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Posted on 05-30-2018

Pain Management for Pets: What You Need to Know

Pets are beloved members of our families. We care about their well-being and want to make sure they receive pain relief when they need it. Unfortunately, since your dog or cat can't talk, it's difficult to know how they're feeling. Here's what you need to know about pet pain, and what to do if your pet needs pain management. 

Cat being treated for pain.

Types of Pain

There are several common types of pet pain. Acute pain is usually the result of an injury. It normally goes away within a few days. Chronic pain persists over time and is often associated with health conditions such as arthritis. Your cat or dog may experience neuropathic pain - pain due to nerve damage. Nerve pain often starts after an injury. It is difficult to diagnose since pets can't tell you their symptoms, such as tingling in their legs or paws. 

How to Tell if Your Pet is in Pain

As an instinct to protect themselves from predators, a dog or cat may try to hide their pain. Close observation may be needed to determine if your pet is in pain. Symptoms may include: 

  • Withdrawing from people and other animals
  • Personality changes, such as aggressive behavior
  • Whining or whimpering
  • Quick, shallow breathing 
  • Avoiding attention or seeking more attention than usual
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constant grooming of one area
  • Not jumping or playing
  • Arching the back
  • Limping or favoring one leg

How is Pet Pain Treated?

The American Animal Hospital Association cautions pet owners against tackling pain management on their own. If you suspect your dog or cat is in pain, contact your veterinarian for an evaluation as soon as possible.

Fortunately, you have several options for pet pain relief. Taking your pet's needs into consideration, your veterinarian may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), opioid medications, corticosteroids, or holistic treatments. 

Contact Your Troutdale Veterinarian

Paws and Claws Pet Medical Center is your caring Gresham and Troutdale veterinarian. We have the knowledge and facilities to care for all types of pet pain--from emergency injuries to chronic conditions. Call us today at (503) 661-1833 to schedule an appointment. 

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