My Dog Might Be In Pain Continued from last week…

Is your dog in pain? The previous article of this series covered reluctance to walk on slippery surfaces and reluctance to negotiate stairs.

Since they can’t tell us…

3)  Your dog is becoming selective about what to jump up on or down from.  This is not so different from reluctance to negotiate stairs.  Essentially it is moving from one height to another.  For homes without stairs this is then an important clue.

It might be that a piece of furniture is too high or that the floor is too slippery too jump up from or down to.  Or your dog tries to jump into a vehicle and either starts to jump at an angle to avoid the seat or stands there on his back legs until you can help get their backend lifted in. This reluctance to jump may develop gradually, but can happen overnight if they reach the threshold of pain that is no longer just uncomfortable but severe enough to interfere with function such that the reward of action (jumping into the vehicle or onto the furniture) is no longer worth the effort.

4)  Your dog is attempting to get up from lying down with the front legs first.  Most all non-painful dogs stand up with their rear legs in motion first.  You may have observed dogs starting to stand who, before they get all the way up, stretch their front legs out in what looks like a praying position. This is normal. When a dog has pain in the hind end (legs or back), this becomes too difficult. Instead, they will try to gather themselves together up front first, and you can see them pulling with their front legs when they stand.  This is not normal, they adapt to the pain, and this manner of pulling themselves up is their least painful option.


Stay tuned for more signs that your dog is in pain…


Dr. Jeffrey Person practices in Edmonton at the Delton Veterinary Hospital and co-hosts the listener call-in show Pet Talk – Sunday mornings at 8a.m. on 630 CHED (AM dial).

To request an appointment call 7804759225 or email