Dog Pain Diagnosis

Dog pain is usually a symptom of an underlying illness either severe or minor in nature. Most dogs mask signs of illness and pain. However, pet owners who notice a change in behavior such as reduced playfulness, lethargy and depression should monitor the dog to detect accompanying symptoms of illness. Prompt or early diagnosis often prevents complications and expensive treatment procedures. In addition, the dog will recuperate quickly with relief from the pain and discomfort. Since pet owners know each individual pet's behavior traits, it's easy to notice any symptoms of pain in dogs.

Symptoms of Dog Pain

  • Change in posture while sleeping, walking or sitting
  • Inability to exert pressure on a certain part of the body
  • Aggression
  • Limited movement
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Trembling
  • Crying or whining in pain
  • Licking affected parts frequently

Causes of Dog Pain

Some conditions are commonly seen in dogs that belong to a certain age group. Older pets are more likely to develop bone degenerative disorders such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. Injury or spinal damage also causes severe pain and immobility. Pets suffering from bone fractures and sprains may cry out in pain. However, it's best to limit movement and seek emergency care in such situations. Apart from these conditions dogs suffer from pain if they have inflammation in parts of the body that include the eyes, ears, gastrointestinal tract and urinary tract. The vet will perform various diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of illness and establish the treatment procedure.

Diagnosis of Dog Pain

The vet will perform a thorough physical examination of the dog, to determine the part of the body that's affected or in pain. After noting down the dog's medical history the vet will examine the pet for any clinical symptoms associated with the pain. In order to prevent further injury or trauma, dogs in severe pain aren't subjected to movement during diagnosis. Additional diagnostic tests are performed to detect the cause of pain that's not associated with clinical symptoms. The vet will also perform preliminary tests such as a rectal temperature reading and evaluation of heartbeat and pulse rate.

Diagnostic Tests

A complete blood count test is conducted to check if the components of blood are present in required amounts. Urine analysis will also reveal the presence of urinary tract infections or urinary stones. The diagnosis for pain associated with the ears involves a comprehensive ear examination and laboratory testing of any discharge present. If the origin of pain is internal, the vet will perform an ultrasound and x-ray to diagnose inflammation or tumors. Fine needle aspirate tests and biopsy are also performed if the dog is suspected of malignancies.

Dental and Eye Pain

Dogs that suffer from periodontal diseases are subjected to an oral examination. Often, the vet will sedate the pet to perform a thorough examination that would otherwise cause extreme pain. Eye inflammation, redness and pain are diagnosed through a comprehensive ophthalmic test. The vet may also perform a corneal scraping test, to obtain a laboratory analysis of the cells present in the eye.

Since MRI scans and CT scans are expensive diagnostic tests, they aren't performed on all dogs unless necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Diagnostic tests are useful aids to detect illnesses and viruses promptly. Newer diagnostic tests also confirm the results within few hours and enable early treatment.