Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Seeing Pain in Dogs: Hindquarters


Hip DysplasiaAfter watching a much-loved dog who was clearly in a great deal of pain recently, I decided to create this blog about seeing pain in dogs. Please review it, share it, teach each other. The more of us who have “eyes to see” the more dogs can be helped.

Nature doesn’t kid and a dog’s body doesn’t lie. If your dog stands with his head down or a leg constantly off to the side, discomfort is probably involved. Along with great veterinary care, excellent joint and fatty acid supplementation can help make a dog as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.

If you have comments or questions, post in comments below. Thank you!

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  1. Our older rescue dog experience relief from her pain with laser therapy – another option for pain management.

    • Yes, Rosemary! Great option to mention. My K9 Physical Therapy pro did that so I didn’t mention it separately but should have. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. Thank you for posting. I have been to agility trials where the dog was obviously in pain, but the oblivious owner ran the dog anyway. Dogs will try their hearts out for people regardless of the pain they are in until they just can’t anymore.

    • Thank you for saying that, Barb. I, too, see it frequently and know that if the people knew, they would not run their dogs. Hopefully blogs like this one will help spread the word. – Sarah

  3. My Aussie Shepherd, Chloe, has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia by my vet via x-ray. My dog takes a joint supplement daily. She loves to run, retrieve and to walk with me. She is not over weight. My observation is that she is in pain (for all the reasons you describe above). Will pain meds help extend her life? Should I stop walking her or letting her run at all?
    Thank you so much for your advice.

    • Hi Kathy –

      Thoughtful questions and here are my thoughts, FWIW: pain meds will improve her quality of life on the days she is in a lot of pain. They will not extend her life, exercise is vital, it is great for her – on leash walking, off leash swimming, on leash hill walking. What is hard on the joints is fast stops and quick spinning. Sliding around. So minimize that. And all that is put through the lens of enjoying her life. Does that help?

  4. Hi there!

    I noticed my dog has been having a hard time sitting down, but she runs and walks just fine! Even with her head up. She doesn’t do the things mentioned in your post, but I see she’s in some sort of pain when she tries to sit or lie down. I’m afraid if I go straight to the vet they’ll just overcharge me with tests or medicines. Is it okay to self medicate? If so what do you advise I give her? Thank you so much!

    • Hi, Ten – I’d take her to a vet or a K9 PT pro for an evaluation. You can limit testing. Find an older doctor; you want an experienced set of eyes and hands who was in practice before some of these tests were even around. Good luck – Sarah

  5. Very interesting

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