Why Does My Senior Dog Groan A Lot

Why Does My Senior Dog Groan A Lot?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Dog breeds, dog behavior, panosteitis, ascites, and many other causes are commonly responsible for dog groaning in senior dogs.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why Does My Senior Dog Groan A Lot?“.

Perhaps your dog is groaning more than usual which can be frightening if they did not do it before.

Why Does My Senior Dog Groan A Lot

Some dog breeds are more talkative than others but its noticeable when your less vocal pet starts becoming more talkative. Groaning dogs that occur suddenly and continuously can be very alarming when you do not know the reason why.

The groaning of your dog is always something to listen out for even if they have always been quite talkative. They might not be speaking like they used to or maybe their normal tasks are wearing them out. Dogs cannot speak and tell us whats wrong with them so we have to pay attention to how they behave.

Pay attention to your animals so you can notice if anything is wrong and help them as soon as possible. There are times when groaning can be a happy sound or a sleepy noise but groaning can also signal that your senior dogs are in distress. Dogs make many sounds and there are many reasons why they do so so we’ll discuss some of the reasons why your senior dog groans.

Five reasons that your senior dog is groaning

While some of these may not be very common they are definitely possible reasons why your senior dog is groaning.

In theory it would be excellent to locate the cause of the problem by paying attention to when your dog groans the most but thats not always feasible when dogs are in pain or if you own talkative dog breeds. The following are some of the most common causes of dog groaning in senior dogs:

1. Dog breeds

There are some breeds of dogs that are more vocal than others and some may even develop these habits later in life. In addition to the obvious some dog breeds are also expected to have multiple medical needs as they age.

Pugs and French Bulldogs have been bred for many years to have scrunched noses but these cute faces are often associated with significant health problems. Some issues you may run into with a pug are nerve degeneration elongated palate stenotic nares or canine hip dysplasia.

Keeping in mind that every breed is different some can experience additional pains beyond what our list entails. Get to know your dog and the problems that could be causing them to moan and groan. 

2. Behavior

Although behavior issues take time to develop and break they can be sped up for a variety of reasons. Although you may think it is less common for senior dogs to have behavior issues thats simply not true.

As dogs age their cognitive abilities decrease making it difficult for them to remember see or hear. This can take a toll on the poor old pup and cause extreme anxiety or aggression.

When they are confused they may become overly attached or clingy making them more vocal for your attention. Sight loss can also cause them to become more vocal.

Other behavioral issues may also affect them such as the introduction of a new animal in the household. Food aggression and attachment anxiety may also be contributing factors to your dogs groaning. 

3. Panosteitis

Young growing dogs tend to get panosteitis more often but it can affect older dogs as well. Dogs suffer from panosteitis which is commonly called growing pains but it is actually a painful condition that occurs as their bones grow.

Typically it affects younger dogs but it can certainly affect older dogs too and perhaps even more so. The rapid bone growth condition is very painful so animals need to take pain pills to relieve it and do a very little exercise.

Despite the fact that Panosteitis is more prevalent in growing pups its cause is still unclear. The diagnosis of a limp limb can be made on the basis of a high white blood cell count high fever or groaning.

Bigger dog breeds may be more likely to experience Panosteitis with recurrences such as Great Danes German Shepherds and more. 

4. Ascites

Your senior dog may be groaning due to fluid buildup. Bloating and discomfort result from ascites a buildup of fluid in the abdominal area. The pain of ascites is a symptom of an underlying issue not a primary cause.

Its hard to say whats causing the underlying issues but the symptoms of Ascites are fever nausea vomiting bloating diarrhea loss of appetite and abdominal pain to name a few. Ascites are certainly no fun at all but it is an indication that other issues are becoming more prevalent.

Ascites is treatable but if the underlying cause is not addressed it could recur numerous times. Symptoms of ascites include bacterial infections hookworms heart failure renal diseases malnutrition cirrhosis hepatitis or liver failure.

5. Osteoarthritis

Typically found in senior dogs osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that can arise from underlying issues such as hip dysplasia. A painful condition caused by the breakdown of bone cartilage or joints osteoarthritis is fairly common in older dogs as wear and tear begin to take its toll.

Active or chunky dogs can develop Osteoarthritis as they age and strain their bodies. Although there is no quick fix cure for this condition the pain can certainly be managed.

Exercise and diet can definitely help your pet find some pain relief as smaller dogs do not put as much pressure on their joints. By using a hydrotherapy system you can ease your pets pain and allow them to regain muscle and cartilage through development.

You can also give your pet supplements and painkillers to help them adjust. 

When to visit your vet 

You may not be able to distinguish playful from painful behavior if you have always owned a talkative dog so you may take a long time to discover the issue.

In addition to dogs being overly vocal there are many other ways to identify potential problems in their day-to-day lives. Even though groaning may seem obvious it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between general old age groans and painful groans.

The other sounds they make may be able to help you determine if there is an issue. Whimpering wheezing and yelling are common reactions to discomfort.

Take note of when they groan or make noise the most. If its when you get home they might just have missed you. It is possible for your dog to be in pain if he groans when he lays down or runs.

The presence of a limp or a strange position while they’re lying could also be indications. When your pet groans when you pet them or when they attempt to get up from a nap they may be in pain.

It may be an indication of where the problem may lie if they lick or snuff a particular part of the body while groaning.

There are a number of signs your pet may be in pain especially if you have noticed your pet is bloated lethargic less hungry more thirsty and has been suffering from diarrhea or constipation.

Identifying issues in senior dogs is more difficult as they may already be experiencing some of the above but even if its just a slight change in sleeping position or appetite it can not hurt to get them tested. Knowing your pet is the best thing you can do for them. 

Dog groaning in senior dogs 

As they always say aging isnot for the weak-hearted especially when it comes to our pets. Depending on the breed you can expect more problems to start arising as your dog ages although most are not of immediate concern its important to keep an eye on them.

The more fragile their bones become and the softer their bark the harder it is to tell if something is wrong. Its possible that they’re just confused due to loss of vision or want a pet from you.

Dog groaning is not necessarily an immediate problem but it should be closely monitored if it is sudden and excessive. You can treat and lessen all of the above issues and conditions but its about your ability to recognize that the dogs groaning is a concern in itself.

It is better to take your pet to the vet sooner rather than later as this will give your pet a better chance of survival. You may have found this article useful in identifying why your senior dogs may be groaning.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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