Pain Management | Westchester Animal Hospital

Pain Management

There are some situations which are safe to assume would cause a pet to experience pain. Some such situations include injuries or surgical procedures. But what about the rest of the time, when it’s less obvious? Animals can’t tell us how they feel. It is up to us to stop and take notice of small changes in behavior. Things to look out for include becoming withdrawn, showing a sudden lack of interest, or reluctance in mobility. These changes in behavior signal that something is wrong and should urge you investigate further. Most animals will experience some form of discomfort in their lifetime. If you suspect that your pet is in pain, trust your instinct and get medical attention.
Pet owners and veterinarians need to work together to develop pain management strategies that can be implemented at home and at the veterinary office. Generally, there are five traditional and holistic methods to consider: nutraceuticals, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), opioids, steroids, and holistic alternatives. Each with its own set of positives and negatives.

Medication

Pain treatment usually includes medication. Today’s medications come in pill form as well as liquids, skin patches or gels. New medications are being developed often to help alleviate your pet’s chronic pain. Although medications work quickly and often cause significant relief, its use can produce side affects and adverse reactions in your pet.

Acupuncture

Veterinary acupuncture is becoming more predominant as pet lovers seek new treatment options to help with chronic conditions and pain relief. Usually combined with traditional western veterinary medicine, acupuncture is a practice in traditional Chinese medicine involving the insertion of thin needles at specific points in the body. Heat, pressure, or mild electrical current can sometimes be used along with the needles. By stimulating nerves and unblocking the flow of energy, acupuncture seems to alleviate certain symptoms and conditions successfully.

Massage

Massage has many benefits. Physiologically speaking, massage stimulates lymph flow, increases circulation, decreases depression and anxiety, and releases pain relieving endorphins. It helps to improve pulmonary function, increase oxygen to muscles, and flush away toxins. It enhances range of motion, promotes tissue regeneration, and lowers diastolic blood pressure. Massage has become more popular in recent years, as its healing benefits becomes more widely accepted.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is based on the belief that health problems develop when the body is out of balance and that every being has self-healing responses to combat health problems. Homeopathy tries to stimulate the body’s own healing responses by causing symptoms similar to the ones being exhibited.