You’re not you when you're hurting and the same is true for your dog!
Pain places both discomfort and emotional stress on our dogs and can make them out of balance both psychologically and physiologically. Pain can be acute or chronic and knowing the difference can really affect the way you go about addressing the situation.
Recognizing pain is an important first step! So how do we recognize pain in an animal that has thousands of years of survival instinct screaming at it to pretend like nothing is wrong?
Have you ever noticed your dog preferring one side over another? It may come as a surprise but just like people dogs also have a left/right preference. A dog's brain is similarly organized like a human brain, meaning that the two hemispheres of the brain also have areas of specialization which can determine "handedness" or "laterality". In dog sport and canine physio we refer to your dog's preference as the lead leg.
So why does knowing if your dog has right or left lead leg matter and how can it affect our dog's performance in sport?
Dewclaw removal is a common practice for many North American dog breeders and owners but questions are raised over the appropriateness of removal. Amongst our European counterparts' removal of dewclaws is a rare occurrence. So what is the dewclaw and why is removing it something we should reconsider?