Pain

Poor Jake has had a torrid week. He started a slight limp at the end of last week, favouring his back leg.

Jake takes Onsior for his arthritis, it’s prescribed as it has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Jake and Truly both take these tablets daily. When Jake appears uncomfortable, I give him some additional prescribed pain medication. This time, after a couple of days he hadn’t bounced back like he ususually does. I noticed a bump on his leg that hadn’t been there before, so off we went to the Vet for a check up. We’re currently waiting for the results of some tests on leg bump. In the meantime, I thought I’d share the signs of pain I spotted in Jake.

Signs to look for

Heavy panting – not down to hot weather or exercise. Jake’s breathing was faster than usual, even when laying in his bed. I timed his breathing using my phone, it’s a helpful measure for your Vet too.

Lack of appetite – Jake wasn’t interested in treats, which is unheard of! Although he was still eating his meals with usual relish, and drinking water.

Other behavioural changes – not wanting to be touched and in low spirits (snapping, growling, backing off when approached are also signs). Jake’s posture also changes, his back is stiffer. He does know to present his back for a massage and for his heat pad. Yep, I’m definitely well trained!

Barking, crying or whimpering – Jake sighs in a certain way when he’s in pain, so I know something might be wrong.

As his pain is to do with his leg, Jake develops a slight limp. He will walk slowly and struggle to get up. He also circles more often before he finally lays down, as if he’s trying to find the most comfortable position. I limit walks to toileting only, and make sure the stairs are blocked off at home.

Excessive grooming – Jake doesn’t demonstrate this, but a friend’s dog does this when she gets stones caught between her toes.

Pacing – this one is pertinent to Truly and since she’s been on pain relief she doesn’t pace as much. Pacing is associated with dementia, which is when she started hers.

If you suspect pain in your dog, I thoroughly recommend an early conversation with your Vet. Our Vet James has been a huge support to me as Jake and Truly have developed their range of age related conditions.

Arthritis

If you want to read about arthritis in dogs, you can find out more here and here.

Until next time

Jen

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