What Should You Do If Your Dog Is In Pain?
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None of us wants our dog to suffer needlessly. But knowing what to do if your dog is in pain is important for any dog parent.
As tempting as it might be to grab an OTC (over-the-counter) medication like asprin, Tylenol or even ibuprofen, warns Jennifer Coates, DVM, you should avoid them no matter what.
Human meds can be extremely dangerous when used incorrectly with your dog.
These OTC pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are known as NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, which inhibit inflammation and pain.
NSAID’s also reduce what are known as PROSTAGLANDINS in the body, which regualte blood flow to the kidneys, help in the production of the mucus layer lining the gastrointestinal tract, and aid in blood clotting.
In dogs, when these funtions are reduced, it can be fatal.
Tylenol, though not an NSAID, is what is known as Acetaminophen.
Tylenol will destroy a dogs liver cells, and possibly result in kidney failure and tissue damage throughout the body.
How do I know my dog is in pain?
We all like to think that we can communicate with our dogs better than we actually can. But the reality is that often times, it is difficult to know if your dog is in pain.
Some dogs tend to mask their symptoms of pain more than others, making it quite hard to know if they are in pain or how much.
Some symptoms are easier to note than others; for instance, if your dog hurts a paw or one of it’s legs, limping will be a sure sign of pain and injury. Other injuries or signs of pain may be more subtle however. Just like humans, each dog has it’s own pain tolerance levels. But unlike humans, they can’t tell us how they feel so it’s up to you to recognize the signs:
What to do if your dog is in pain
You need to get in touch with your Vet, and only use what is prescribed by them. There are specific pain meds that have been developed to be more effective, as well as less dangerous, than the OTC pain meds designed for humans.
With the knowledge of your dog’s health history, your vet can design a pain-reduction plan that is appropriate for your dog, which will make things as safe as possible.
You also need to be aware that not all pain your dog might be experiencing will need to be treated with Meds. Arthritis, which often affects dogs to a great degree as they age, can be treated with a change in diet.
Dog foods supplemented with OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS can reduce pain and joint inflammation.
Foods with less calories, but regular amount of protein, can help your dog lose weight, which can decrease the stress on his joints.
You need to talk with your Vet to determine the right combination of medications, diet, treatments and changes in exercise regimen that will be most appropriate for your dogs condition.