Dog Back Pain

Dog back pain is a condition affecting many pets throughout the world, and it can range from mild and temporary to incapacitating and persistent. Back pain in dogs has a number of causes, and treatment depends upon a specific diagnosis of the underlying condition. Read on to learn about some of the primary symptoms, causes and remedies for canine back pain.

Symptoms of Dog Back Pain

The first step toward identifying and treating your pet's back pain is to learn to recognize the warning signs of a related health condition. Dogs that are experiencing pain in their backs usually display some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Unusual gait
  • Difficulty standing up or sitting down
  • Visible bump on or alteration of the shape of the back
  • Change in posture
  • Crying, whining or other audible signs of discomfort
  • Shying away from touch
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Unwillingness to play or move around

If your dog presents any of these symptoms for more than a couple of days, he may be experiencing back pain or discomfort of some kind. Make a note of all of the symptoms that you've seen and take your pet to the vet's office for an examination.

Causes of Dog Back Pain

Dog back pain can be caused by a condition as mild as a simple infection. More often than not, however, chronic or serious back pain is caused by a more severe health concern. Cancer, spinal trauma, pulled muscles, muscular diseases and kidney disease are all frequent contributors to canine back pain.

In order to properly diagnose the cause of your pet's pain, your veterinarian will begin by thoroughly examining the list of symptoms that you have compiled. He will conduct a physical exam of your dog and will feel over any irregularities in your dog's back to check for signs of injury. He may then conduct any number of additional tests in order to determine the source of your dog's pain. Most commonly, vets continue by performing radiography tests or x-rays of affected areas, blood tests and spinal fluid samples in order to continue with the diagnostic process.

Treating Your Dog's Back Pain

Treatment for your dog's back pain can begin once your vet has made a diagnosis. In certain cases, such as cancer and certain back injuries, surgical treatment may be the best way to clear up your pet's symptoms. More often than not, however, a combination of drug therapies and physical therapy can help to reduce your pet's discomfort. Anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used to ease back pain, as are muscle relaxants. If your pet is suffering from a separate condition that may be causing back pain, such as kidney disease, your vet can help you to determine the proper course of action to address his disease. Generally, treatment involves a combination of short term methods of relieving your pet's pain with more long term techniques to eliminate the source of the trouble.

Dog back pain can be both a debilitating condition and a sign of a serious or fatal disease. Take your dog in for a veterinary examination as soon as you recognize any of the signs of back pain.