If you’ve ever been in pain, whether acute or chronic, you know one thing. It’s not fun and you want to get rid of it if at all possible. The same is true for our pets. If pain goes untreated for too long it can change from physical to neurological pain, which is a different animal all together (sorry about that). If the dog is crying out due to intense pain, people tend to be more proactive to have the dog seen by their vet. However, when the pet is older and less playful around the house, that is not always recognized as a manifestation of pain. It’s usually described as “slowing down”. That “slowing down” is likely evidence of chronic arthritic pain. Just because the dog isn’t crying all the time doesn’t mean he doesn’t hurt. It simply means that he’s making what adjustments he can make to hurt less.
When it comes to pain control, there are a myriad of options. Examples include nutritional support, physical rehabilitation therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, non-steroidal & steroidal medications, and regenerative medicine. Each one of these areas have multiple subdivisions. The area of pain management is as complex in veterinary medicine as it is in human medicine. I frequently see clients that want a less “medicine” approach to their pet’s pain. This allows me to adopt a more “multi-modal” approach to their pain. This means that we can approach the pain from multiple angles, thus creating an additive effect to pain control while using less of everything. So, if we have to use “medicine” to reach our goal, hopefully, we can use less of it.
Please consult your veterinarian if your pet is “slowing down”. It’s terrible to find out that your pet was in pain and you didn’t recognized the symptoms.
“Ask the Vet” is a monthly feature of the Times-Advocate brought to you by Dr. David Knox of Companion Animal Clinic. If you have a question for the Vet, please submit it to: email@example.com.