Chronic pain is a common condition in pets. Joint problems and issues with the back and spine are the most frequent causes. The challenge is that it can often be difficult for you to tell when pets are painful. Cats and dogs will often get quiet, calmer, and less interactive with you when they are painful. You may also notice your pet limping, moving more slowly, or yelping unexpectedly. You may think dogs and cats slow down as they age, but often this is caused by joint or back pain. Our doctors can help you determine if your pet is in pain. More importantly, we can discuss tests such as digital x-rays to find out why your pet is painful and how we can help.
Neck and Back Pain
Some pets will stop jumping up on furniture or going upstairs with back pain. They also may yelp when you try to pick them up. With neck pain, some dogs will not turn their heads and not lower their heads to the food and water bowls. Slipped discs, arthritis of the spine, and muscle strains are the usual causes. Short-term treatment includes anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and nerve pain medicines. Laser therapy is useful for short-term pain control and long-term, to reduce the risk of flare-ups. A good Glucosamine-based joint vitamin is often helpful for long-term management. Proper diet is also vital in treating chronic pain, in terms of weight management and reducing inflammation.
Hip dysplasia, an inherited hip joint disorder, is one of the more common causes of hip pain in dogs. Symptoms often appear in young or middle-aged dogs. We can help diagnose this with an exam and digital x-rays. Because this is a long-term condition, we use a wide range of treatments to manage pain and slow the progression of arthritis. Joint vitamins, laser therapy, physical therapy, massage therapy, various pain medicines, and prescription diets all help with the treatment of this condition.
The most common causes of knee pain are injuries to the cranial cruciate ligament and luxating patellas. Our doctors can examine your pet to determine if these injuries are likely. Often, digital x-rays are used to confirm the diagnosis. These conditions sometimes require surgery. However, other treatments such as laser therapy, massage therapy, joint vitamins, prescription diets, and various pain medications are also helpful.
If you have concerns that your pet may be in pain, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. We can help! We can determine what is causing your pet’s pain. Most importantly, we can help you find ways to make your pet more comfortable and happy again.