white kitten with infected eye

Standards of Care for Pain Management

Prevention or reduction of pain in your pet is the cornerstone of compassionate veterinary care. For years veterinarians have underestimated the level of pain pets experience and consequently have under-treated for pain. Today we recognize that pets hide their pain response by a variety of behaviors, but in fact feel pain and need appropriate pain management.

Elizabeth Animal Hospital recognizes that the best way to control pain associated with surgery and dentistry is to treat pain preemptively and with a multi-modal approach using safe pain medications. Our bottom line goal is to keep our patients comfortable.

dog covered with blanket

Treating Pain Preemptively

Elizabeth Animal Hospital requires that all patients undergoing potentially painful procedures receive appropriate preemptive and multi-modal pain management.

We provide all of the following for a single pain management charge:

  • Local anesthetic as required.
  • Single injection of Rimadyl® as required.
  • Single post-operative injection of appropriate micro-dose analgesic.

The amount of the charge represents a significant reduction in standard fees and reflects our commitment to pain management and relief for all patients.

Chronic Pain Management

Chronic pain in pets has traditionally been defined by its duration (pain that persists for weeks to months). In veterinary medicine, the most common causes include osteoarthritis, cancer pain and neuropathic pain. In all cases, it significantly impairs the quality of life of the patient.

Treatment of chronic pain can be problematic. Many forms of it become "resistant" to single-agent therapy over time, necessitating a multi-modal approach to therapy. The following is a brief list of some of medications used in the alleviation of chronic pain:

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) remain the mainstay of therapy for chronically painful patients. Rimadyl® is our first choice NSAID for dogs and Metacam® for dogs or cats. Multiple trials may be required to find the right combination of analgesics. Animals with chronic pain should be rechecked frequently to assess response to therapy and monitor for side effects. NSAID panels (therapeutic drug monitoring) should be run annually to check kidney and liver function. With patience, determination and a willingness to try new techniques, the lives of many of our patients with chronic pain can be dramatically improved.

dog receiving massage therapy for pain

Chiropractic and/or Laser Therapy Benefits From Stacy Whitton, DVM

We are happy to have Dr. Stacy Whitton come to Elizabeth Animal Hospital once a month to provide this valuable service for our furry patients! Dr. Whitton loves helping dogs and cats feel their best.

Our pets have aches and pains just like we do. Many times they can benefit from a chiropractic adjustment or laser therapy. If this is something you think may help your pet, ask us for more details!

The many benefits of Chiropractic and/or Laser Therapy include:

  • reduce the discomfort of acute or chronic pain
  • relieve hypertonic (knotted) muscles
  • relieve pain caused by a pathology (disease, sickness, injury, etc.)
  • improve flexibility,
  • increase range of motion,
  • improve muscle tone,
  • strengthen the immune system
  • improve athletic performance and endurance.

Surgery animals can get great benefits from Chiropractic and Laser Therapy and it can be invaluable in your pet's healing process. Talk to your doctor and to Dr. Whitton to explore whether your pet is a good candidate.

Dogs are the prime candidates for Chiropractic and Laser Therapy because they are more likely to lie still long enough to get the benefits of the massage. Most dogs actually find the experience enjoyable and very relaxing. They often look forward to their next Chiropractic and/or Laser visit.

Cats can get just as many benefits from Chiropractic and Laser Therapy as dogs. However, many cats may not tolerate it as well because their patience for such intense attention can be limited. Happily, a few cats love attention so much they will tolerate the Chiropractic and/or Laser Therapy just fine.

Contact us to consult with Dr. Whitton or one of our doctors to determine if Chiropractic and/or Laser Therapy is right for your pets.