The Right Combination of Treatment
There are many pain receptors throughout the body that communicate pain to the brain; the focus is to determine the type of pain and the receptor that communicates with the brain. In many cases there are multiple sources of the pain and because of this it is agreed upon by experts, that pain management should be “multi-modal”, meaning…best results come when many different approaches are used concurrently. A common pain management plan will consist of supplements, medication, weight management, physical therapy, and laser therapy. The focus is to use the minimum effective dose of pain relievers for minimal side effects.
The Right Medications for Pets
Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital stresses the importance of consulting with one of our Doctors before attempting to treat from home. Our pet’s systems are not as forgiving as humans when it comes to pain relievers. While NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and naproxen, work well for us humans; they cause gastrointestinal irritation, ulcers, reduced blood flow to the kidneys and result in kidney damage in pets. Cats are particularly susceptible to painful toxicity with many pain medications.
There are several pain relievers approved for veterinary use. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers relieve pain and do so by altering the disease process. Straight pain relievers do nothing for the disease process, but they do help with pain. Different pain medications target different receptors, so the right combination of medications can do wonders for your pet. The proper dosing of these medications is crucial; as we’re dealing with pain medications, there is potential for drowsiness that can make a weak animal weaker and thus discourage mobility. Mobility is key to the treatment of pain.
Signs of pain include (but are not limited to):
- Whimpering or vocalizing
- Becoming quiet, withdrawn, and inactive
- Showing uncharacteristic aggressiveness when approached (an attempt to protect themselves from further pain)
- Holding the ears flat against the head
- Increased licking of a painful/sensitive area
- Decreased appetite
- Reluctance to walk, run, climb stairs, jump, or play
- Stiffness or limping
Let our team of experienced Doctors at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital provide the guidance you need to determine the safest approach to treating your pet’s pain. Through a proper pain management plan, we can have your pet back to living a happy, longer, pain-free life.