I love to educate dog owners on how Canine Massage can help their dog reduce pain and increase comfort but there is none so deaf as those who refuse to listen.
During lockdown many of us humans have shown signs of pain after getting up after too long sitting on Zoom calls or binge watching boxsets… your dog is the same but they don’t moan about it!
Whether this is due to evolution where any signs of weakness in wild dogs meant they would be attacked or whether they just want to make you happy… their lack of moaning does not mean they aren’t in pain.
Think back to the zoom calls or box set watching… did you feel pain at the time? Or just when you got up? Was that because your mind was taken off it whilst you actually started to have fun?
Did you enjoy going for a walk because it eased the pain and the sights, sounds and smells (good or bad!) of nature increased your quality of life? Did you forget the pain because you laughed with friends? It could be argued that’s because you were achieving a certain quality of life as the endorphins (happy hormones) took away the pain signals.
Your dog is the same.
Fun overrides Pain…. i know which i’d choose if i were a dog.
I’d chase after balls, sticks or someth furry animal. I’d play with my friends in the park or even get excited at a walk outside (especially after being locked indoors with a dull ache in my back, shoulder or rear leg).
If your dog is struggling to get on or off the sofa, refusing to get out of bed looking depressed or slowing down on walks and then having the audacity to enjoy what they can out of their short lives then please don’t assume they are faking it.
Subtle signs of pain can also be seen as lip licking when you stroke them, nudging your hand away with their nose or licking your hand… or even licking or nibbling their joints after a walk as the pins & needles of renewed blood supply… they love you, they trust you, they think you will help them when you touch an area of pain so they may or may not whimper. This was the justification i heard today when seeing Lola’s friend obviously in pain as she walked towards us on only 3 of her feet… holding 1 foot up in the air as she walked and stood in front of us. Apparently the vet thinks it is a cruciate strain but as this lady can’t afford the X-ray (never mind the surgery) she was convincing herself that her dog isn’t in pain. I carried out a musclular health check whilst explaining what was going on in the joint and surrounding muscles that showed hypertonicity as well as tenderness but it still seemed like she didn’t want to listen.
The thing is, i know this lady loves her dog because they have been through a lot these last few years together, saving each othetr in many ways. I fear she thinks by accepting the pain that she may be to blame in some way. The only way she will be to blame is if she keeps choosing to ignore the pain and the help being offered and this cruciate ruptures completely whilst she lets her dog off to chase squirrels which is her favourite pastime.
So please, i implore you…
If your dog (or a dog you know) is showing signs of pain through their behaviour but are still willing to have fun then contact me… don’t immediately assume your dog is faking it, especially if ignoring any pain makes YOU feel better!
A simple £25 online chat with me (lasting about an hour) could identify the reason behind any signs you are seeing and whether I could help you prevent further injury by reducing risk in your home, treating with 3 sessions of canine massage or if you need to take your dog to the vet to up their pain meds or discuss further options. We are all here to help your dog but we can only help if you ask for it.
I look forward to hearing from you and your dog soon x