Signs of a Dog in Pain: What to Look For in Highland and Westville, IN

As a dog owner, it’s important to learn how to recognize signs of pain in your dog. Your dog is not capable of telling you in words when he’s hurting or feeling sick, but his body language can often let you know this in no uncertain terms.

While some dogs are more vocal or obvious about their pain, others hide it well. By learning to recognize the signs of pain in dogs, you’ll be able to tell whether or not your dog is hurting, and you’ll know when to take him to the emergency vet in Highland and Westville, IN as well.

Signs of a dog in pain in Highland and Westville, IN

6 Signs of a Dog in Pain in Highland and Westville, IN

Common signs of a dog in pain include, but aren’t limited to:

Fear and Aggression

One of the most common signs of pain in a dog is fear. Aggression goes along with this fear, and both are usually found at the same time in a dog who is suffering or in pain. Sometimes, however, a dog may show only aggression or only fear instead.

A dog who is fearful will hide in out of the way locations and may shy away from interaction with the family. An aggressive dog, on the other hand, may growl or snap at anyone who tries to come near him, including his favorite family members.

Whining and Panting

If your dog is hurting, he may whine often, especially when trying to move. If he’s a smaller dog and you pick him up, he may whine because this causes his pain to flare up again. Certain activities may cause the wining to increase.

Panting is also a sign that a dog is in pain or is feeling nauseated. Normal panting occurs when a dog has been active or when it’s very hot outside, but excessive panting or panting at inappropriate times may signify something is wrong with your dog.


Dogs are usually keenly aware of which part of their bodies are causing them pain, and because of this, they may lick or chew often at the source of the problem. Even if your dog has internal pain due to organ disease or damage, he may still lick and chew at his skin near where this problem is located.

You may notice your dog focusing on licking certain parts of his body often, even to the point of removing the fur in these locations. If so, this can be a sign that he’s in pain and that this location is the root of the issue.

Stiff Movements

Dogs who are in pain, especially from arthritis or other joint related problems, may be prone to stiffness when waking up from a nap. They may have difficulty rousing and getting out of bed, and they may have trouble stepping or jumping over items that they used to have no issues dealing with.

Stiff movements that come on suddenly may be a sign of an acute problem, while stiffness that increases over time is usually a part of arthritis, old age, or both. Talk to your vet in Highland or Westville for more information if you notice stiffness in your dog, as it can sometimes be a sign of Lyme disease.

Loss of Interest in Play

Dogs should remain interested in playtime, even if they are older dogs who aren’t quite as capable of playing as they once were. If your dog shows no interested in playtime at all no matter when you try to get him to play, this may be a sign that he is either sick, in pain, or both.

Try playing with your dog using a variety of different toys and at different times of the day. Some dogs simply aren’t as interested in playtime at some times of day as others, but you should know what’s normal for your dog.

Loss of Appetite

Finally, a loss of appetite is a good sign that your dog is in pain or that he may be sick. Dogs who suddenly stop wanting to eat or whose appetites change drastically without much warning are likely to be dealing with an illness or injury.

If your dog is still eating but has reduced the amount of food he eats, you may be able to wait and see if you notice any other symptoms. However, if your dog stops eating altogether, you should take him to the vet immediately.

When To See Your Vet in Highland or Westville, IN if Your Dog is in Pain

Now that you’ve learned this information, you should be more prepared to respond when you notice your dog is in pain. A dog in pain is usually a dog who is either sick or injured, so it’s important to work with your trusted veterinarians in Highland or Westville, IN if you think your dog is hurting.

Your vet will work to diagnose the problem through bloodwork, X-rays, and any other tests that may be required. From there, the veterinarian will be able to provide you with treatment options moving forward with whatever might be causing pain for your dog.

If you have questions or concerns about your dog’s symptoms, contact our animal hospitals in Highland or Westville, IN or stop in today! Our team is available 24/7 to be able to help your pet and get to the root of what’s causing their pain. From there, we’ll work with you on developing the best treatment plan to get them back to living their happy and healthy lives with you.

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