Do Dogs Feel as Much Pain as Humans?by Naomi Millburn
An especially introverted dog might be feeling under the weather.
You might think of your dog as being some kind of magical being, immune to feelings of pain and simply perfect in every way. While he might indeed be amazing, he's definitely not exempt to the woes of physical discomfort and pain. Pain unfortunately is a fact of life for dogs and cats.
Dogs and Pain
Dogs feel pain to a similar extent as humans and can handle similar intensities of it. This applies to pain of all types, whether tooth-related, involving the stomach or anything else. Canine nervous systems are like those of people. As a result, dogs often cope with varying tiers of pain in ways that people do. If a pooch experiences a certain amount of pain, he might exhibit clear malaise similar to that of a human.
Innate Drive to Conceal Pain
If your dog never seems to show indications of pain, it's not that he doesn't feel it, it's that he's opting not to make his discomfort obvious to others. This behavior is an innate relic from their forefathers. If a wild canine makes it clear that he feels weak, he becomes an easy target for fights and predators. If he behaves tough and healthy, he is no more a focus than anyone else, and therefore might be able to stay out of physical confrontations.
Although dogs often try to keep their pain confidential, it sometimes becomes too much to bear. If your poor pooch is suffering, you might pick up on a host of signs. These include crying, moaning, hesitation with regard to movement, antsy behavior, widened pupils, frequent panting, decreased grooming, crouching down, shivering, atypically fierce behavior, dull coat, aversion to physical contact, unusually silent or antisocial behavior, hiding, inordinate chewing or biting of body parts, hobbling, excessive sleeping, bodily rigidness, loss of appetite and pressed down ears. If your pet's temperament just seems off in general, pain might be the culprit. Take your cutie to the veterinarian as soon as you notice a single sign of pain. If his pain is outwardly apparent, it might mean that he's been dealing with it for a while.
Beyond Physical Pain
Not only can dogs feel significant physical pain, they are also thought to perhaps experience pain centered around their minds. Dogs give off indications of extreme despondency in taxing times of their lives, such as the abrupt absence of their beloved owners. They sometimes make these feelings apparent by refusing to eat, ceasing to interact with other animals or acting unusually fatigued. These emotional actions aren't exclusive to dogs. They also can apply to other animals such as birds, felines and monkeys.
Video of the Day
- Family Pet Hospital: Dental Myth #1: Pets Don't Feel Pain
- The Welfare of Dogs; Kevin J. Stafford
- Do Dogs Dream?; Stanley Coren
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Pain Management for Dogs
- American Animal Hospital Association: How to Tell if Your Dog is in Pain
- Sunnyside Vet Clinic: Pets in Pain
- The Wellcome Trust: Can Animals Feel Pain?
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images