Dogs, just like people, experience pain following an injury or surgery.

To help make your dog more comfortable at home your vet has prescribed a pain relieving medicine – Metacam. It is important that you give Metacam according to your vet’s advice to ensure your dog recovers as comfortably as possible.

If your dog has had a general anaesthetic then the after-effects (e.g. unsteadiness and drowsiness) normally wear off within 24 hours. If you have any concerns about your dog while they are recovering from surgery or injury you should contact your vet for advice.


Unlike people, dogs cannot tell you where it hurts, but they may show you that they are in pain through changes in their behaviour

How do dogs show that they are in pain?

Here are four simple questions that have been designed to help you and your vet recognise subtle changes in your dog’s behaviour that could indicate that they are in pain.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, please consult your vet for advice.




More grumpy than usual


Change in appetite


Reluctant to move around

Does your dog seem to be depressed or not themself?
  • Unwilling to play
  • Spending more time in bed
  • Preferring to be alone
  • Anxious or ‘clingy’
Is your dog more grumpy than usual?
  • Growling or snarling when approached
  • Growling or snarling when stroked
Have you noticed a change in your dog’s appetite?
  • Reluctant to eat
  • Leaving food
Is your dog reluctant to move around?
  • Difficulty in getting out of bed
  • Appearing tense, stiff or limping
  • Moving in an odd way


Things you can do to help your dog recover in comfort

Rest and recovery

Your dog might appreciate recovering in a warm, quiet place on their first night back at home.


Unless your vet has advised otherwise, give your dog a light meal on the first night after surgery or injury. Make sure your dog has a plentiful supply of fresh drinking water at all times.


Your vet will advise you on what exercise is appropriate for your dog. Depending on the extent of the surgery or injury this could range from toilet walks (on a lead in the garden) to restricted (on a lead) or unrestricted (normal) exercise.

Wound and bandage care

Wounds and bandages should be kept clean and dry. You should try to prevent your dog from licking or chewing at wounds or bandages and your vet may supply a special collar that goes around your dog’s neck to help prevent this. Cover any leg bandages with a sturdy plastic bag to keep them dry when your dog goes outside but remember to take the bag off when your dog is inside to allow the bandage to “breathe”.

Other medicines

If your vet has given you other medicines as well as Metacam it is important that you give these according to their advice and finish the course(s) of treatment.

Other advice

Remember that if you are concerned about your dog you should seek the advice of your veterinary practice.