Pain Recognition and Treatment Options in Pets


September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, established by IVAPM (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management).  You might be wondering why tbert-2sept2015-42he pain recognition in animals needs to have its own month?  The answer is simple – animals are extremely good at hiding signs of pain.  Some animals are very stoic and suffer in silence, especially cats.  Other animals may show signs of pain, but they can wax and wane which makes it confusing to know if they are in pain – an example is an on/off lameness.


How to do you know if your pet is in pain?

The signs of pain in pets can be variable and sometimes even absent.  Generally, we recommend that you watch for subtle such as changes in your pet’s behavior, activity level, and/or appetite.  Additionally, showing less interest in interactions that they usually enjoy, over-grooming (licking excessively in a particular area) or lack of grooming, difficulty walking or rising from a down, acting fearful, or limping should raise concerns for possible pain.  Please check out the link to the Pawsitive Steps Rehab Pain management webpage for more information.  IVAPM has also developed good tools to assess if your pet may be experiencing pain (Dog Pain chart, Cat Pain chart).  Finally, if you think that something your pet is experiencing might hurt you, it probably hurts them too.  Examples of this would include falling down stairs, etc.


The Crazy Little Thing Called Rehab

by Kim SchurPippa

Veterinary Physical Rehabilitation for Pets – REALLY?

If you have never heard of Veterinary Physical Rehabilitation, you are not alone!  Many people don’t realize it is even available.  Human doctors often recommend physical t
herapy to their patients prior to surgery, after surgery, for the treatment of injuries, and for pain management.  We know the benefits, so why not give our furry family members the same excellent care?

What is Veterinary Physical Rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation therapy for animals is very similar to physical therapy for humans.  Rehabilitation techniques can be used to decrease pain, reduce inflammation and increase mobility to improve quality of life for veterinary patients.