It’s Such a Pain…or does it have to be?

“Pain…a sensation of distress, discomfort or agony due to stimulation of specialized nerve endings.” (Dorland’s Medical Dictionary) 

Pain is a part of life and, in fact, is necessary to our well-being. Without pain, we would suffer irreparable damage to our bodies and have a very short life span. However, pain can be detrimental to our health and can make recovery from disease and injury protracted and, sometimes, impossible.

Pets possess the same perceptions of pain as their owners. Surgery hurts, arthritis hurts, trauma hurts. As a health provider, veterinarians are bound by oath to alleviate or minimize pain. To do anything less is failure to fulfill a patent’s right to quality medical care.

How are you assured your pet is receiving adequate pain management? The first thing to do is ask your veterinarian what methods of pain management are available. The answer you should receive is that there are many and a “pain management plan” will be tailored to your pet’s needs and condition. Additionally, pain management will be administered prior to any medical or surgical procedure that may inflict discomfort.

What types of pain management methods are most effective? Any of these methods will be helpful but, multiple techniques are usually going to be best. See if your veterinarian offers narcotics, epidural injections, NSAIDS (drugs in the aspirin family), continuous rate infusions, and local and regional anesthetics. Medications should be dispensed for home use if continued pain is anticipated. If you don’t feel comfortable with the answers you receive about your pet’s care, get another veterinary opinion.

You are the guardian of your pet’s well-being. Don’t hesitate to question his or her veterinarian about the “pain management plan,” and if you have further concerns, contact us at 703-759-4500 or email: Colvet@Aol.Com