9 ways to help you spot muscle pain in your dog


If we told you that 45% of the dogs bodyweight is muscle, would that explain why keeping your dogs muscles in good working condition is the key to keeping them mobile, active and happier even into their senior years?

Sounds simple right? But you'd be surprised how the dog's muscular system often gets an unfair representation and sadly doesn't get accounted for as much as it should when we see injury or pain in our dog.

But then, what if nobody has ever told you what to look for?

What if the symptoms of muscular pain have been right under your nose but you haven't been able to read the signs your dog is showing you? Fear not, by the end of this short article you will be able to!

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Which symptoms of muscular pain can you recognise in your dog? Do any of the following sound familiar?

  1. Gait change – the dog may be limping , throwing a leg or dipping a shoulder
  2. Stiffness – pain on rising or sitting, stiff when they first get out of bed
  3. Posture change – standing with a roached or arched back, low neck/tail carriage
  4. The coat flick – part of the dogs coat is flicking up or gone dry where it hasn't done before
  5. Twitching down the back or a ‘tickly spot' – a sign of Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points which lead to pain and inhibits normal muscular movement and comfort
  6. Change in ADL's – Activities of Daily Living; maybe your dog used to be able to go up and down stairs, jump on/off the sofa or in/out of the car and they can't anymore. It may be that they have really slowed down on walks or seem old before their time
  7. Reluctant to be groomed – commonly over the back and the Hamstrings at the back of the rear leg
  8. Grumpy with other dogs – snapping or general irritability can result in a dog ‘guarding themselves' from further muscular injury and pain
  9. Performance change – agility/obedience/working dogs who are not performing as they once did eg: Knocking Poles

How many did you get?

And how about this; did you know that the number one thing to help resolve, rehabilitate, address and improve muscular problems is Canine Massage Therapy?

Canine Massage Therapy can help to address, manage, and resolve muscular problems in dogs that are causing such common issues as lameness, stiffness, and slowing down before their time. Your dog's Canine Massage Therapist should be fully trained with members of the Canine Massage Guild training for two years and committing to continuing professional development to ensure your dog gets the most out of what is, for many dogs, a life changing, remedial, physical therapy.

Visit the fabulous Canine Massage Guild website to find out more and visit the therapist register to find your local practitioner.