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Signs of Pain in Dogs

September 1, 2020

September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month! One of your most important duties as a dog owner is keeping track of your pet’s health. Fido can’t tell you if he isn’t feeling well, so it’s up to you to watch for signs of trouble. A Cornelius, NC veterinarian lists some common signs of pain in dogs below. 


If Fido isn’t feeling well, he may have a hard time getting settled. He may pace back and forth, or continuously get up and down.

Whimpering/Unusual Vocalizations

Changes in the way your furry buddy speaks is also a warning sign. Fido may whimper, bark, or yelp. He may also whine or even growl if you touch him in a specific spot.


Our canine buddies often lick or nibble at spots that are hurting them. For example, we often see arthritic dogs licking their paws. 

Personality Changes

Being sick really isn’t much of a mood booster for anyone. Dogs are no different. Fido may withdraw, and spend time by himself. if your furry friend doesn’t seem like himself, he may not be feeling well.

Reduced Appetite

If we know anything about our canine companions, it’s that they love food. (Fido sometimes eats things that aren’t actually food, but that’s another topic.) If your pup isn’t interested in dinner, contact your vet.

Tummy Trouble

The occasional bout of indigestion isn’t uncommon with dogs. However, frequent or extreme bouts of vomiting or diarrhea are definitely not normal. 

Respiratory Issues

Fido should breathe quietly through his nose, at least when he isn’t barking at the neighbor’s cat. Coughing, gasping, wheezing, and sneezing are all signs that your pup needs to see a doctor right away. 


Limping is one of the more obvious signs that something is wrong. This is of course sometimes an indication of an injury. However, it can also be an sign of chronic pain from issues like arthritis or hip dysplasia. 

Lack Of Interest In Play

It’s normal for pets to slow down as they grow older. However, a sudden, sharp decline in activity levels can be a red flag. If your pooch is normally playful, but has suddenly lost interest in his favorite toys, have him checked out ASAP.

Please reach out to us, your local Cornelius, NC pet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. We are here to help! 

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