dog sleeping under pillow

Watching a child or an animal suffer is one of the most helpless feelings a care-giver can experience.  Fortunately, the reality is that when pain kicks in, there are many treatment options available that can offer support for ailing cats and dogs, whatever the source of their agony might be.  Here are some helpful tips about the pain medication and therapies available.

Pain Management Options

One important thing to note is that pain is relative and experiential only to the individual, and for that reason is it very hard to identify and quantify the pain, when there is no verbal communication from the patient. You might observe something like a limp, in a dog and assume he is in pain without having any idea how severe it might be, if there is a genuine medical issue at hand, or if he simply pulled a muscles as is on a steady path to recovery.  Because of this, some pet owners misdiagnose the issue and either fail to treat the pain properly with the right solutions, or they simply write it off as “temporary” or “insignificant.” We therefore urge pet owners to first observe your dog or cat in action, noting the way they breathe, move, walk, jump, stand, sit, and engage with surfaces like stairs, etc. If you are unsure about the extent of the problem, or how to address it, visit your vet for some professional guidance and insight into what might be going on.

One of the most common ailments in canines is that of arthritic pain. Around 20%, or 1 in 5 dogs has some kind of arthritic pain.  Many people consider this just normal “aging” or “slowing down” when actually the dog is in agonizing yet treatable pain. Whether it is joint, spine, paw, stomach, or respiratory pain that is causing your pet discomfort here are some of the best treatment options

Medications: Pain-relieving medications may be given orally, through a variety of product types. There are steroids, nutraceuticals, steroid-free anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, and natural/holistic measures.  Non-steroid medications are helpful pain relief treatments for sensitive pets. Holistic options such as soothing natural oils (like peppermint) can also be rubbed topically on sore body parts, or added to humidifying diffusers to help ease labored breathing.

Movement/Physical Therapy: Most vets will recommend some form of physical therapy to treat chronic pain. Sometimes something as simple as a massage can greatly reduce swelling, stiffness and discomfort. Swimming is a fantastic way to exercise animals, as is walking on treadmills submerged in warm water, since this is gentle on the joints. Pet owners can also look into cold packs and heated muscle pads too.

Support wraps: Injured paws, unstable spines and strained joints can benefit by additional support products. These wrap gently around the area in question, proving stability, and relieving pressure or painful throbbing. Though it may not be a long-term solution, some pet parents find these kinds of tools to be effective and helpful.

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