“Since dogs can’t talk, how do you know when they have mild pain or discomfort?

Sometimes the signs of something brewing are much more subtle and knowing what to look for is part of keeping them living long, active, and healthy lives. Even your dog’s stance reveals potential problem areas and discomfort.  How they carry their head, the placement of their feet under their body and the position of the tail all give signs of their physical wellbeing.  

Just like us, a dog should have variety of stances throughout the day.  When they are feeling good, the body moves freely.  However, when there is pain/discomfort then there is a tendency to go to the posture that offers the most relief.  Think about your own body and when you hurt something.  Maybe an ankle sprain.  You don’t stand as even onto the sprained foot because it hurts.  Or maybe you have a back ache and you keep looking for walls to lean against.  Throughout the day you try and find a position that decreases discomfort. Our dogs do the same thing.  When required to stand still, they repeatedly take the same posture that provides the the most relief, that offloads the area of pain.  Offloading basically means that they try and put less pressure/force through an uncomfortable area.  They may be more fidgety and want to lie down more often.  Begin to notice your dog’s stance and their willingness to just stand square.   You can gain some good info here.  This is a great starting point that we will build on over the next few days.