Pain can be difficult to identify in pets. They can't speak, so it's up to you and your vet to determine if your pet is coping with chronic pain. At Coral Gables Animal Hospital in Coral Gables, FL, we treat chronic pain conditions in pets.
Acute vs. Chronic Pain
Two types of pain can affect your pet – acute and chronic. Acute pain is usually the result of an injury. It's a short-term condition that goes away when the cause of the pain is healed. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is a long-term problem. It often starts as slight pain or discomfort and gets worse over time. This makes it easy to overlook.
What Causes Chronic Pain in Pets
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in pets. It is thought to affect at least 20% of dogs. It's most common in a geriatric pet, but it can occur in younger animals as well. Osteoarthritis is similar to arthritis in humans. It causes pain and inflammation in the joints. Dental disease, degenerative joint diseases, and neurological conditions can also cause chronic pain. Acute pain can become chronic if it's not treated properly.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain in Pets
Chronic pain symptoms will vary based on the pet. Some are very good at hiding their pain.Your pet may not engage in activities they once enjoyed. Chronic joint pain can cause them to limp, or avoid jumping up or down. They may move more slowly, or have a loss of appetite. In some cases, your pet may cry or whine, particularly when moving or eating. Labored breathing is another sign to look out for.
Chronic Pain Treatment
Most chronic pain conditions can't be cured, but they can be treated by a veterinarian. Treatment can reduce pain and other symptoms, allowing your pet to live its best life. Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions can often be treated with NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Steroid medications can also help reduce inflammation.
Severe pain may be managed with opioid medication. These are often used after surgical procedures, and when other medications aren't adequately controlling pain. Other types of medication for pain include Tramadol and gabapentin, which can help relieve nerve pain.
Other Treatment Options
Other treatment options may be used as well. Dental pain is often treated with dental procedures. Some types of orthopedic pain can be treated with surgery.
Chronic Pain Management with Coral Gables Animal Hospital
Your furry friend doesn't have to suffer from chronic pain. Our skilled team can identify and treat the causes of chronic pain, so your pet can continue enjoying its life. If your pet is in pain in Coral Gables, FL, contact Coral Gables Animal Hospital today to schedule an appointment.