Is Severe Pain an Emergency?

Ugh, doh. Severe pain for any reason is an emergency.

Injuries aside, pain is one of the top reasons for visits to human ER. Severe pain is the 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.

Is Severe Pain an Emergency?

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.

Causes of severe pain

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.

More pain than you see

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:
Dog Symptoms: When Is It an Emergency?
Signs of Pain in Dogs: Veterinarians Answer Whether They Often Have Difficulties Getting Clients To Believe Their Dog Is In Pain

Further reading:
Emergencies in Dogs

Categories: EmergenciesPainSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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