Sore Muscles in Dogs

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Sometimes, it's hard to know how to help a dog experiencing pain or discomfort. For dog sore muscles, treatment includes medication, natural remedies, and surgery. If you notice dog sore muscle symptoms, contact your veterinarian so he can determine the cause. A vet's treatment plan along with home remedies can help your dog feel more comfortable when dealing with muscle aches. Do not treat your dog with human over-the-counter medications unless prescribed by the vet.

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A dog suffering from sore muscles may be laying down more than normal.

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Dog sore muscles symptoms

If your dog is in pain, she won't act like herself. Limping, swelling, or posture changes can occur. She may also show more aggression and agitation, spend more time grooming, or have trouble sleeping. She may eat or drink less and be more talkative.

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When in pain, a dog's breathing could grow heavier and become more labored. A dog in pain may also shake or tremble. This could be an indication of an infection or poisoning, so if you notice your dog making this movement, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Causes of dog sore muscles

One of the most common sources of muscle pain in dogs is a muscle tear.
Image Credit: Lourdes Balduque/Moment/GettyImages

One of the most common sources of muscle pain in dogs is a muscle tear. This is a traumatic injury that causes damage to a dog's muscular structure. If your dog strains a muscle playing or exercising too hard, he may end up with a muscle tear. Bone fractures and deep wounds can also lead to canine muscle aches and pains. It may also be due to a surgery complication.

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If you notice weakness or difficulty when your dog tries to open his jaw, he may have an inflammatory condition. These various diseases, or myopathies, cause damage to a dog's muscles. Certain breeds are more prone to different myopathies.

Dog sore muscles treatment

When your pet has sore muscles, treatment varies from medication to comfort, stretching, or massage. Going to the veterinarian to figure out the cause of your pet's muscle aches should be the first step. The veterinarian may recommend medication to treat the pain or infection. Do not, however, give your dog any medication intended for humans.

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Do not treat your dog with human over-the-counter medications unless prescribed by the vet.
Image Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial/Moment/GettyImages

Keep your dog comfortable while she is healing with a comfortable bed and soft bedding placed in a quiet area where she can get the rest needed to recover. Heat therapy can also be beneficial for reducing inflammation due to muscle tears and spasms. You can make your own heat therapy device at home using a tube sock filled with uncooked white rice. To warm it, heat it in the microwave and then shake to evenly distribute heat, checking the temperature before applying it to your dog's sore muscles. Commercial heating pads for sports injuries can also be used but be mindful to follow instructions carefully to avoid burning your dog's skin.

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With your veterinarian's guidance, you can give your dog a massage to help with dog sore muscles symptoms. This will help reduce inflammation and help with muscle pain. If your dog is feeling anxious, start with a soft massage at the skull or tail base. When your dog is in a calmer mood, take him to a quieter area of your home using gentle strokes in areas of soreness. Continue if your dog seems content, but if he seems upset, stop the treatment.

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