How Does Pain Management Work?
Our pain management techniques and drugs always are tailored to your dog’s specific needs, and our goal is to make your dog as comfortable as possible.
We use several methods to control pain. We can use a variety of drugs and equipment to manage pain, depending on your pet’s needs. In addition to local anesthetics, we commonly use opioids, morphine, antidepressants, and drugs for chronic pain like gabapentin and amantadine.
After a surgery, or for other cases of pain management, we will use the appropriate pain scale to determine your dog’s level of pain. This is like a physical exam, but it focuses on feeling the whole body for tight muscles, sores, range of motion, and heat, all while noting the discomfort level in your dog.
When we localize the painful area(s), we generate a plan to treat the pain. This may include drugs, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and/or massage. We will always work to educate you about ways you can help manage your dog’s pain once you return home.
- Local anesthetics: A local anesthetic may be used to numb a surgical site. This is a technique that can render your dog insensitive to pain in a specific area without affecting consciousness.
- Epidural anesthesia: The insertion of a tiny epidural needle or catheter into your dog’s back through which a small dose of medication for pain relief can be given.
- Opioid therapy: The use of opioids to relieve pain and improve mood and functioning via the central nervous system, generally in patients with chronic pain.
- Anti-inflammatory therapy: The use of anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation.
- Integrated Therapies:
- Acupuncture: Needles are inserted into points of the body to relieve pain.
- Massage: Layers of muscle and connective tissue are manipulated with pressure, tension, and motion.
- Laser Therapy: A medical and veterinary treatment that involves monochromatic light emission for tissue healing, inflammation, and pain relief.
- Physiotherapy: This is commonly thought of as rehabilitation or physical therapy. We will work with your pet to restore maximum movement and function of the body.