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The Most Overlooked Aches and Pains in Dogs

yellow lab blogAs people, we’re pretty lucky. We can communicate when something is hurting us or we’re feeling a little under the weather. Dogs, however, can’t express their pain so easily. Your sweet pooch doesn’t have to be yelping in pain to be experiencing discomfort. Below are four painful conditions that are often overlooked by dog owners:

1. Otitis: When simple ear infections are allowed to brew for too long, the deeper ear structure can become infected too, which can cause severe pain. Nip ear infections in the bud by recognizing the symptoms right away, which include head shaking, ear scratching, and a foul odor coming from the ear canal.

2. Foot pad and nail issues: Scrapes, burns, corns, and ingrown toenails are all painful conditions for dogs. Symptoms can be as obvious as limping or as subtle as paw licking. It’s a good idea to check your pup’s paws out from time to time, especially after a long walk or hike.

3. Dental disease: This is a very serious and often overlooked problem for canines. Discolored teeth, red gums, bad breath, and difficulty chewing are all symptoms that should not be ignored. Speak with a vet about a dental care regimen to prevent your dog from experiencing pain associated with dental disease.

4. Osteoarthritis: Owners often mistake symptoms of osteoarthritis for normal signs of old age. If a dog is having trouble running, walking, or jumping, he’s probably feeling some degree of discomfort. Managing the pain will allow your canine to continue a happier, more active lifestyle. Speak with your vet about the possibility of a joint supplement or a prescription arthritis medication.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ed April 7, 2015, 8:01 am

    Checking for dental disease is vital for all pets, but especially called for with smaller breeds of dogs. In certain small breeds, molars can crack, break and then die, causing misery that is often hard to diagnose, sometimes even to notice, if you have an active dog. Be sure to take your pets to veterinarians trained to spot dental problems, or, if possible, to a veterinarian who is trained specifically in animal dentistry.

    My chug [chihuahua x pug] had two molars crack and die, problems that were identified only during x-rays for a routine teeth-cleaning. After the teeth were removed, he acted so unmistakably grateful! There is no telling how long he had been suffering from horrible tooth-ache! (He was adopted from a rescue shelter.)

  • Ross April 9, 2015, 8:30 am

    Arthritis is so common in older dogs. My white boxer Otis started to slow down when he was 8. He would struggle getting off his mat, and if we went hiking or biking he would pay the price the next day by being especially stiff and sore. I chalked this up to having spent 8 years chasing me up and down mountains, sometimes running 30+km in an afternoon. I put Otis on a glucosamine supplement called glycoflex, and within a month he was re-invigorated and began acting years younger. It has been a real miracle for him as he ages. Now he is 10, and still going strong. He sleeps longer and his activities are shorter, but he shows no signs of discomfort, and still has a zest for life. This week we climbed a 3000′ mountain and went on three mountain bike rides of 5-7km each. Not bad for a grandpa. Next week will be the same, and every day is a gift for him!

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