Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Severe Pain an Emergency?

I was quite alarmed to see that 12.5% of the survey participants don't believe that severe pain is an emergency. 

I am still trying to wrap my brain around that fact. Yet, injuries aside, pain is one of the top reasons for visits to human ER. Severe pain is our body's way of alerting to a serious problem. The main motivation for rushing to the ER is both the pain itself as well as the fear that comes with it.

Does pain hurt dogs less than us?

It hurts just the same. Moreover, by the time most people realize their dog is in severe pain, the pain is typically way past bearable. Dogs tend to hide pain and not everybody can read pain signs easily.

The causes of severe pain in dogs are the same as in people. Severe injury or something very very wrong.

In general, the level of pain reflects the seriousness of the injury or illness. And did you know that under the right circumstances pain can actually kill a person?

The shock factor aside, nobody wants to see their dog suffer. I hope the problem isn't caring but understanding. And while the pain itself isn't that likely to kill your dog, the problem that is causing it could.

If you think your dog is in a great deal of pain, it is extremely likely that their pain level is way higher than what you figure.

Some conditions that cause severe pain include bone cancer, IVDD (spinal disc injuries and disease), GDV (bloat), pancreatitis, enteritis, meningitis, fractures, pneumothorax, foreign body obstructions ... Have no doubt that these things are extremely painful and would send a person to an ER screaming.

And no, OTC human pain meds are not the answer. They are not likely to provide enough relief and you are likely to cause more harm than good.

If your dog is in pain, see a vet. If your dog is in severe pain, see a vet immediately. Just as you would for yourself.

Related articles:
Doe Medical Emergencies Survey
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Excessive Panting
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Difficulty Breathing an Emergency?
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Panting an Emergency?

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.