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One of the biggest challenges in animal care is determining your dog's source of pain. This is partly due to their limited ability to convey the pain. Dogs vary greatly in their specific responses to pain; the animal's age, species, experience, and current environment will all affect their response levels.
There are numerous causes of pain; most are commonly associated with tissue damage. Treatment options are available that can help to reduce the amount of pain your dog is experiencing.
The most common sign that a dog is in pain will be a vocal cue or a sign of significant agitation. Some dogs will become extremely sensitive to touch and stimuli that would normally not cause them any discomfort.
Dogs that are experiencing long-term pain may exhibit signs of depression, reduction in appetite, trembling, and even biting/snapping when someone reaches out to pet them. Dogs that are experiencing a sudden, sharp pain, meanwhile, may experience rapid, shallow breathing, a rise in blood pressure and an increased heart rate.
Pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including injury, degenerative issues in the animal's tissues, blunt trauma, or following surgery or medical treatment.
Since pain is challenging to diagnose, veterinarians will often complete a full physical examination to rule out biological causes for the pain.
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