Primary Care

Pain Management

For most sick or injured pets, pain management will improve the recovery process and allow the animal to heal more rapidly. Your veterinary professionals at VCA Acacia Animal Hospital will develop a pain management plan for every patient in pain or discomfort, tailored to address your pet????????s specific concerns.

The source of pain is the first concern in pain management: it may be acute pain caused by an injury or illness; it may be chronic pain from a disease or age-related condition; or it may be post-operative pain that tapers off as the patient recovers. While this may seem a simple task, it is often difficult to detect chronic pain that has developed slowly or pain that radiates away from the site of origin.

Animals instinctively hide pain to protect themselves from predators, so diagnosing the source of a problem is often tricky. Unless the pain is obvious????????say, from a wound????????the process requires skill and an eye for subtle details. Some indicators of hidden pain include the following:

  • Limping
  • Whining, whimpering, or howling
  • Unusually quiet, listless, or inactive
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unusually restless
  • Uncharacteristically aggressive or submissive
  • Biting, licking, or chewing at one area
  • Trouble sleeping or irregular sleeping patterns
  • Inability to get comfortable
  • Trouble lying down or standing up
  • Shortened stride
  • Hunched posture

If your pet has any of these problems, consider pain as a possible cause and contact your VCA Acacia veterinarian at once.

Veterinary medicine offers many options for pet pain relief. Traditional medicine offers pain reducing medications and anti-inflammatory drugs, from NSAIDS to steroids. Medications come with some risks, however, such as uncomfortable or dangerous side effects.

Holistic medicine offers any number of treatment options, from acupuncture and laser therapy, to herbal supplements and even chiropractic care. Your VCA Acacia veterinarian will advise you of the options best suited to your special pet.

For a listing of articles discussing pain management in pets, visit the AAHA Healthy Pet website.