The physiological method of pain perception is similar in humans and many pets. Therefore, if you think this injury, procedure or illness would cause you pain or discomfort, then it will probably be the same for your pet.

Dogs and cats display a wide variety of responses to pain. Some may vocalize their pain, while others may act withdrawn or inactive. Some may act aggressive, while others may simply lick at the affected area.

If you notice a change in behavior, we recommend that you bring your pet in for an examination. Here are some of the things to look for:

1. Decreased activity
2. Stiffness or limping
3. Reluctance to move around
4. Difficulty rising from a resting position
5. Soreness when touched
6. Acting aggressive or withdrawn
7. Personality changes
8. Chewing painful areas

If the pain is due to osteoarthritis, understand that providing pain relief is the compassionate response. Today, there are many drugs that are specifically used for pain and inflammation in dogs. Walker Veterinary Hospital has a wide choice available. Dr. Boden would decide which is best for your pet.

It is a different matter with cats. There are only a very few drugs which are not toxic to cats. NEVER use any medicine not okayed by the doctor!

In providing comfort, pain relief fills another important role. Pain is a form of stress, and pain-induced distress can have a variety of negative effects on the overall health of the animal. An animal with chronic pain often becomes inactive, thus leading to weight gain. Of course, this is worse for medical problems such as spinal disc disease and arthritis.

An animal with acute pain may actually be dangerous because of its natural response to protect itself.

Do not hesitate to have your pet examined by the doctor, and to share your views of your pet’s behavior. Discussing your options will help you and the doctor decide which pain product best fits the needs of your pet.