Fraser Valley Animal Hospital

2633 Ware Street
Abbotsford, BC V2S 3E2


Canine Signs of Pain

Cats and dogs manifest pain in different ways. Dogs tend to be restless when in pain. They tend to pant, pace and are generally unsettled. Here is a list of signs to watch for if you are unsure if your dog is in pain.

  1. Almond shaped eyes caused by pain facial tension
  2. Droopy head
  3. Droopy ears
  4. Tucked tail
  5. Does not want to play
  6. Lack of social interaction with owners, visitors, other pets
  7. Does not enjoy playing with toys or usual activities
  8. Subtle lack of alertness (early) gradually increasing to a deep apathy
  9. Diminished appetite
  10. Body tension
  11. Facial tension
  12. Accepting treats or food gingerly
  13. Lack of interest in walks, swimming, chasing the ball
  14. Doesn’t respond when called
  15. Worried or sad facial expression
  16. Ears pulled back or flattened
  17. Eyes wide open to expose “whites of eyes”
  18. Avoidance of direct eye contact, when talking to them
  19. Lips slightly retracted in a “grin”
  20. Whiskers pulled back against cheeks caused by facial tension
  21. Uncomfortable when resting
  22. Shifts frequently while resting
  23. Difficulty getting up
  24. Excessive panting (particularly when not hot)
  25. Head held abnormally low
  26. Shivering/trembling/shaking
  27. Unsettled
  28. Pacing
  29. Difficulty moving after a long rest
  30. Difficulty laying down
  31. Slow or abnormal gait
  32. Limping
  33. Hunched back
  34. Compulsive licking or rubbing of certain body part
  35. Looking at sides or other body part suddenly and/or worriedly
  36. Suddenly running away from “nothing in particular”
  37. Can’t jump on bed or couch
  38. Reluctance to lie down
  39. Sleeps in a position that avoids a certain body part from touching ground or bed
  40. Purplish tongue colour (not gums)
  41. “Guards” a certain part of body
  42. Reluctance to touch
  43. Reluctance to be picked up
  44. Isolating themselves from other family members
  45. Disinterested in surroundings
  46. Unusual attention seeking
  47. Flinching when touched a certain area
  48. Unusual aggressive behaviour in an otherwise docile pet
  49. Moaning or whimpering
  50. Refusal to eat
  51. Unable to get up
  52. Crying out in pain
  53. Clenching of teeth, biting down on an object
  54. Howling
  55. Urinating or defecating in house, where normally would not happen

If you are seeing these signs, or have concerns of other symptoms, please call 604-854-2313 or please email us at FVAH@live.caand we will help you with your dog’s comfort.

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