“I have a splitting headache.”
“My arthritis flared up again.”
“I’m so sore from working in the yard that I can hardly move.”
How many times a day do we hear our friend, coworkers or even ourselves complain about being in pain? What do we do about it? Generally we self medicate. Why not? We know where and often why we hurt. How do we deal with the day-to-day aches and pains that all of us have? We take a pill, apply an ointment, or take some other type of remedy and go on about our daily lives.
Our pets have pain too. It’s pretty noticeable when they whimper, whine, or yelp that something is wrong. But how do you know that they are hurting when their signs of pain are not so obvious?
Here’s a quick list of signs to look for to determine if your dog is in pain.
Your typically active or independent pet may be in pain if they
- become unusually withdrawn, inactive, or restless.
- become exceptionally clingy.
- are reluctant to or refuse to walk stairs.
- no longer jump on furniture that they typically jump on.
- slow to rise after naps.
- avoid being lifted or carried.
- bite or continually lick a particular part of the body.
- flatten ears against the head.
- stop eating.
If you suspect that your pet is in pain whether it is from illness, or an injury, seek assistance from a trusted veterinarian. Your veterinarian will diagnose your pet’s condition and recommend treatment.
Depending upon the diagnosis, there are several options for treatment. Discuss with your vet which one is best for you and the long-term health of your dog. You may want to consider combining traditional and alternative forms of therapy for optimum results.
Traditional Pain Therapy
NON-STEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS
NSAIDs are frequently used to treat chronic and acute pain and inflammation in animals. These are prescription medications such as Rimadyl, Derramax, Metacam, etc.
Natural Pain Therapy
Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy, also referred to as animal chiropractic, is applied to correct common misalignments in the spine, restoring motion to the spine, as well as proper nerve and muscle function.
Acupuncture is the practice of the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response.
Laser therapy for pain can minimize or sometimes eliminate the need for additional medications for pain. It stimulates healing in tissue by dilating blood and lymph vessels.
Alternative Pain Therapy
These natural supplements are non-drug nutrients that play a significant role in strengthening normal body tissues, repairing damaged tissues and improving efficient body metabolism. Glucosamine and chondroitin are examples of nutraceuticals that could be used for pain.
Homeopathic remedies sometimes referred to as Homotoxicology comprise the use of plant and animal materials to stimulate the body into action.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE VETERINARY MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) is a holistic approach that considers the each being as a whole—body, mind and spirit—and takes into account both diet and environment.
Many advances have been made in veterinary medicine to give us some of the same treatment options for our pets as we have for ourselves. Talk with your vet about what is best for you and your dog.