Pain Management in Pets for Comfort and Wellbeing
Pets feel pain in the same way we do. All mammals have the same neuro-anatomical structure that recognizes pain, so pet pain management is a primary concern. Additionally, pain is a personal affair—each individual responds differently to it. Pain relief not only helps with comfort but hastens healing as well. An animal in pain is typically also stressed, which can hinder the healing process as stress hormones such as cortisol can increase blood pressure, slow down healing, and even cause negative gastrointestinal effects. To handle pet pain, we offer NSAIDs, nerve blocks, opioids, and other medications. Our locations in Merritt Island, Viera, and Cocoa Beach all offer these and other forms of pain relief for your pet.
Assessing Pain in Pets
Since it is so individualized, how do we assess each pet’s level of pain? Some things, such as surgery, we can assume there is a significant amount of discomfort. Pet pain management is part of every surgery’s protocol at our animal hospitals. However, some injuries and many chronic conditions are more difficult to assess, since each pet’s experience of these types of pain will be different.
While our trained staff can make educated guesses by gauging the severity of the issue, the best person to assess pain is you, their parent! If your pet’s behavior changes, you will notice sooner than anyone else. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Lethargy or depression
- No longer playing with toys or greeting you when you come home
- Changes in eating or drinking behavior
- Excessive panting
- Unexpected or unusual vocalizing
- Reluctance to move around
Please speak to us if your pet exhibits any of the behaviors above.
Conditions that Require Pain Management
Besides surgery, which always warrants pre-operative and post-operative pet pain management, several other conditions may require more long-term care, such as:
- Internal organ issues, such as kidney blockage or intestinal upset
- Physical trauma such as broken bones or severe bruising
- Spinal issues such as a slipped disc
- Degenerative problems such as arthritis and joint damage
Are you concerned your pet may be in pain? Do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. We will do our best to locate the source of pain, and not only relieve it, but treat it, too!