can display signs of depression, lack of appetite, trembling and some even exhibit snaping and biting when someone reaches out to pet them. 

Rapid shallow breathing, fast heart rate and rise in blood pressure are signs associated with sudden and sharp pain.

In a nutshell, common symptoms associated with pain in dogs include

Change in posture while sleeping, walking or sitting

Inability to exert pressure on a certain part of the body


Limited movement

Sensitive to touch


Crying or whining in pain

Licking affected parts frequently

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