Pain management can be one of the most complex aspects of being the caregiver of a sick animal. There have been great advances in pain management for companion pets and vets are increasingly recognizing the importance of strategic treatment. Animals have a natural instinct to hide the pain. Therefore, signs of pain may be very difficult to detect and may include symptoms such as turning away a treat, slowly eating their food or sleeping loss. In cases of severe pain, your pet may show unusual aggressiveness, such as barking, snarling and snapping. If you suspect your animal is in pain, but cannot identify the causes, you may need the professional opinion of a veterinarian to determine the cause.
Outward demonstrations of pain vary from animal to animal but most pets experiencing pain will demonstrate noticeable changes in behavior. Because animals cannot communicate their pain level to you directly, it’s important to observe changes in your pet’s natural tendencies and daily habits. Sometimes these behavioral abnormalities are your pet’s only way to communicate their need for pain relief. You may notice they are reluctant to hop in the car or slow to retrieve a ball. They may become more inactive and withdrawn, no longer interested in activities they once loved.
Other symptoms of pain may include:
Lack of or change in appetite; loss of intake or rapid weight loss
Biting, scratching or rubbing of painful areas
Altered behaviors such as restlessness, depression, circling or shiftlessness
Changes in sleeping patterns
Reluctance to move or change positions; reluctance to interact with others
Some pets experience chronic pain, typically due to joint disease or displacement, arthritis, chronic skin conditions and chronic internal issues. At Friendship Veterinary Hospital, we offer a variety of treatments for chronic pain including:
Our goal is to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, your pet’s pain, whether chronic or acute. Recognizing pain is not always intuitive so our staff is well prepared to help you identify symptoms and changes in your pet’s behavior and then implement a treatment plan to get your pet on the road to a quick recovery and healthy lifestyle. Our veterinary clinic in Fort Walton Beach, Florida offers a wide variety of pain treatments. We are well-equipped to quickly determine an appropriate treatment for each pet and get them back to optimal health as soon as possible.
If your animal has been injured or suffers from chronic pain, one of the best ways to hasten the recovery process and build strength is through physical therapy. Physical therapy may be strenuous at first, but will ultimately help your pet manage the pain caused by injury or disease. Our staff is knowledgeable and will help you develop an effective therapy regimen specific to your animal’s illness and needs.
Because animals are often unable to remain cooperative during treatment, anesthesia is used more frequently with pets than with humans. Whether it is for routine treatment or a surgical emergency, anesthesia may be necessary to keep your pet immobile, unaware of the procedure, and spared from any pain. Any medical treatment, including anesthesia, comes with risks, but rest assured that our veterinary team takes every precaution in order to prevent any complications.
We are more than happy to talk to you about specific concerns you may have about your pet’s health and pain management. Call Friendship Veterinary Hospital in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to speak with one of our veterinarians today.