How Can Vets Help With Pet Pain Management?

Veterinary help aims at alleviating pain and suffering from animals. The pain usually results from actual or potential damage to the tissues. As a result, it leads to an emotional and unpleasant experience for the victim. Your pet may not communicate the pain they feel. However, various signs will show you they are not okay.


Advances in veterinary medicine have helped broaden pain management for pets. It has become an essential discipline within veterinary practices. Effective pain management promotes quick recovery and healing.


Pain Identification


Your pet can experience pain in three dimensions. The first is the sensory component, where they feel it physically. The second way is the emotional dimension, where they experience suffering. The third is the cognitive component. Their pain experienced in the past influences their perception of threats and pain in the future.


Your pet depends on you to recognize their discomfort and help them feel better. While it is easy to identify that your pet is in acute pain, low level or chronic pain often goes unnoticed. Behavioral cues can help you notice a change. But most times, we misinterpret them for aging signs. Learning how to understand when your pet is in pain will help you take them to the veterinarian for help with pain management.


Be alert to check for these pain signs and symptoms:


  • Decrease in appetite.
  • Reduced activity.
  • Reluctance to play and jump.
  • Reluctance to descend or climb stairs.
  • Difficulty standing from lying down.
  • Overgrooming a specific area of their body.




Your veterinarian can diagnose the pain your pet has through signs and symptoms. Doing a series of tests and physical examinations also helps. If your pet has sudden reduced mobility and activity, it could mean they are experiencing musculoskeletal pain. This may indicate they have a concealed injury, osteoarthritis, obesity, or a torn ligament.


Pets with a suddenly reduced appetite may indicate oral pain caused by either periodontal disease or a dental problem. They may also have mouth ulcers, which may mean they have kidney problems.


If you notice your pet is persistently overgrooming a part of their body, they may have a granuloma or a hot spot on their skin. They could also have a parasitic infection.




Your vet is likely to use corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs). Pets do not tolerate NSAIDs meant for human beings, such as ibuprofen. Therefore, your vet will prescribe safe pet-friendly pain-relieving medication.


Substitute Treatments


Veterinary practices have begun embracing other pain management methods. They now do combination therapy to treat osteoarthritis and glucosamine. They also use aqua therapy for helping pets experiencing pain after a surgical procedure. Acupuncture also manages the discomfort your pet feels.


Lifestyle Changes and Diet


Your veterinarian can help manage any discomfort your pet is experiencing by guiding you to change their diet and lifestyle. For example, your pet may be having joint pain caused by being obese. After your vet makes a diagnosis, they can guide you on ways to help your furry companion lose weight. Weight loss can help reduce the pressure exerted on their joints for pain relief.


For more on pain management for pets, call Circle of Life Animal Hospital at (813) 850-0600 to reach our office in Tampa, Florida.

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