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  • Tuesday: 8am - 6pm
  • Wednesday: 8am - 6pm
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Emergency Information »

Pain Management


pet doctor

When it comes to managing your pet’s pain, our practice offers and the highest quality of care utilizing compassion and the most effective medical treatments available. We develop a unique pain management plan to best serve the individual needs of your pet. This plan may include medication, complementary treatment like therapeutic LASER, acupuncture or a combination of all available treatments.

Pets often share traits in common with their humans like a love of popcorn or an achy hip. Research has shown animals also share the way they experience pain. Therefore, you may recognize some medications, techniques and care for animal pain that your own doctor similarly prescribed for you. Common medications we prescribe for pets include analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflamatories (NSAIDs), anti-anxiety medications or topical anesthetics. However, it is very important to note that you should never give your pet medication designed for a human unless first consulting with us. Many medications designed for humans can cause life-threatening and irreversible reactions in animals. As with small children, medications should be kept out of reach of your pet.

We may also prescribe lifestyle changes for your pet. A specific diet, soft bedding, a few more rounds of fetch, raised food and water dishes or an extra snuggle now and then are just some of the things that may help your pet’s pain at home.

Many pets experience successful pain relief through complementary medicine. Acupuncture, chiropractic care, nutritional support or physical therapy often assist our practice to better manage your pet’s pain. Therapies such as massage, heat or strength building may seem familiar while some of our newer technology and machines might sound new to you. Our practice sometimes employs the use of a low level laser to relieve pain. Acupuncture is another commonly used modality.  Additional pain relieving modalities are available at Vet-REC: Veterinary Rehabilitation and Exercise Clinic next door and your Indian Trail Animal Hospital veterinarian may make a referral for you.

Determining whether your pet’s pain it is acute or chronic is the first step to identifying the cause. Acute pain is often sudden and triggered by a specific event. For example if your pet experiences an injury, they may experience acute pain. However, chronic pain persists over the long term and causes may include conditions such as joint inflammation, arthritis, or unattended tooth decay.

Pain and discomfort in pets are notoriously difficult for pet parents to assess.  If you think your pet may be in pain, they probably are.  Some common signs of pain in your pet may include:

  • Limping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and / or vomiting
  • Vocalization (less common)
  • Change in temperament or behavior
  • Licking a specific area
  • Change in bathroom habits
  • Panting
  • Appearance of the third eyelid
  • Hiding
  • Increased licking
  • Appearing more tired or less interactive than usual

Early intervention is important when it comes to managing your pet’s pain.  Notify our practice right away if you notice any of the above signs so we can take action to assist your pet.

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