Primary Care

Pain Management

Providing Pain & Arthritis Relief for Pets

The professionals at Bond Animal Hospital are committed to the relief and avoidance of pain for your pets, in both acute and chronic forms.

Acute pain comes on suddenly, typically as a result of an injury, surgery, or infection. Fortunately, acute pain is usually temporary and goes away once the condition causing it is treated. One important way to minimize acute pain is to anticipate it and aggressively manage it with a pre-emptive approach. This is particularly true in surgical situations or when treating dental disease. We can greatly assist our patients in avoiding acute pain by recognizing and acting on potential need.

Chronic pain is longer lasting and usually comes on more slowly. Common sources include arthritis or progressive disease like cancer. As our pets live longer, managing pain in geriatric pets becomes more and more important. Appropriate pain management helps pets enjoy a happier, more comfortable, and fuller life.

Managing Chronic Pain in Aging & Sick Pets

There is a growing interest among pet owners to keep their sick or older patients in their homes ???????? living longer and in greater comfort. Many chronic conditions can be successfully managed medically, allowing pets to be a part of our families long after an initial diagnosis of disease. Effective palliative care is commonly provided to companion animals as they age or approach the end of life. For these patients, attention to pain management is most important.

Recognizing Pet Pain

Humans complain when they are in pain, even the most stoic among us. However, our pets do not. Many animals hide their pain as an adaptation, since it would have made them vulnerable in the wild. At Bond, we manage pet pain by assuming there is pain when we suspect it should be there, even if an animal is not showing clear signs.

Signs of pet pain include:

  • Being unusually quiet, not moving about, or unresponsive to usual stimuli
  • Restlessness (constantly seeking to find a more comfortable position)
  • Vocalizing, including whining, whimpering, howling, or constantly meowing
  • Aggression about being approached or handled
  • Paying attention to a particular part of the body (licking or chewing)
  • Not grooming as usual, especially in cats
  • Acting out of character in any way
  • Body language cues (flattened ears, facial expressions)
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Seeking more affection than usual

If you suspect your pet is in pain, call to arrange a physical examination and consultation. After identifying the source of the symptoms, we develop a pain management protocol appropriate to your pet????????s specific condition and health status.

Arthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease ???????? DJD)

Arthritis can be a painful, chronic, and debilitating disease. Many dogs and cats develop degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) at some point in their lives. This insidious disease often develops slowly as a common part of the aging process or as a result of joint instability, Lyme disease, secondary infections, or in genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia in dogs. Symptoms include changes in mobility, lameness, or stiffness.

Remember, our ultimate goal is designing effective, appropriate treatment. Along with taking a history and performing a careful examination, radiographs (x-rays) often help to characterize the nature and degree of arthritis, as well as identifying the affected joints. Our approach for managing arthritis is multi-modal, offering several avenues of therapy used in conjunction with one another to increase effectiveness of treatment. These include:

  • Pain medications including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Nutraceuticals such as glucosamine, omega-3 FA, MSM, and chondroitin
  • Injectable medication (polysulfated glycosaminoglycans) to help repair damaged cartilage
  • Prescription diets designed to help manage arthritic joints
  • Weight loss and exercise programs to promote increased mobility
  • Acupuncture

Learn more about pain management for cats and dogs

Your pet deserves to live a long, comfortable, and active life. Contact our hospital to make an appointment today!