Dogs cannot tell us if they're in pain because they cannot speak. They may show signs: yelping, whining, less activity, no longer ascending the stairs, having trouble standing, protecting a certain part of their bodies and a general change in their daily life. If you think your dog is experiencing pain, consult your veterinarian first. After an examination, inquire about medications and also other forms of pain relief for your dog.
After a diagnosis by the veterinarian, he may prescribe medications to relieve your dog's pain. Consider a medication with less side effects first, then if the pain persists, try a stronger medication. Follow the instructions for the pain medication carefully. For example, some medications must be given after a meal. You may also help your dog by determining if she needs to lose weight. Switching to foods designed for weight loss and feeding your dog less food may help her condition.
Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese treatment of inserting very thin needles at strategic points on the body to assist in pain relief. The insertion points are chosen to stimulate the body's healing powers. The treatments may also include lasers, heat and cold therapy, and acupressure. The length of the treatment is determined by the dog's response. The effectiveness of acupuncture is in debate, however.
For arthritis, a common source of pain in older and larger dogs, supplements may help ease their pain. Glucosasmine helps to lubricate the joints. Fish oil and vitamin E, taken together, can act as an anti-inflammatory. Be aware that supplements may become ineffective over time.