Although the holidays may be an exciting time of the year for you, your pets may find the festivities a little overwhelming. Even normally well-behaved pets can experience a little anxiety when th ...View Article
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Pain is an unfortunate fact of life for pets as well as for humans. When pain is associated with an acute event such as an infection or injury, resolving the health challenge generally resolves the discomfort as well. But incurable chronic conditions may produce constant or recurring pain as long as your pet suffers from the disorder in question. In these cases, a sound pain management strategy is critical. At Best Friends Animal Hospital, our veterinarian in Winnipeg (Dr. Gould, Dr. Tait or Dr. Sra) can help you give your beloved friend the highest possible quality of life.
Chronic pain can stem from a variety of conditions, many of them degenerative and/or age-related in nature. Osteoarthritis is a common senior pet care issue. As the cartilage in the joints wear out, pets experience pain an inflammation that makes them slower, stiffer and less willing to exert themselves. This leads to sedentary behavior and weight gain, which adds even more joint stress and pain. Advanced cancer or significant nerve damage may also leave your pet in chronic pain.
Understanding the signs of pain in your pet can help you get him the help he needs as early as possible. Limping, walking with difficulty or refusing to climb are all indications of joint pain. Dogs may also hold their ears flat against the head, whine, resist being touched (even to the point of aggression) or withdraw from normal interactions. Cats instinctively try to hide their pain, making it hard to know when your feline is suffering. A stiff gait, tense or crouching posture and tendency to go and hide may mean your cat is in need pet pain management.
Best Friends Animal Hospital can determine the cause of your pet's pain and recommend the most effective pet pain management strategy for his situation. Anti-inflammatory medications are commonly prescribed for conditions such as arthritis. Mild to moderate pain can often be controlled with prescribed NSAIDs. Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as cortisone or prednisone are much stronger; when administered with caution, they can be extremely helpful for managing more severe conditions. Opioids such as codeine, morphine and fentanyl may be necessary to control severe cancer pain and other advanced pain conditions.
Dietary counseling and nutritional support can aid in pet pain management. Weight loss can reduce arthritis pain in weight-bearing joints, while nutritional supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin and fish oil may support joint heath and flexibility. If your pet suffers from age-related chronic pain, we can make pet pain management an integral part of his senior pet care plan. We may also suggest an exercise program to help your pet retain as much pain-free range of motion as possible.
Call Best Friends Animal Hospital at 204-269-4451 to discuss pet pain management with our veterinarian in Winnipeg. We can help your best friend enjoy life again!