Our pets are among the most important things in our lives. Not only are they beloved members of the family, but we also gladly accept their health, wellness, and comfort as our responsibility. Watching a pet suffering from pain is heart wrenching, and it can be difficult to know what to do or how to help.
Fortunately, veterinary science has made significant strides when it comes to pain management in pets. We now know that pets feel pain in much the same way as humans, and we’re better able to recognize the signs and work to prevent, treat, and manage pet pain.
Why Controlling Pain is so Important
Animals can experience acute or chronic pain for a wide variety of reasons. An injury, orthopedic issue, surgery, or illness can result in pain. Left untreated, pain can significantly decrease quality of life, increase stress and anxiety, and even negatively affect the rate of healing. Recognizing and treating pet pain has always been, and will continue to be, one of our most important goals.
Recognizing Pet Pain
Because our pets are genetically wired to hide signs of discomfort, it can sometimes be difficult to know when they’re experiencing pain. Some signs include:
- Changes in personality (suddenly clingy, grumpy, sullen, or aggressive)
- Decreased activity level
- Increased panting
- Vocalization (whining, howling, groaning)
- Changes in eating, drinking, or elimination habits
- Change in posture or gait
- Decreased or increased grooming
Ultimately, you know your pet better than anyone else. If you notice any signs of pain in your pet or if you just feel that something is “off,” please give us a call so we can assess your pet as soon as possible.
Pain Management in Pets
Once we determine that your pet is suffering, we will provide them with a pain management plan that’s tailored to their individual needs. Depending on your pet’s situation, we may recommend a multimodal approach to pain management, which could include any combination of the following:
- Laser therapy – Our K Laser therapy can provide relief from pain and inflammation, as well as speed healing. Laser therapy can be used by itself or in conjunction with other pain relief measures.
- Physical therapy – Physical rehabilitation can be extremely effective in a wide variety of instances. Here at Long Animal Hospital, we’re proud to offer a canine rehabilitation room aimed at helping pets recover from surgery, injury, obesity, and more.
- Acupuncture – This ancient technique has been proven effective in reducing pain, inflammation, and stress and is widely used in both people and pets.
- Nutritional therapy – Providing pets with the highest quality diet, along with weight management and supplementation (where applicable), can all be helpful when trying to managing pain.
- Pain medications – Pain medications and anti-inflammatories often play key roles in pain relief. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine which medications are right for your pet.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Long Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns about pain management in pets.