Dog Pain Management
Differences between Acute and Chronic Pain in Dogs
- Acute pain: Sudden onset due to specific incidents like torn nails, dog bites, fractures, etc.
- Chronic pain: Ongoing pain that has lasted longer, often affecting the nervous system differently.
Treatment for each varies significantly.
When to Bring Your Dog for a Pain Consultation
If you suspect they are in pain, bring your dog immediately for a proper examination and treatment plan.
Signs and Symptoms of Pain in Dogs
- Changes in behavior (e.g., not greeting you at the door)
- Hiding, panting, and shaking
- Reduced appetite
- Dogs rarely vocalize pain
Medication and Pain Management
- Do not give human medication like Tylenol or Advil.
- Medications vary based on the dog's condition, age, and breed.
- Options include opioids, nonsteroidal, and nerve pain medication like Gabapentin.
- Adjunctive therapies like laser therapy and acupuncture may be used.
Managing Chronic Pain in Aging Dogs
Aging is not a disease; older dogs may have more pain issues.
A thorough physical exam and possibly x-rays are advised to diagnose chronic pain.
Where to Get Pain Medication
Medication should be obtained from your veterinary hospital for guaranteed quality and correct dosing.
- Signs of Pain: Hiding, shaking, changes in behavior.
- Causes of Pain: Sore paws, cuts, dog bites, arthritis, dental issues, etc.
- When to See a Vet: Minimum once a year for young pets; twice yearly for pets older than 6-7 years.
- How Vets Assess Pain: Through history, physical exams, and possibly x-rays.