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Pain Management: Troutdale Veterinarians Answers Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

Dogs and cats can be prone to experiencing discomfort as they age. This FAQ is designed to teach you about pet discomfort and some of the common treatments available for your pet.

What causes pain in my pets?             

Pets experience pain for a lot of the same reasons their human owners experience discomfort. It can be caused by arthritis, generative bone and joint diseases, hip dysplasia, infections, wounds, oral problems, allergies and surgeries.

How can I tell if my dog or cat is in pain?

Dogs and cats cannot vocalize their discomfort in the same way that humans express pain. Therefore, it is very important that owners recognize some common symptoms, which include barking, meowing, howling or whining. They may also yelp when performing certain activities such as climbing stairs, running or jumping. They may sit very still or pant excessively. Additional signs including obsessive licking, biting or scratching a particular body part.

Dogs and cats with arthritis may be slow to get up after a nap and hesitate when playing or exercising. Your pet may appear restless or unable to get comfortable, and they may desire more attention from their human companions.

Can I give my dog or cat human pain relievers and anti-inflammatories?

We do not recommend giving your pets human pain relievers or anti-inflammatories. Aspirin and NSAIDS like ibuprofen can be toxic to dogs and cats. There are some pet medications that contain acetaminophen, but those drugs and specifically formulated for dogs and cats, and owners should not assume that the Tylenol in their medicine cabinet is safe for their pets. If you have questions about your dog or cat’s discomfort, please call our veterinarian or schedule an appointment.

What medications are available for my pet?

There are many medications on the market that are specifically designed to alleviate discomfort in pets. A few of those medications are carprofen, deracoxib, tepoxalin and tramadol. Our veterinarian can diagnose the source of your pet’s discomfort and recommend a course of treatment and medications.

Are there any adverse side-effects with giving my pet medications for extreme discomfort?

Dogs can experience adverse effects from NSAIDS and other medications. Signs of an allergic or negative reaction include changes in behavior, loss of appetite, hives, scabs or redness on the skin and changes in the consistency or color of your pet’s bowel movements. If you suspect your pet is having an adverse reaction to a medication, stop giving your pet the medication and call our office immediately.

Are there any alternative pain management treatments available?

Some owners may wish to try supplements before putting their pets on medications for pain management. In addition, some veterinarians offer holistic treatments, including pet acupuncture and laser therapy. If your dog or cat has arthritis, there are some home remedies and things you can do to make your pet more comfortable, including giving your pet a warm place to sleep, installing ramps and keeping your pet active with low impact exercises.