Every day someone is asking the question, will my dog suffer from a bad hipscore? And every day I read someone answering NO. But how do you know for sure?
When it comes to pain and dogs reality and our imagination rarely make sense. We expect our dogs to start suffering with obvious symptoms like fever, limping or crying out when they hurt. They don’t, well it happens but not often...
Pain in most cases comes crawling, slowly. It’s not always obvious even for the one in pain where it starts. Fore example tooth ache often start with anointing. Then you chose to chew on the other side of your mouth. It’s not until the infection and pain is inscrutable that you stop eating. But if the pain is on both sides, then the pain will be less obvious, and the behaviour will not change until the pain is extreme and you can’t chew at all.
Or a blister on your toe, you start with moving your toes away from the roof of your shoe. If you can you will ditch the shoe or change shoes. That might help and it heals. And the second time around it takes longer time for the blister to appear. It might no be enough to curl your toes away from the shoe. Then you change the way you walk, you try to walk on your toes or on your heel. And that makes you put extra weight on your other foot, which makes your old injury in your knee start troubling you. And to relieve the knee you start walking with you left shoulder more in front of you, which forces you to balance it with holding your right shoulder more back, and your right thumb start to tingle. So you have an itch in your right thumb...
So trying to summoning this up is:
Look for a change in behaviour.
Pain takes energy, a dog in pain has ‘a shorter battery and takes longer to recharge’.
Most changes come slowly and is not originated where they appear.
On horses that is much more heavy than dogs but have a similarity in building, limping becomes obvious when the pain is in both front legs and in more than one joint... when they are in so much pain that they can not push more weight off their front legs as the hind legs start to hurt too.
Knee pain more often makes the horse walk backwards, it prefers to take a step back than one forward.
When you look at your dog, make it stand up from laying down. Where does it put its paws? Those places is where it takes the most pressure from its weight. Note 📝 these are, is it in front of the shoulder or behind? Is it equal? Is it under, in front or behind the hip, knee or loin? If you know and are aware of how your healthy dog stands, it makes it much easier for you to see a change ❤️
The really hard question come if the dog has been in pain the whole life, then how do you see the difference...
Well all of us write here, both humans and dogs ;) At least that was the plan but it seems it´s mostly me Robyn who´s attached to the keyboard...