As a veterinary hospital, we are regularly faced with conditions involving pet pain. Although it may be impossible to completely prevent discomfort, we will never let pet pain go untreated. At Grace Animal Hospital, we make every attempt to keep your animal companion as pain-free as possible.
Pain management in veterinary medicine has expanded dramatically over the past several years. Our increased knowledge of pain pathways, along with new pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic methods of pain control, has given us a tremendous advantage in anticipating and preventing pain in our companion animals.
Some of the current methods of pain control involve a multi-drug technique, where different drugs working on different pathways provide an optimum effect. We use this type of “balanced” technique in hospitalized and surgical patients, to ensure the appropriate pain pathways are targeted and the result is a comfortable patient.
In every case we make a pain assessment, and will intervene as early as possible to minimize pain. Additionally, in procedures where pain is anticipated, we will preemptively provide pain control for your pet. Studies have shown that providing good pain control prior to a painful procedure will better manage the pain afterwards.
View the following chart for some examples of situations that may cause pet pain:
Type of Pain
- Surgical—Spay or neuter, orthopedic and soft tissue procedures
- Cancer&mdas;All cancers have the capability of causing pain
- Gastrointestinal—Severe vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, constipation, foreign body ingestion, obstruction, bloat
- Urogenital—Urinary blockages, kidney and bladder stones, acute kidney failure, urinary tract infections, vaginitis, orchitis
- Musculoskeletal—Osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, strained muscles, joints or ligaments, intervertebral disk disease, fractures, joint dislocations, abscesses
- Ophthalmic—Glaucoma, Corneal ulcers, uveitis
- Dental—Tooth root abscesses, oral tumors, fractured teeth, oral ulcers, stomatitis
- Dermatologic—Ear infections, severe skin infections, burns, wounds, abscesses
- Neurologic—Meningitis, spinal pain, nerve root impingement/signature
To help you identify pain in your pet at home, we offer a handout listing observations you may make to help determine the level of discomfort. It is important to note that sometimes our pets might experience a greater pain level than what observations would suggest—cats are especially notorious for this.
Read the: Identifying Pain in Your Pet handout we have provided.
Watch this Pain Management video for more information on pet pain relief.
If you have any question as to whether your pet is in pain, it is best to contact your veterinarian at Grace Animal Hospital.