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Understanding Internal Injuries in Dogs

by Geoff Works |

Is your dog suddenly weak, tired, or unengaged? Does your pet look like they are sick, but you don’t know what’s causing it? Your dog might have something more than what you’re seeing. Internal injuries can be an issue that can be dangerous if left unaddressed.

What Are Internal Injuries In Dogs?

Internal injuries can be a nuisance and a potential danger for your dog. Unlike external wounds, these injuries are more difficult to detect and treat correctly. Your dog might look healthy, but there’s something already wrong with your pet without your knowledge. 

Internal injuries vary as well. They can be due to internal bleeding, swelling, or effects from poisoning. They can affect your dog’s stomach, bones, brain, and any other part of its body. This is why it is important that you know where your dog is and what it’s doing so you’ll know if and when they hurt themselves.

Common Causes for Internal Injuries in Canines

Dogs can injure themselves due to accidents when left unattended. They are suspected of these types of injuries regardless of their size or breed. Here are some common causes of internal injuries in dogs:

Physical Trauma

If you let your dog run around your compound or neighborhood unguarded, there may be a chance it gets hit by a passing car or bike. Your dog may leave unscathed after getting hit, but the impact of the car or bike can cause broken bones, spinal injuries, or internal bleeding. 

Falling off from heights

Falling from somewhere considerably high can also hurt your dog. If you live in a house with higher stories or a balcony, your dog may accidentally slip or fall off. Even a table may be considered high for a pet that is rather small in size. When this happens, the impact of the fall can cause serious physical trauma. Even if your dog is athletic, it can still be injured once they slip and fall from a considerable height.

Animal attacks

Violent fights with other animals can lead to serious internal injuries. For example, a bite or a tackle can damage your dog's sensitive areas such as the neck, ribs, or spine. This can cause major trauma to the body of your pet. 


Make sure to watch out for what your dog can put its mouth on. Harmful chemicals can poison your dog. This accidental poisoning can cause blood clots, discomfort, or even death. 

For example, frogs can secrete toxins on their skin that dogs can easily absorb. If your pet licks or eats a frog, you might need to seek your vet's help as it can lead to poisoning. You should also keep your dog away from mouse traps involving poisonous pellets.

Symptoms Your Canine May Have Internal Injuries

External wounds or traumas can be easily spotted and treated. However, internal injuries are another story as they are not as apparent and have no immediate treatment prior to detection. Here are some signs you can look out for if you suspect your dog is internally injured: 

Dark-colored stool

If your dog's stool is darker than its usual color, it can be an indication that they may have an injury or underlying condition. Your canine's digestive tract, such as its stomach or intestines, can be swollen or bleeding internally. Your best option is to bring your pet to the vet before the condition worsens.

Pain and discomfort when moving or being touched

A dog that has suffered physical trauma such as being hit by a car or falling from a ledge can have bruises and broken bones causing it to limp. Your pet may show signs of struggle and pain whenever you try to touch them or when they try to move around. Your dog may also end up not moving as much at all due to the discomfort.

Vomiting blood

Internal injuries can also cause your pet to vomit blood. This might be a sign of internal bleeding as well that you should take care of immediately. 

Loss of energy and strength

If your pet doesn't seem as lively or energetic as it used to be, he may be suffering internally or nursing an injury. Your dog may start to be reluctant to play, eat, or move at all. This sudden loss of energy and interest can be another indication that your dog has an internal injury.

Bruises & Poor Motor Functions

Another sign you should take note of are bruises on your pet's body. If you see them, they can indicate possible internal bleeding or trauma on the affected area. Your dog can also start to limp, which may hinder their movement. Head injuries can also cause intense brain trauma and cause your dog to eventually deteriorate or go into shock or fall into a coma.

How To Treat Dogs With Internal Injuries?

If you suspect your dog has suffered internal damage, make sure to bring him to the vet immediately. Internal injuries can worsen faster than you can imagine and lead to more serious health complications for your dog. 

A quick and early response can save your dog and help them recover from different internal injuries. Your veterinarian can do a thorough physical examination to know more about the current condition of your dog. This preliminary assessment can determine if your dog needs immediate medical attention or emergency surgery.

Additionally, your vet can request and perform further tests such as an X-ray, blood count, or radiographs of your pet. These tests can help them diagnose the condition of your dog more accurately and give them appropriate care. A more specific diagnosis can also prevent further health complications from occurring. After your dog sees a vet, you will have to ensure that he gets the proper recovery care. Make sure to follow the vet’s prescribed diet, rehabilitation, and care for your dog so they can recover safely and faster.

Be sure to check out the Lick Sleeve blog to learn more about different canine health conditions, health and care tips, and much more that can greatly benefit your dog.

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