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how can you tell if a dog is in pain?

My 2 were playing rough as they always do and one hurt herself. . She yelped and she has been limping on and off for a few days. She runs around the house and they still play rough although I try to control them so she does not get hurt. At times she will be sitting there and just lift her paw. Other times she runs through the house like a wild one. How can I tell if she is in pain and needs to be taken to the vet?
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Re: how can you tell if a dog is in pain?

  • If she's limping, I would keep her calm, possibly on crate rest for a day or two. If ages still limping after that, then I'd go to the vet.
  • it's hard to tell sometimes, esp when you have a dog who will continue to play even with a booboo.  i'd check the paw and make sure there's no cuts, nothing stuck on it, no bruising, no swelling.  also, palpate to see if the leg seems hurt.  if you don't find anything, then i'd just tether/crate-rest the pup for a couple days to let the paw heal.  it sounds like it might be hurt a little, but not enough for her to stop playing on her own.  i'd rather crate-rest than let it get worse and reinjured.
    Have you seen my monkey?
  • My cat acted like this after the dog tried to play too roughly with her.  I took her in and they x-rayed and said no broken bones.  The vet said it was a tissue/muscle injury and it would take a few weeks to totally heal.  She was fine. 
  • Dogs are SO good at adjusting and don't think of pain as pain, they just think, "this is the way things are now."  However, that can lead to further injury.  No harm can come from having the little poochie checked out just to make sure.  :)

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