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If your dog is limping, vocalising or moving very gingerly they are in obvious and acute pain. Chronic pain is duller and longer lasting in nature and in most cases the signals a dog gives us are much more subtle.

There are, however, a number of signs to watch out for including:

  • excessive or unusual levels of panting

  • behaviour changes such as wanting to be alone, not going upstairs, no longer curling up, being less tolerant of people and other dogs

  • excessive grooming, licking or biting 

  • reduction in appetite

  • changes to drinking habits

  • reluctance to be touched or groomed

  • slowing down and refusing to do activities that they used to enjoy

  • mood swings or generally low mood and a lack of interest in their surroundings

The Canine Massage Guild's five principles of pain

The Canine Massage Guild has produced a really handy tool to help assess whether your dog might be in pain. It can be downloaded here

If your dog is showing any of these signs they may be in pain and clinical massage may help reduce or remove it. This in turn can reduce the use of pain management drugs.


Clinical massage can also result in an improvement in your dogs mood and energy levels and can give them a renewed interest in life.

I can help your dog to better manage their pain, but only with your vets consent. If you suspect your dog is in pain why not book them in for a Muscular Health Check at one of my clinics? Health checks are carried out for a £5 donation to the NAWT Watford Centre.
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