How To Comfort a Dog in Pain

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    It can be a helpless feeling to see your dog in pain and not know what to do so being able to comfort a dog in pain is crucial to know. There are multiple approaches to comforting a dog in pain depending on the cause and if it’s chronic or acute. Keep reading to learn how to comfort a dog in pain.

    Recognize Your Dog is in Pain

    The first step to really being able to help your dog who is in pain is to recognize that they are, in fact, in pain. Dogs can be excellent at hiding their pain due to their instinctual nature to now show any weaknesses. The following are signs that your dog is in pain:

    • Reluctance to be touched
    • Vocalization 
    • Signs of agitation
    • Shaking or trembling
    • Issues with mobility
    • Heavy breathing
    • Excessive grooming
    • Changes in eating, sleeping, and drinking habits
    • Antisocial behavior

    It’s also crucial to recognize the more subtle signs that your dog has whether it’s acute or chronic pain

    Speak To Your Vet

    dog at the vet being treated for pain

    Unless there’s an obvious wound, your vet is really the only one who can make an official diagnosis. Make note of all the pain symptoms your dog is displaying, both physical and behavioral signs. Even if you don’t think it’s a sign of pain, any change in your dog should be accounted for. Other things to take note of include the time of day, what activity your dog is doing, if they are favoring one limb or side of their body over another, etc. 

    Make absolutely sure they’re getting the right dose of any drugs they’ve been prescribed. Each dog’s reaction to pain medicine may vary depending on the type and dose level used, so keep an eye on them. Don’t be scared to inquire about the pain management treatment if your dog has surgery or a medical procedure. They will usually be given pain relievers before, during, and after the treatment.

    Your vet may even refer you to a pain management specialist depending on your dog’s condition and cause. You can find a pain management specialist near you in our specialist directory!

    Keep Them Comfortable 

    a dog tucked into a bed with a stuffed teddy bear

    Sometimes, all you can do is keep your dog comfortable, especially if they have an injury or condition that cannot be immediately treated or relieved, and especially if you cannot get into the vet right away. If you suspect they are suffering from the joint pain of any kind, they may benefit from time on a heating pad as well as an orthopedic bed. CBD can also be used to alleviate pain at home. You can also try adding supplements to their diet with glucosamine. 

    If your dog is showing immense pain, such as following a traumatic accident, you can still try andk eep them as comfortable as possible. Instead of cradling them tight, give them space but you can sit next to them and speak to them in a calm, soothing voice.

    Alleviate the Pain

    chocolate lab being given a pill by a vet

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen or Aleve for humans, are one of the most common remedies your veterinarian may recommend for your dog’s discomfort. These medications can help your dog with pain, inflammation, stiffness, and any other joint issues. Some of the NSAIDs made specifically for dogs are carprofen, deracoxib, firocoxib, and meloxicam. However, certain commonly used human-approved NSAIDs may be harmful to your dog, so talk to your doctor before giving your dog a pain medication. Make sure to learn more about NSAIDs including the side effects and signs of overdoses before administering them.

    Eliminate the Pain

    black dog doing hydrotherapy

    Pain medication can provide temporary relief from pain but it’s not a solution to their pain. It masks the symptoms and shouldn’t be used long-term. Your vet can come up with a treatment plan with long-term pain relief depending on the cause of the pain. When it comes to joint pain, 

    Although painkillers may provide a temporary remedy, the ultimate goal is to provide pets with long-term pain relief. A modification in your diet may assist you in achieving this goal. Changing your dog’s diet may improve his mood. Omega-3-rich meals, according to Dr. Donna Solomon of the Huffington Post, can help reduce pain by lowering joint inflammation.

    Maintaining a healthy weight might also help to ease some discomfort. Weight gain can worsen serious health problems including pancreatitis and a sliding kneecap. Physical therapy is another alternative. This may also aid with your dog’s comfort while he or she is recovering from an injury or suffering from arthritis. Inquire with your veterinarian about physical therapy options. Physical therapy can come in the form of hydrotherapy, shockwave therapy, laser therapy. Other forms of physical therapy include:

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