We now know that animals experience pain in much the same way as people. We use our knowledge of pain medication and pain relief strategies to prevent and manage pain in pets, both before and after surgery and in the event of an injury or infection. We can also ease pain caused by chronic disease, such as arthritis.
There a many common diseases that cause pain. Managing pain in addition to treating the underlying cause of disease and greatly speed recovery times.
Some common painful conditions include:
- Arthritis and other orthopedic disease like luxating patellas and torn cruciate ligaments in the knee
- Dental disease (tooth infections)
- Ear infections
- Broken toenails
- Ulcers on the eye
- Idiopathic cystitis (bladder disease in cats)
Every pet is an individual and pain management strategies vary greatly among individuals and specific medical conditions.
Ask us about our pain management options and plans, which we will tailor to your pet’s medical condition and individual needs.
Pain Management during surgery and dentistry
Pain management is an area that we focus on and your pet’s comfort is very important to us! The approach we use is called “multimodal analgesia“. This means that we use numerous different medications to manage pain that act on different parts of the pain pathway, from the nerve endings in the tissue, all the way to the spinal cord. The benefit of using different drugs is that we can use a lower dose of each individual medication therefore decreasing any potential side effects. We use pain management protocols recommended and shown to be effective and safe by years of research.
Below is an easy break-down of the different types of pain medications we use on a typical surgical procedure:
- Prior to any surgical procedure, a combination of drugs called a premedication is given. This is a sedative and a pain medication designed to relax your pet before we place an IV catheter and give a general anesthetic. Giving pain medication before even doing anything painful is called “pre-emptive analgesia.” Studies have shown that pain medication works much better if it is given before any painful procedure is performed.
- Once your pet is completely anesthetized we freeze the surgical area with a local anesthetic before even making an incision.
- During surgery we administer an anti-inflammatory pain medication.
- After surgery additional doses of pain medication (similar to those given in the premedication) are given to ensure your pet has a smooth and comfortable recovery.
- Several days of anti-inflammatory pain medication are sent home with your pet to ensure a comfortable recovery at home.