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Tip of the Month

12/23/2009 Pain Management Part II

If you think your pet is in pain, a complete physical will be needed so your veterinarian can figure what is wrong and give you several options to choose from. There will be questions such as your pets appetite, movements, attitude and behavior. The more information you can provide will assist the veterinarian with a diagnosis. You can speak to your local veterinary assistant in advance to be more prepared for the physical.

Cats seem to hide pain as natures way to protect them from predators. However, although there may be no outward signs of pain, that does not mean that pain is not present. You have to assume it is present and take them to the veterinarian.

A physical exam can include x-rays, blood tests, lab work or even a scan. After that, your veterinarian will be able to recommend a treatment protocol. There are many pain medications that are now available to pets. They can be given via pill, liquids or even a skin patch or gel which helps not only with acute but also chronic pain. The veterinarian will discuss what medications would be best for your pet.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) are commonly used for many types of orthopedic pain. There are other animal jobs that offer alternative pain management that include message therapy, holistic medicine, or even acupuncture. Keep in mind the side effects and the time needed for each treatment option including the risks versus the benefits of each option.

There are non-pharmaceutical compounds and or neutraceuticals that have been developed in the past few years for joint heath. Glucosamine and chondrotin help joint inflammation that is common with old age or joint disease.

If you pet has had surgery, pain management is very important of more rapid healing. It is important to follow the veterinarians or vet assistantís instructions carefully and call if you have any questions or problems. If you pet has been prescribed a pain medication, give it on time and as directed.

Keep your pet warm and comfortable plus quiet and relaxed, allowing them to heal with re-injury. It is also very important to keep them from the surgical site as they will lick and / or remove stitches. If needed, a special collar can be obtained from the veterinary hospital. Donít forget that lots of love and attention will go a long way in your petís recovery.

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