Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Chronic Pain Conditions in Dogs

If your faithful furry companion is experiencing long-term pain, it can greatly affect their overall well-being. At Little Miami Veterinary Services, our veterinarians are available to provide insight on chronic pain in dogs and advise on ways to help alleviate your pet's discomfort.

What is chronic pain in dogs?

Chronic pain in dogs is a persistent discomfort or soreness that can last for weeks, months, or even years. It can be caused by various underlying conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, spinal issues, or nerve damage. This type of pain significantly affects a dog's quality of life, leading to reduced mobility, changes in behavior, and decreased enjoyment of activities.

Managing chronic pain in dogs typically requires a comprehensive approach that includes medication, physical therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and sometimes surgical interventions. The treatment plan should be customized to the specific needs of the individual dog and its underlying condition.

Signs of Chronic Pain in Dogs

If your pet is experiencing chronic pain, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lack of enthusiasm for play, walks, or activities
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or jump
  • Difficulty getting up from sleeping position
  • Tail tucked in or lowered
  • Spending more time sleeping
  • Yelping or whining
  • Irritability
  • Limping
  • Overall sad demeanor

Chronic pain in dogs can develop gradually, making it hard to detect any signs. That's why taking your pet for regular veterinary check-ups throughout their life is important.

Your vet conducts regular check-ups, enabling them to monitor your furry friend's health over time and identify subtle changes that might otherwise be overlooked.

The Causes of Chronic Pain in Dogs

Osteoarthritis is prevalent in dogs, affecting around 40% of them. It is a significant cause of chronic pain in dogs. Several factors can cause it, including hereditary and congenital factors, chronic pain from arthritis, neuropathic pain due to nervous system damage or dysfunction, and inflammatory pain from gum infections.

What are the types of tests to diagnose chronic pain in dogs?

If you suspect your dog is in chronic pain, take them to the veterinarian for a thorough examination.

Your veterinarian may use the following methods to diagnose your dog's condition:

  • Physiologic biomarkers: Biomarkers Analyzing these biomarkers through laboratory tests such as blood tests, urine analysis, and imaging studies can be beneficial for diagnosing, monitoring, and managing certain health conditions in dogs. These biomarkers serve as physiological indicators. By integrating biomarker analysis with clinical assessment and behavioral evaluation, veterinarians and pet owners can gain a better understanding of chronic pain in dogs, leading to improved outcomes and a better quality of life for the affected animals.
  • Measurements of gait:  Assessing a dog's gait is crucial for diagnosing and monitoring chronic pain conditions, especially those that impact the musculoskeletal system. This evaluation helps veterinarians gain a comprehensive understanding of any gait abnormalities and functional impairments that may be associated with the dog's chronic pain. Doing so makes it easier to diagnose the problem and develop effective management strategies accurately.
  • Multifactorial clinical measurement instruments: Clinical measurement instruments, such as pain score systems, quality-of-life assessments, and physical examinations, are extremely valuable tools for veterinarians. These instruments help to evaluate various dimensions of pain, including changes in behavior, physical signs, and functional impairment, which provide a comprehensive understanding of the pain experienced by dogs. By using these tools, veterinarians can assess and monitor chronic pain in dogs more comprehensively.

How can I help my dog with chronic pain?

Managing chronic pain in dogs requires a comprehensive approach, including medical treatment and lifestyle adjustments. Here are some things you can do  to help your dog cope with chronic pain: 

  • Consult a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment methods, such as cold laser therapy
  • Create a comfortable home environment with a designated area for their bed, toys, water, and food
  • Ask your vet how you can safely manage your dog’s weight, if necessary
  • Make sure your dog gets gentle exercise tailored to their abilities
  • Consider alternative therapies
  • Make modifications to your home to support accessibility and safety
  • Regular monitoring of your dog's condition

Cold Laser Therapy Treatment for Chronic Pain in Dogs

If your pet is experiencing symptoms related to different disorders, veterinary cold laser therapy can be a helpful treatment option. Vets mainly use this relatively new therapy to manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing. The therapy operates by utilizing light waves of a specific wavelength to modify the physiology of the affected tissues. During treatment, the light emitted by the therapeutic laser stimulates the cells within the tissues, promoting faster cellular regeneration.

The type of tissue that can be affected depends on the wavelength of the laser used. Typically, the most commonly used lasers emit near-infrared light. However, lower wavelength lasers are becoming increasingly popular because they can treat areas near and involving the skin. Higher-wavelength lasers are the preferred choice for deep tissue repair.

We recommend speaking to your vet if you want to learn more about how veterinary laser therapy can benefit your dog. They can provide you with more information and determine if this treatment option is appropriate for your pet's specific needs.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you worried that your dog may be experiencing chronic pain? Contact our South Lebanon vets to have your pup diagnosed and treated.

New Patients Welcome

At Little Miami Veterinary Services, we are always accepting new patients. Our vets are passionate about the health of South Lebanon companion animals. Contact us to book your pet's first appointment and join our veterinary family.

Contact Us

Book Online (513) 494-9009