With a proper pain management protocol in place, pets can live comfortably and healthier. Pain does only affect the demeanor, disposition and temperament of animals, but affects their overall health as well. Animals in chronic pain often have health related ailments as chronic pain will cause significant stress on the body’s immune system making them more susceptible to other conditions.
There are many types and classifications of chronic pain but the most common involve discomfort from arthritis/degenerative joint disease, nerve pain, muscle pain, cancer pain and others. A proper pain management protocol is multi-modal, meaning the use of different therapies that act differently to control pain but have the same goal: A less painful, more comfortable animal.
Perhaps the most important part of the pain management protocol is knowing when your pet is in pain and a proper diagnosis. Often people naturally “humanize” their pets and believe that when their in pain they will cry out or whine. In the majority of cases, this in fact is not the case. Dogs and cats tend to hide pain as a protective response.
The most common symptoms in pets that are in pain are:
• Decreased appetite
• Slow to get up or to sit down
• Excessive panting
• Changes in grooming behaviour (Cats; less or more grooming)
• Hiding (Especially in cats)
• Aggression or decreased interaction with other pets and family members
There are many different treatment modalities to treat pain. Newer modalities include Laser Therapy. These treatment options are drug-free and do not interact with any other drugs or treatment modalities that may be in place. It is important to note that Laser Therapy is different from Laser Surgery. Kingsdale Animal Hospital does offer and use laser surgery when applicable to help seal nerve endings and thus altering the pain signals to the brain.
In discussion with your Kingsdale Veterinarian, he/she will develop a suitable pain management program that will fit the needs of your pet. Contact Us for more information.