A dog that is feeling pain can often be highly unpredictable. When you handle a dog in that you suspect to be in pain, you should always proceed with great care.
If your dog has been involved in an accident, he may be badly affected by shock as well as pain. Even the most laid back dog may bite under these circumstances.
If he has the misfortune to be involved in an accident, always bear in mind that he will be in shock and distressed. It is important to consider this when handling him to avoid being bitten.
?If he runs away, try to catch him, but do not chase after it if possible. Once the dog is distressed, avoid crowding around him. Instead, crouch down and speak soothingly to him in a quiet voice to reassure him. You must not give him any reason to panic.
?See if he will allow you to stroke his head, and then gently take hold of his collar, talking in a soft voice throughout. If you startle him, then he's likely to react aggressively.
?He may be trembling as the result of shock and possibly the pain of any underlying injury. This is quite normal.
?Do not try to examine him at the roadside. Instead, take him to the local vet's surgery, so that he can be thoroughly examined. Lift him up very carefully, in case he reacts aggressively.
?If he's not wearing a collar, loop a tie or even a pair of tights to form a temporary lead. Dogs that appear seemingly unhurt may be masking serious injuries.
Dogs are relatively stoic in terms of dealing with pain: pain would have left their ancestors vulnerable to attack, so suffering in silence may be instinctive behaviour for him.
It's always important to observe him if he appears to be in pain as closely as possible to try to locate the source of the discomfort.
If he pays particular attention to one area of his body by licking or scratching at it, you should consult you vet.
Other signs of pain to be aware of include limping, excessive panting, aggression when touched, and changes in behaviour with no apparent cause.
Arthritis is common in older dogs and you may have to watch for subtle changes over time such as reluctant to go for a walk, and any difficulties getting up from a lying position.
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