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Internal Injuries in Dogs : Is your dog suddenly acting differently and wanting to stay in one place? It may be suffering from an internal injury.

Internal injuries in dogs are more severe than most people realize. Unlike visible wounds that are easy to treat, canines with an internal injury may look healthy even though they’re in pain. So what is an internal injury, and how do you spot the signs? Let’s find out.

7 Symptoms of Internal Injuries in Dogs 1

What are Internal Injuries in Dogs?

Internal injuries are challenging to detect because they don’t leave visible signs. Common physical injuries include burns, bites, swelling, and ACL tears.

Internal injuries often occur due to physical trauma, animal attacks, poisoning, and falling from great heights. They affect the digestive and nervous systems and require serious medical attention. Knowing the cause of the pain can help you quickly diagnose and treat your dog’s injury. However, you may need to consult your vet.

Most dogs with an internal injury may not show any initial symptoms. But over time, you may start to notice some signs like difficulty in movement and the presence of blood in their urine.

What are the Most Common Dog Internal Injury Symptoms?

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It’s more challenging to spot the signs of internal bleeding from common injuries. Here are seven warning signs to look out for:

Changes in behavior & appetite

If your dog suddenly turns less playful and energetic, it could be a sign that something’s amiss. Pay attention to simple changes in behavior, like loss of appetite. For example, if your dog suddenly turns its nose up on its regular food or treats, it could be a sign of a problem with its digestive system. Moreover, any irregularities in drinking and urination could point to diabetes or kidney disease.

Lameness or limping

Does your pet struggle when walking or moving? An internal injury could make your dog more prone to limping. For example, you may notice your dog staying in one place instead of playing or cuddling with you in bed.

A lack of movement could be a sign that your dog is in pain. If it starts to show signs of lameness or limping, it could signify a neurological problem. Without the proper treatment, it could lead to permanent paralysis.

Poor motor function

An internal injury could be the result of poor motor function. If your dog has experienced head trauma, it could affect motor function, leaving your dog in a state of shock. In more serious cases, it could fall into a coma.

Monitor your dog’s behavior if it seems lazy or unable to move comfortably. You may log your observations in a journal so you can report them to your veterinarian.

Pain & discomfort

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Dogs that have experienced physical trauma (like being hit by a car or falling from a great height) could be more prone to broken bones. These injuries result in pain and difficulty during movement. If your pup cries, whines, or winces, it means they’re experiencing pain and discomfort. When this happens, visit your veterinarian to get a full-body examination and x-ray to identify the cause.

Coughing up blood

Dogs with an internal injury could end up vomiting blood because of intestinal parasites, bacterial infections, or inflammatory bowel disease. Other reasons could be an obstruction in the digestive tract because of a foreign object.

When your dog coughs up blood, it could either be bright red or look like coffee grounds. Bring your dog to the vet immediately when you notice them throwing up blood before the cause turns more serious.

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Your dog should defecate at least once a day. Normal dog feces should be medium to dark brown in color as long there is no change in your pet’s diet. Any significant color changes could be a sign of an internal injury.

Below are some dog stool colors and what they mean:

  • Black and tarry – digestive problems, such as exposure to toxins, inflammation of the pancreas, and kidney failure
  • Red – straining, inflammatory bowel disease, anal fissure
  • Green – gallbladder problems or excessive grass consumption
  • Orange or yellow – gallbladder or liver problems
  • Grey and light tan – liver and pancreatic problems
  • White specks – a sign of contagious worms


Dogs have a thicker coat than humans for an added layer of protection from injury. So take note that bruises could indicate an underlying platelet or clotting problem.

There are two types of bruising: pinpoint (petechiae) and more extensive bruises (ecchymosis), which you can easily spot on your dog’s gums, inside thigh, and belly. They can appear hours after the physical trauma and require immediate care.

Treat Your Dog’s Internal Injuries Immediately

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Since dogs cannot speak up and pinpoint the cause of their pain, pet owners are responsible for observing any signs of abnormal behavior. You can start by closely monitoring your dog’s whereabouts to make sure they’re safe at all times. Keep them away from poisonous foods, sharp objects, and great heights for your peace of mind. Finally, use a leash during walks for ultimate security.

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