Pain & Arthritis Relief
The professionals at Pound Ridge Veterinary Center are committed to the relief and avoidance of pain for your pets—in both acute and chronic forms.
- Acute pain comes on suddenly, typically as a result of an injury, surgery, or infection. Fortunately, acute pain is usually temporary and goes away once the condition causing it is treated. One important way to minimize acute pain is to anticipate it and aggressively manage it with a pre-emptive approach. This is particularly true in surgical situations or when treating dental disease.
- Chronic pain is longer lasting and usually comes on more slowly. Common sources include arthritis or progressive diseases like cancer. As our pets live longer, managing pain in geriatric pets becomes more and more important. Appropriate pain management helps pets enjoy a happier, more comfortable, and fuller life.
Recognizing Pet Pain
It’s not always easy to spot pet pain, as many animals hide it as an adaptation, since it would have made them vulnerable in the wild. At Pound Ridge, we manage pet pain by assuming there is pain when we suspect it should be there, even if an animal is not showing clear signs.
Signs of pet pain include:
- Being unusually quiet, not moving about, or unresponsive to usual stimuli
- Restlessness (constantly seeking to find a more comfortable position)
- Vocalizing, including whining, whimpering, howling, or constantly meowing
- Aggression about being approached or handled
- Paying attention to a particular part of the body (licking or chewing)
- Not grooming as usual, especially in cats
- Acting out of character in any way
- Body language cues (flattened ears, facial expressions)
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Seeking more affection than usual
Call Us to Relieve Your Pet’s Pain
If you suspect your pet is in pain, call to arrange a physical examination and consultation. After identifying the source of the symptoms, we develop a pain management protocol appropriate to your pet’s specific condition and health status.
Managing Chronic Pain in Aging & Ailing Pets
There is a growing interest among pet owners to keep sick and older pets living longer, in greater comfort, with better pain management than in the past. Many chronic conditions can be successfully managed medically, allowing pets to be a part of our families long after an initial diagnosis of disease. Effective palliative care is commonly provided to companion animals as they age or approach the end of life. For these patients, attention to pain management is most important.
Arthritis and Joint Disease
Many dogs and cats develop degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) at some point in their lives. Arthritis can be a painful, chronic, and debilitating disease. This insidious disease often develops slowly as a common part of the aging process or as a result of joint instability, Lyme disease, secondary infections, or in genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia in dogs. Symptoms include changes in mobility, lameness, or stiffness.
Treatment for Arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease
Our ultimate goal is designing effective, appropriate treatment. Along with taking a history and performing a careful examination, radiographs (X-rays) often help to characterize the nature and degree of arthritis, as well as identifying the affected joints. Our approach for managing arthritis is multi-modal, offering several avenues of therapy used in conjunction with one another to increase effectiveness of treatment. These include:
- Pain medications including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Nutraceuticals such as glucosamine, omega-3 FA, MSM, and chondroitin
- Injectable medication (polysulfated glycosaminoglycans) to help repair damaged cartilage
- Prescription diets designed to help manage arthritic joints
- Weight loss and exercise programs to promote increased mobility