We now know that animals experience pain in much the same way as people. We use our extensive knowledge of pain medication and pain relief strategies to prevent and manage pain in pets. Often, we use these techniques to ease pain caused by chronic disease, such as arthritis.
Ask us about our pain management options and plans, which we will tailor to your pet’s medical condition and individual needs.
A variety of medications can be used to help pets who are in pain. A commonly used group of medications is Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (also known as NSAIDs). As the name states, they can be used to control inflammation, but can also help with pain, and to reduce fevers. With their many benefits, NSAIDs are used to help improve your pet’s comfort and quality of life. As with any medication, there are possible side effects. We recommend running bloodwork on your pet to ensure that their bodies are able to tolerate the medication, specifically focusing on their kidney and liver values.
If travel, thunder, or fireworks upset your pet, he or she may benefit from tranquilization or sedation. While sedated, the animal will stay awake or sleep lightly but can be roused when stimulated. To minimize any potential risk associated with tranquilization or sedation, we need to assess each animal individually before we dispense these medications.
For some procedures, your pet will be administered general anesthesia so that they will be rendered unconscious and not feel pain. Many pet owners worry about their pets being administered general anesthesia. We can assure you that modern anesthesia is generally quite safe. To further lower risk, we perform a physical examination and run blood work ahead of time to catch any underlying health issues. In addition, we follow a specific anesthetic protocol, including monitoring vital signs during the procedure, to ensure the safety of our patients.
We begin most general anesthetic procedures by administering a sedative to help the pet relax and decrease any anxiety and pain. We then administer an intravenous drug to provide complete anesthesia and place a breathing tube into the patient’s trachea (windpipe). To maintain the state of unconsciousness, we deliver a gas anesthetic in combination with oxygen through the breathing tube.
If your pet is having a minor surgical or diagnostic procedure performed, we sometimes use a local anesthetic to help control pain. For example, when we perform a biopsy, we will use a local anesthetic. Local anesthetics cause a loss of sensation in the area where the procedure is being performed. In some cases, we may use a sedative and/or anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication) in combination with the local anesthetic to keep pets calm during a procedure.