If your dog has lost the spring in its step, it might be suffering from back pain. This is particularly true if it's no longer participating in activities that it once enjoyed. Canine back pain can be caused by sore muscles, especially if your dog is extremely active. Back pain can also be caused by medical conditions, such as arthritis, or even injuries. If your dog winces when you touch its back, or it's not as active as it once was, you should consult your veterinarian. In addition, here are three steps you can take to help alleviate the pain your dog is experiencing.
Pack on the Heat
If your dog is experiencing back pain—whether from a medical condition or from overexertion—adding some heat will reduce inflammation and pain. Have your dog lay down next to you and place a towel over its back. Lay the heating pad directly over the towel and turn it on to a medium setting. Don't lay the heating pad directly on your dog's skin, or your dog could suffer tissue burns. If you don't have a heating pad, you can soak a towel in hot water and then wring it out well. Keep the heat on your dog for about 15 minutes at a time.
Take Things Slowly
If your dog has a backache, a little exercise can help keep the muscles moving. Try taking your dog for a leisurely walk once a day. Start out slowly by walking just a couple of minutes for the first few days. After several days, increase the walk time by several minutes. Continue the process until your dog can walk around the block without discomfort.
Give Your Dog a Break
If moving is causing your dog increased pain, it might be time to give it a break. Putting your dog on bed rest may give it the time it needs to fully recover. Place a soft blanket inside a dog crate and keep your dog off of its feet for a few days. If your dog experiences distress being confined to the crate, set a bed up for it in a quiet area of the house.
If your dog is suffering from back pain, use the simple steps provided here to help alleviate the pain and discomfort. If your dog's condition worsens, be sure to consult a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will be able to determine if the pain has been caused by simple overexertion or by a serious medical condition.