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Watching a beloved pet suffer in pain is difficult; fortunately, there are ways to manage and alleviate pain in our companions. Pain can result from a needed surgery, injury, infection, or occur alongside ailments that can come with the aging process. In our practice, the issue of pain management is a high priority. We want your pets to have the best quality of life possible, and we stand ready to help them achieve it.
There are situations when it’s obvious that a pet is in pain, such as after an apparent injury or surgery. Other times, it’s less clear and requires careful observation. Possible clues include:
In some cases, it may be obvious your pet is in pain, but other times you’ll need to use careful observation to discover there’s a problem.
Pain that occurs during a surgical procedure can be relieved with general or local anesthetics. For pain in nonsurgical situations, effective alternatives include:
Nutraceuticals - These are foods and dietary supplements that offer extra health benefits beyond nutrition. They are relatively inexpensive and side effects are very rare. These are often helpful to pets with ongoing joint or arthritis problems, among other pain situations.
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - People take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen to reduce swelling, stiffness, and joint pain, but there are specialized NSAIDs just for pets that do the same things. Dogs, for example, may be given carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl), deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox), or meloxicam. Aspirin is also an NSAID that can be used in some pets for short periods of time. It is generally not recommended for long-term use due to potential negative side effects.
Opioids - These painkillers can be given for short periods of time for severe pain, such as after a surgery or injury. Tramadol is a very mild opioid that is often prescribed to dogs.
Steroids - Oral and injectable steroids such as prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, and triamcinolone are sometimes used to treat bone and joint pain. These are prescription medications and come with potential side effects that can affect your pet’s organs, so they must be used with care.
Holistic alternatives - Some pet owners opt for “natural” treatments, such as massage therapy or acupuncture. These procedures utilize pressure points and techniques intended to trigger the release of the body’s own natural pain relievers.
The choice of a successful pain relief approach is closely dependent on your pet’s individual situation and needs. At Pleasant View Veterinary Clinic’s Lewistown animal hospital, we take your pet’s pain seriously and provide thoughtful, effective pain management individually tailored to your pet’s needs. If you’re looking for the latest in compassionate care for your animal, call us today to schedule an appointment.