We want your pet to be as
as possible. Pain in animals is just as significant and just as common as in people. When it comes to pain thresholds, each animal is unique. Dogs and cats can manage to hide their pain well. We, along with you as a loving pet owner, do not want to see your best friend feeling any discomfort. Pain management is very important to us at Harlingen Veterinary Clinic.
Animals instinctually hide pain. How do you know when your pet is hurting? Look for any of the following signs:
Because our fur-babies aren’t able to tell us when something is wrong, it’s important for you, the pet parent, to take note of any changes in their behavior. Look for any of the following signs that maybe your pet’s way of saying “I hurt.”
Many animals, especially cats, naturally disguise signs of pain to protect themselves from predators. However, the lack of obvious signs does not mean they aren’t experiencing pain. If the injury, illness or experience is one that sounds painful to you, it is likely painful to your pet. Modern pain management medications and techniques can safely and effectively control pain with little to no side effects.
Pain Management Strategies
When it comes to managing your pet’s pain, our practice offers the highest quality of care utilizing compassion and the most effective medical treatments available. We develop a unique pain management plan to best serve the individual needs of your pet. This plan may include medication, complementary treatment or a combination of both.
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-inflamatories (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. Our practice sometimes employs the use of a low frequency laser to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Acupuncture is another commonly used modality.
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.
Acute pain comes on suddenly as a result of an injury, surgery, inflammation or infection. It can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet, and it may limit his or her mobility. The good news is that it’s usually temporary. It generally goes away when the condition that causes it is treated.
Chronic pain is long-lasting and usually slow to develop. Some of the more common sources of chronic pain are age-related disorders, such as arthritis, but it can also result from illnesses such as cancer or bone disease. This pain may be the hardest to deal with because it can go on for years, or for an animal’s entire lifetime. Also, because it develops slowly, some animals may gradually learn to tolerate the pain and live with it. This can make chronic pain difficult to detect.