Sick Dog Laying Down With Ice Pack

Pain Management

How Do Pets Communicate Pain?

Animals have an innate ability, a survival mechanism, hardwired into them to hide their weaknesses, because when they show illness or weakness, they become the prey. Less than 1% of pets will vocalize, or cry out when in pain.  The majority of the time they try to show you in a VERY small way; for example most cats will urinate outside of the litter box to say “something is wrong” and often the “something” that is wrong is not urinary tract related.  Some pets will become more withdrawn or pouty or clingy.  Sometimes they will eat less or slower, while others will eat like there is no tomorrow until the very end.

How We Can Help

Here at Hopewell, we make it our goal to prevent pain where we can and identify and treat pain everywhere else.  Our veterinarians are specially trained to communicate with patients on a deeper level, especially identifying pain. 

  • Thorough Exams: The physical exam is the most important diagnostic tool in our box.  It may not always tell us everything, but it certainly opens up the lines of communication when a pet is in pain.
  • Surgery: All of our surgical patients are pre-medicated with pain medications to decrease their pain even before the procedure starts. 
  • Timeliness: It can be so upsetting to call your vet office and hear, “I’m sorry we don’t have any openings today,” when your pet is in pain or sick. Our team does everything within our power to get pets seen as soon as possible, and are trained to understand the urgency of different situations.
  • Senior Pets: Our geriatric team goes the extra mile for your senior dogs and cats that may be as stubborn as can be, but really aren’t feeling as spry as they once were.  We want them running around like puppies and kittens enjoying every precious moment they have with you.

Types of Pain Management

Medications

There are several different types of pain medications, some are anti-inflammatories, others are for nerve pain, or chronic pain. Different types of medication will work best for different species, breeds, ages, and ailments – thankfully, our vets are trained to help figure out the best course of action for your individual pet’s needs!

Homeopathic Supplements

We have several homeopathic medications and supplements that we recommend, and when used in conjunction with other pain medications for our more painful cases, they allow lower dosing to achieve the same positive outcomes. 

Cold Laser Therapy

Cold Laser Therapy is a drug-free, surgery-free, pain-free relief for your companion. Cold Laser Therapy allows your pet to heal faster after surgery or any traumatic injury. It eases pain and improves mobility without the use of pharmaceuticals and surgery.

Disorders that respond best to laser therapy:

  • Pain Relief
  • Wound Healing
  • Arthritic Conditions
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Pyotraumatic Dermatitis
  • Post-Surgical Pain Relief
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Lick Granulomas
  • Degloving Injuries
  • Dermatological Conditions
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Otitis

If you have questions or concerns about your pets’ comfort, even simple questions like “how do you know this hurts” or “I want to be proactive in preventing and monitoring my pet for pain at home,” please feel free to ask us during your pet’s exam.  We are here for you just as much as we are for them.