Pain is generally considered to be a bad thing. It hurts and it causes our pets to resist their normal behaviors. Pain can be beneficial though, like when an animal has injured her leg, the pain stops her from using it. This is a protective mechanism to allow healing to take place and stop further injury.
Pain medication (analgesia) is used to treat pain. In most cases this is for a limited time from days to weeks. Sometimes the pain response can persist or become exaggerated, resulting in excessive chronic pain. This type of pain can delay healing and add stress to an already unwell animal. Pain that is untreated can result in further injury, illness and behavioural changes.
Acute Pain– This occurs immediately after an injury and can range from mild to severe. This type of pain resolves in less than a few weeks once the injury or surgical site has healed.
Chronic Pain– This pain lasts longer than a few weeks, persisting beyond the initial cause. This type of pain can be brought on by diseases like arthritis, which cannot be repaired. Management is usually long-term and may require multiple therapies.
Neuropathic Pain– This type of pain is a result from a direct insult to the nervous system. This can persist for a long time and occurs even when there is no obvious cause for the pain. This is an abnormal pain response and causes non-painful stimuli such as touch, pressure and temperature change to result in pain. This type of pain often requires long-term therapy.
Cases that may benefit from a pain consultation:
- Procedures associated with moderate to severe acute pain
- Patients with osteoarthritis that are no longer comfortable with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) alone
- Neuropathic pain resulting in hypersensitivity to non-painful stimuli
- Pain no longer responding to routine analgesic therapy
- Back pain
- Pain associated with cancer
Once your pet has been evaluated, we create a unique multi-modal pain management plan for your pet. Pain management improves the recovery process from illness, surgery, injury and chronic pain conditions. We use a multimodal approach to managing your pet’s pain with the use of pharmaceutical therapies as well as integrative therapies to offer your pet the best chance to regain her original mobility and function while minimizing any pain.