WHAT IS PAIN?
Pain is the chemical response of the body to a stimulus to a tissue. There are different levels of pain threshold for every patient exposed to the same stimulus, therefore pain management protocols should be based on the specific individual.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY PET IS IN PAIN?
It is very difficult to determine if our pets are in pain, because they cannot verbalize like humans do; However, there are certain behaviors that can help us to determine where and if our pets are in pain. These pain behaviors include growling, reluctance to move, whining, crying, tremoring, inability to sleep, hiding, arched back, lethargy and decreased to no appetite.
HOW DO I ENSURE MY PET IS NOT IN PAIN?
The first step is to consult with a veterinarian, that will provide analgesia (pain free condition) for your pet. Depending on the source of pain an anti-pain protocol should be established. Pain management can be provided to our pet before trauma / surgery (pre-emptive), and or after a traumatic event. The most effective way to control pain is by giving pain medications before the insult / trauma/ surgery is induced. The goal of this approach is to block the pain receptors before they are activated by the injury. Another way to provide pain control is when a combination of drugs (multimodal approach) are given together, such as anti-inflammatory, narcotics and others agents. The combination of drugs will provide a safer (smaller doses) and more effective protocol to manage pain while the pet is in the hospital and at home recovering.
WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS TO ASK A VETERINARIAN ABOUT PAIN MANAGEMENT?
It is very important that the medical provider is aware of the pain management guidelines. Many old-school veterinarians are still under-dosing and under-medicating patients because of the wrong assumption that animals do not feel pain as humans do. It is important to questions veterinarians regarding their pain management protocols to ensure that standard of care guideline is followed.