I have been noticing a common theme in the background story of quite a few patients.
The common story goes like this:
“I noticed Jinx was not acting quite as playful as usual on Wednesday. On Thursday, I noticed he didn’t want to go up stairs but he seemed to be eating ok. I took him to the park to play ball because I thought he was depressed and when I got home, he didn’t want to jump on the bed. After coaxing him, he finally did. Now, he has been whining and can’t get comfortable and he even yelps out of the blue sometimes. What could be wrong?”
Or another one…
“Cleo woke up this morning and just didn’t eat as much as she usually does and was acting kind of depressed. I took her for a long walk and she collapsed on the way and she couldn’t get up. I had to call my husband to bring the car and pick her up to bring her here because I couldn’t lift an 78 lb Labrador.”
What is the common theme here? Both of these dogs were telling their pet parents that something was wrong and they didn’t want to do much. The problem is, their owners didn’t speak their language or read their cues.
There are over a dozen more of these that I have heard recently and I thought I’d share this to help you avoid the emergency room.
Dogs will rarely cry or whimper when they have mild or moderate pain. Their pain has to be severe before they will show major symptoms. Most often, they will just change the way they move or want to be less active when they aren’t feeling well or hurt.
Be aware of these subtle changes and don’t push them to exercise when they may be hurting. In several of these cases, pet parents unknowingly pushed their fur babies to a breaking point where they needed emergency medical care.
Some of these dogs probably would have ended up needing veterinary care because of the symptoms and diseases that were developing but, some of them were pushed to exercise when what they needed was rest, time and healing.
Learn to read your dog’s cues, pay attention to subtle changes in their behavior, and don’t push them til they break.
Take good care of the puppies!
Your Dog’s Favorite Vet