Arun Veterinary Group

Does my dog need pain relief?

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Arun Veterinary Group

There are undoubtedly many companion animals out there that require pain relief to improve their day to day activities but how can we know they’re in pain when they can’t tell us?

Dogs are remarkably stoic creatures in that they do tend to get on with life, even when they are inconvenienced in some way or another. Any Spaniel owner will agree when their hound tears through a bramble bush in pursuit of a Rabbit that the cuts and bruises that ensue certainly don’t slow them down or indeed result in them giving up on the chase!

Equally speaking we frequently see dog owners in consult on a Monday morning with a cut pad or belly which are often days old, caused from “that” walk in the woods at the weekend. They tend to be coincidental findings when petting their dogs later on and are often followed with the tag line “He never even let me know!”

With this in mind, the same can be said of our elderly companion animals who we know probably suffer from some kind of arthritic pain simply due to the wear and tear of age.  It is in these patients that we can perhaps do the most good.

That elderly Labrador which has been active for his entire life and still does an hour walk every day without complaining. Or that middle aged Jack Russell that runs everywhere he goes and barely has time to get all four feet on the ground.

Or even that 7 year old German Shepherd, who has never understood stairs since he was a puppy and bunny-hops up every time. At first glance these dogs are getting on with life, and probably loving every minute spent with their respective humans.

Also consider that the Labrador sleeps the rest of the day and is noticeably stiff when he stands up and takes a while to get going in the mornings, these all typical symptoms of Osteoarthitic pain.

In the case of the Jack Russell, who being lightweight and agile has learnt to get along on three legs, disguises the fact that he actually has a knee cap complaint.

Even the German Shepherd, with the charming characteristic of hopping up stairs whilst adorable to post on social media actually proves a necessity due to ill fitting hip joints. All of the above could benefit from some form of pain relief.

As pet owners we can all perhaps recognise when our pet is having a bad day but these can actually tend to just be “spikes” in an otherwise potentially chronic pain situation. By treating the “background pain” as well we can see dramatic behavioural changes.

That Labrador plays with his toys and plods about when he would otherwise be sleeping, rises more easily and even goes as far as waking his owner up in the morning for a walk.

That Jack Russell spends more time walking on all four feet, gets less puffed as a result and manages an extra 30 mins of playtime before turning for home.

And even that German Shepherd, whose gait completely changes, manages stairs in a more even manner and now pulls toward hills that he would have otherwise avoided.

Here at Arun Veterinary Group we can Mobility & Pain score your pet to assess what level of pain they may well be stoically dealing with and advise on particular pain relief pathways whether that be medications, laser therapy, physiotherapy or a combination of all.

Similarly, if your pet is on a pain relieving medication but you still feel they could do with some extra help, contact us to book an appointment.

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