Dog language

The Not So Secret Language of Dogs Who are Hurting

I'm Dr. Marie


Here to share the secrets to health that we seem to never have enough time for in the exam room.
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Or rather maybe we forget that people show emotions through actions just like animals.

When your dog is not feeling well, you will see changes that are subtle at first and more obvious as the underlying problem gets bigger. Today we are going to talk about dogs with pain.

Dogs really are our living example of what a superhero looks like; the strong, silent type until really irritated or really, really sore. Here are some things to recognize in your dog when they are feeling out of sorts.

Remember that they to can be overwhelmed when they are not feeling good, and that they too can be accidentally grumpy when they hurt.

Top tips:

Lameness or mobility issues – look closely friends, they still wag and smile through pain most times, they just walk differently or sit differently.

o Slowing down or hesitating o Is your puppy slow to sit or reluctant to sit straight?

o Did your adult dog know how to sit, but now won’t?

o Did she used to jump in the car, go for walks, and follow you everywhere but the last few months she has not?

Behavior that is out of character –can be redirected aggression and fear of being hurt.

o Did she like the neighbor dog and now she doesn’t?

o Did she hide in the basement when the microwave beeped?

o Are they a little afraid for you to touch them?

o Do they watch you or someone else touch them as if to say “please be careful?”

o Did your lovely old dog snap at the kiddos when they were hanging on him? He would have never done that before….

If you think your dog is sitting a little funny, check out my posture gallery to see if any of those pictures look similar or familiar. If you are suspicious, make sure to snap a photo of your favorite fur friend and a quick video of them getting up and laying down and even climbing stairs at home so that you can take it to your vet. At home, they are much more relaxed and you will be SHOCKED at what you and your vet will be able to see. Once you know where they are sore or have muscle weakness you will have the power to help them prevent injuries and even get a jump on arthritis.

 As a rehab and pain focused doctor, I admit that I am biased, but truly we all know: the very best quality of life for all of us requires that we are mobile and pain free.

challenge yourself:

can you see the lameness?

Dogs are a lot like people.

Saw painful posture

See examples of normal postures!


Dr. Marie Healthy Dogs – focused on integrative canine health: nutrition, fitness, pain management, injury. prevention/recovery & optimal physical function.

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Please know that all dogs are different and what I have used for a specific dog may or may not work for your dog.  Please also know that I can not give any specific medical advise over the internet - all my patients have to see my for yearly exams in person. 


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