Pain ManagementPain is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage” (Weiner’s Pain Management, 7th edition).

It seems obvious what pain is for humans. Pain in companion animals can be as obvious as in people, however, it also can be very challenging to recognize in some individual pets. We have found significant differences in the way pain or discomfort may be demonstrated between cats and dogs, and even individuals within cat and dog breeds. It would be extremely helpful if we could communicate more clearly with pets. It is very important to look (observe your pets’ behavior), listen, touch and be empathetic, to better understand companion animals in regard to pain.

Signs of CANINE pain:

  • Decrease in activity level
  • Changes in behavior (less alert than usual, restless, abnormal aggression or apprehension when handled, difference in how dog responds to people)
  • Shivering
  • Increased panting
  • Biting, scratching, or guarding a particular area of the body
  • Abnormal body position (not lying down naturally or favoring a part of the body)
  • Unusual posture
  • Decrease or lack of appetite
  • Changes in vocalization (unusual whimpering or howling, unprovoked growling, quieter than normal)

Signs of FELINE pain:

  • Ungroomed appearance
  • Changes in facial expression
  • Irritability when approached or handled
  • Hiding more than usual
  • Decrease or lack of appetite
  • Incessant licking
  • Aversion to being petted or brushed
  • Unusually quiet
  • Limping or favoring a limb
  • Stiff or abnormal body posture
  • Avoids jumping onto things or has difficulty doing so

At Companion Animal Medical Center we believe in a multi-modal approach to pain relief. the term “multi-modal” refers to a focused approach for managing or eliminating pain by employing multiple therapies and modalities including: