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Pain Management

Avenues for Pet Pain Management

Whether your cat or dog is young or old, there will be times when they may experience pain from a variety of causes – from acute injuries to surgery, chronic disease, or arthritis pain. We take pain management very seriously and keep up with the latest pain management strategies. Again, no cookbook approach here. We personalize our pain management techniques to the needs of your pet. Today’s approach to pain is what is called “multi-modal”, meaning that we manage your pet’s comfort with a variety of different things, which often work better together for pain management than using one strategy alone.

Strategies for Pain Management

  • Weight management and nutrition counseling – very important in arthritic pets
  • Exercise/mobility counseling
  • Supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can help with inflammation in many disease processes
  • Pain medication – we offer several different types of pain medication which may be prescribed depending on your pet’s general health status and the degree of pain they are experiencing
  • Adjunct pain medications – useful in pets that cannot take standard pain control medications and in pets where standard medications are not adequately controlling pain

Pets often share traits in common with their humans like a love of popcorn or an achy hip. Research has shown animals also share the way they experience pain. Therefore, you may recognize some medications, techniques, and care for animal pain that your own doctor similarly prescribed for you. Common medications we prescribe for pets include analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), anti-anxiety medications, or topical anesthetics. However, it is very important to note that you should never give your pet medication designed for a human unless first consulting with us. Many medications designed for humans can cause life-threatening and irreversible reactions in animals. As with small children, medications should be kept out of reach of your pet.

We may also prescribe lifestyle changes for your pet. A specific diet, soft bedding, a few more rounds of fetch, raised food and water dishes, or an extra snuggle now and then are just some of the things that may help your pet’s pain at home.

Many pets experience successful pain relief through complementary medicine. Acupuncture, chiropractic care, nutritional support, or physical therapy often assist our practice to better manage your pet’s pain. Therapies such as massage, heat or strength building may seem familiar while some of our newer technology and machines might sound new to you. 

Determining whether your pet’s pain it is acute or chronic is the first step to identifying the cause. Acute pain is often sudden and triggered by a specific event. For example, if your pet receives a recent injury, they may experience acute pain. However, chronic pain persists over the long term and causes may include conditions such as joint inflammation, arthritis, or unattended tooth decay.

Early intervention is important when it comes to managing your pet’s pain. Some common signs of pain in your pet may include:

  • Limping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Vocalization
  • Change in temperament or behavior
  • Licking a specific area
  • Change in bathroom habits
  • Panting
  • The appearance of the third eyelid
  • Hiding

Notify our practice right away if you notice any of the above signs so we can take action to assist your pet.

Proudly serving Freeport, Brunswick, Pownal, Cumberland, and Yarmouth.

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