Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Pain can come from a number of sources, and without more information it is impossible to tell exactly what is bothering yout dog. If it hurts him to move around, the problem may be orthopedic or neurological, or it could even be something like a tumor. He needs to be seen by the vet for a specific diagnosis and treatment plan. Do not give pain medication without the express approval of your vet, as most over-the-counter ones are toxic to dogs.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Your Dog Needs or Wants Something

The most obvious reason your dog may be whining is that they need or want something from you, like food, water, or a walk. Maybe their favorite toy is stuck underneath the couch, or the cat is sleeping in their bed. The whining should stop once you identify the problem and fix it.

Dogs often communicate that they are in pain by making more noise. This is the closest thing they have to speaking! Vocalising can be in the form of whimpering, yelping, groaning, grunting, whining and howling.
Standing or Missing Hair – If your dog`s hair is standing up in spots, it could indicate he is in pain. Also, if hair is missing, he may have pulled it out or it may have fallen out because of a pain problem.
What to do if your Dog is Moaning. If your dog is moaning, is showing any other symptoms, or has had a change of behavior he should be seen by a veterinarian. The veterinarian will want to discuss your dog`s medical history and vaccination records. He will then perform a thorough physical examination.
The presence of bacteria and yeast on the skin is normal; however, if either appears in excess, or if the skin barrier is unhealthy, or if the dog is immunocompromised, an infection can occur. Bacterial or yeast infections of the skin can be very itchy and result in constant licking of the affected area.
Whining is one of many forms of canine vocal communication. Dogs most commonly whine when they`re seeking attention, when they`re excited, when they`re anxious or when they`re trying to appease you.
Dogs that are in pain often sleep more – they may be trying to heal, or it might even be difficult for them to move around and be active. A loss of appetite and noticeable differences in the amount of water they`re drinking are often common symptoms.
The most common causes of lethargy in dogs are: Infection, including parvovirus, distemper, kennel cough and leptospirosis. Metabolic diseases, such as heart problems, liver problems, diabetes, and hypoglycaemia. Medications, such as newly prescribed drugs or a new flea or worm product.
However, a disturbance of balance can happen to any dog, and causes vary from more common issues like ear infections, inner ear tumors, and hypothyroidism to much more serious conditions like brainstem tumors, strokes, and brain inflammation. Therefore, a professional diagnosis is critical if your dog can`t stand up.
Wincing, Whining or Crying

All three of these actions indicate an injury or some kind of pain your dog is experiencing. If you start to pet your dog and they shy away from your hand or whine, you know there is something wrong.

They can be happy, not feeling well, and they can be sad. Like people, dogs may go through a period of time being “mopey.” When dogs are mopey, they exhibit certain behaviors that let their owners know they are feeling a little down, or may be sad for various reasons.
If your dog is not feeling well, he may seem sad or depressed. Just like humans, dogs tend to mope around when they are sick or injured. He may just lay on the floor and stare off into space or sleep more than he usually does.
Dogs have several reasons for staring at their owners, like to communicate with and understand us. Some dogs stare to manipulate owners, as in with begging for food or asking to be let outside. Training and dog sports are good ways to turn focused staring behavior into a positive experience.
Dogs can cry in one of two ways: vocally, in a way that tugs at our heartstrings, and with tears. When it comes to those sad-sounding noises, your pooch is most likely trying to express excitement, frustration, anxiety or pain.
Dogs can cry tears of joy when they are reunited with their owners, a small study has found. Canines may be genuinely thrilled when they see their human companions after a long period of absence, Japanese researchers have said. The tears are believed to deepen the bond between dogs and their owners.
Some dogs take it a bit further and will try to lay or sit down and not move. This behavior is a sure sign that your dog is not having fun. This is classic avoidance behavior and the worst thing you can do is allow this behavior to continue.
If you think your dog is more lethargic than he should be given his recent activity, you should take him to the vet for a complete checkup. And if he is lethargic along with other signs, you may want to consider taking him to the emergency vet instead.
Talk to Your Veterinarian

Ultimately, make an appointment to see your vet if you see any of these signs of pain in your dog. Your vet can determine the underlying issue causing the discomfort. Sometimes injuries are apparent–a wound or broken bone, for instance–whereas other causes might not be so noticeable.

What are the typical signs of pain in dogs? General behaviour: Shaking, flattened ears, low posture, aggression, grumpy temperament, panting or crying, excessive licking or scratching a specific area, reluctant to play, interact or exercise, lameness (limping), stiffness after rest, loss of appetite.
This is another question to ask yourself before knowing when to let your dog go. Most often, weakness and inability to move freely are clear signs that the animal needs urgent medical help or has declined to the point that it`s time to consider euthanasia or putting your dog to sleep.
Eye Changes

Depending on if your dog is experiencing pain in the eye itself or somewhere else on the body, you may notice larger or smaller pupils. Dogs in pain may also squint or paw at their eyes.

Paralysis in dogs is usually caused by a problem in the spine or brain. Spinal compression, herniated discs, and nerve problems can all disrupt the communication between a dog`s spine and brain. When the nerves are unable to function normally, dogs will lose the ability to walk, stand, and control their legs.
Sudden lameness in dogs is often attributed to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). IVDD occurs when an intervertebral disc`s gel-like center becomes dry and brittle enough to rupture through the outer fibrous ring, compressing your dog`s spinal cord.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. One of my pet’s ears seems very irritated. What I can use to clean it with?
ANSWER : A. Ear Irritation can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies, ear infections or even mites. Dirty ears can also cause irritation and problems. Knowing the type of problem is best for figuring out how to treat it.

For plain dirty ears that do not have any odor, redness or leakage of discharge/debris, a simple over the counter canine ear cleaner can be used. Gently soak some cotton balls or a washcloth with the cleaner, and then use these to wipe out the flap of the ear and opening to the ear. Do NOT use Q-tips as these can become stuck or lodged in the curve of the ear canal and may cause injury to the ear drum.

If the ear is bright red or itchy without any dirt or debris in it, it may indicate an allergy. Sometimes an allergy medication can help provide relief in this situation. Your vet can give you the correct dosages of an over the counter allergy medication to use, or may recommend one specifically for dogs.

For infections and mites, changes to the ear such as bad smell or lots of debris and discharge, flecks of black or brown debris, or scabs and sores in the ear may be present. In these cases, it is best to have your vet take a sample of the ear debris to test for mites or infection. Your vet can then give you an ointment that is placed and left in the ear between ear cleanings. Most vets will then recommend cleaning the ears twice daily and then leaving in the ointment after for a period of ten days.

Ear mites ARE contagious to other pets, so if your dog does have them, it is best to treat any other pets in the house at the same time to prevent the mites from spreading around continuously.

Q. What’s the best way to train a dog to use a lead again?
ANSWER : A. It depends on how serious your issue is. If you need to start from scratch: Bring out the leash, place it on the ground. Click and treat your dog. Say his name, work on attention, click and treat for attention. Work with the cheese sticks, or with some chicken.. something stinky, soft, and high value. Allow him to sniff the leash, praise him, click, treat, click, treat. Pick up the leash, click treat him. Hook the leash to his collar and allow the leash to drag, click treat him. Have him just follow you around, click and treat him to hold his attention.

Then, pick up the leash, click and treat him. Then drop the leash again, click and treat. Take baby steps. Then, hold the leash while you take a step, click and treat him for following. Open the front door, click and treat him. Then, take off the leash, click and treat him, and end training.

Pick training back up in an hour, and do the same exact thing from start to finish, only this time, “finish” will be you two going outside, you clicking and treating him a bunch, and then you bringing him back inside. Work your way up slowly. You can’t expect to just bring him outside and bring him on a walk right away.

When outdoors, use a front hooking harness like the Sensible/Sensation harnesses: http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ible-harness / http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ation-harness. These harnesses will eliminate the pulling power of your pup in a positive way. This will put you in control without the use of force. Carry high value treats with you everywhere, and offer them for good walking behavior – treats like white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks, hotdogs, all cut into tiny little pieces. The more you work on walking on-leash/attention indoors, the better it will be outdoors, remember that.

Q. Moping, moaning and acting like in pain to stand up & walk around & lie down, not interested in a treat, normal ears & nose, drinks water
ANSWER : A. Pain can come from a number of sources, and without more information it is impossible to tell exactly what is bothering yout dog. If it hurts him to move around, the problem may be orthopedic or neurological, or it could even be something like a tumor. He needs to be seen by the vet for a specific diagnosis and treatment plan. Do not give pain medication without the express approval of your vet, as most over-the-counter ones are toxic to dogs.

Q. How do I teach my dog to sit still enough and not move his head while I clip on the gentle leader?
ANSWER : A. Most dogs HATE the gentle leader, and it’s not at all surprising. Would you want something foreign on your face? It’s an uncomfortable training tool, and no dog enjoys wearing it. If you are looking to have your dog behave better on-leash, you should consider tossing out that gentle leader, and using a front hooking harness like the Sensible http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ible-harness, or the Sensation http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ation-harness harness. These harnesses will eliminate the pulling power of your dog, and put you in control in a positive, and gentle way. Any time your dog pulls, he is redirected until he is facing you. You can practically walk your dog with your pinky.

I dislike the gentle leader because it can cause neck injuries in an avid puller/lunger. You also can’t ever hook a long-lead to the gentle leader and allow your dog to run around because it would break his neck. Another thing I dislike about it, is it discourages sniffing the ground during walks. When your dog attempts to sniff, and the leash is short, his nose is redirected upwards. When you trip on the leash, the head is jerked around and the nose is directed upwards. Sniffing during walks is extremely important. Sniffing = mental stimulation, which will tire your dog out more during your walks. The more your dog lags, or forges, the less he can sniff the ground, and the more frustrated he becomes.

If you’re dead set on using the head halti.. you should be using treats to hold his attention. Place the head halti on the floor, reward him for sniffing it, pick it up, treat him, put it near his face, treat him, lure his nose through the loop, lots of treats, take the head halti off, more treats, lure his nose through again, more treats. Take baby steps going forwards AND backwards so the “game” of getting the halti on isn’t always getting more difficult.

Q. My cats nose is stopped up on antibiotics. She has a loss of appetite, acting normal though. Is 3 ounces of can food enough in 24h? 9 pound cat
ANSWER : A. Cats with stopped up noses tend to eat much less, as you’ve noted, because they can’t smell their food as well. And the smell of food is pretty important to a cat’s appetite. You can start by warming up the food in a microwave – not too hot, test it yourself by putting your finger right in the center, as the temperature of microwave food can vary – as this will intensify the smell and hopefully make your cat more interested.

Saline nose drops, like those that are used on little kids, are safe to use on a cat to clean the discharge that is dried around and in the nose. There’s a brand called Little Noses that’s available in the U.S. That I like. You can put it on a q-tip and try to remove the debris. Humidifying the air with a humidifier can help as well, or you can put the cat in the bathroom and run the shower enough to generate steam. Don’t use “real” nose drops like Neo-synephrine or anything else like that – cats quickly build up resistance to them.

A 3 oz can of food is an OK amount in 24 hours, but do try the techniques above to help your cat get more interested in food. You might also try some baby food – no garlic or onions in the ingredients – as cats usually really like the taste of it.

Q. My puppy refuses to walk outside on the leash. This only happens when we’re outside… Is it stubbornness or fear?
ANSWER : A. It is never stubbornness. Dogs are not stubborn, they can’t be. Dogs do not generalize well, and dogs display fearful behavior that appears to be stubbornness. Absolutely NEVER force this dog to walk outside when he is uncomfortable with doing so.. the more you force him to do it, opposition reflex – the more he will resist. The more he resists and is forced into it, the less he learns about being comfortable, and the more he becomes fearful of you and of the situation.

What you can do is carry extremely high value treats outside with you. Things like cooked white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks – all cut up into tiny little pea-sized pieces. You can also use peanut butter in a squeeze tube. First, put on the leash indoors and begin feeding him the treats. Help him make positive associations with having the leash put on. Then, take the leash off, and start over in 10min. Put the leash on, feed treats, walk to the door, open the door, feed treats, close door, take off leash. Start over in 10min. Put on leash, feed treats, go to door, feed treats, open door, feed treats, go outside, feed tons of treats and praise. Keep Titus in his comfort zone. If he doesn’t want to go far, just feed him tons of treats where he IS comfortable going. Make sure everything is calm/happy/positive. I bet in a week of doing this, he will be happy with walk further and further all of the time. If ever he is uncomfortable, feed him lots of treats for being a brave boy, and then turn around and go back home. It’s all about keeping him in his comfort zone.. it’s all about remaining within his threshold and never forcing him to feed uncomfortable.

This is very common for puppies. The world is scary! It’s brand new to them, and it’s up to you to make their interactions and discoveries positive, happy, calm, and to never force them into anything.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. My dog drinks a lot of water, should I worry?
ANSWER : A. Firstly, you should quantify if your dog is actually drinking an excessive amount of water. In a 24 hour period, a dog should drink about 1 fluid ounce (or 30mL) per pound of body weight. Therefore, the recommended amount of water intake (in fluid ounces) equals your dog’s weight (in pounds). For example, if your dog weighs 8 pounds, he/she should drink about a cup of water in a 1 hour period. This will be slightly increased if your dog gets a lot of physical activity or lives outdoors.

You can measure your dog’s water intake the following way: in the morning, measure a specific amount, a little bit more than you think he/she will drink. 24 hours later, measure the remaining amount. If the amount of water your dog drank is significantly greater than it should be, then you should take your dog to a veterinarian.

Causes for mildly increased water consumption include: food changes, increased ambient and body temperature, increased activity, urinary tract infection, and general illness.

Common causes for greatly increased water consumption include: diabetes, urinary tract infection, kidney disease, steroid use, and other systemic diseases. With large increases in water consumption, you will also usually see increased urination. Please take note of urinary patterns to discuss with your vet. Greatly increased drinking and urination is ALWAYS a reason to see a vet.