Several conditions such as arthritis can cause chronic pain. Many owners don’t know that their pet is in pain or don’t think they are. Often pain is not as obvious as vocalizing or pacing around. Sometimes pain manifests as a change in behaviour such as the cat that no longer goes up on the window ledge or chooses to sleep on the floor rather than a favourite chair or the dog who doesn’t come upstairs anymore or is lagging behind on walks.
If a pet is found to be in pain there are ways of treating it. Long term use of Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) has become safer with the newer ones such as meloxicam. Cats are more sensitive to these drugs and long term use is either off-label or not recommended. When used liver and kidney function should be monitored routinely and any sign of stomach upset should be reported to a veterinarian and the drug stopped immediately.
For arthritis there are various nutraceuticals such as glucosamine, and injectables such as Cartrophen that can be used to stimulate cartilage healing and the production of joint fluid which helps to keep the joints lubricated. Dosing and the brand used are important considerations.
New to our arsenal to combat chronic pain is our Therapeutic Laser. This non-invasive, non-painful treatment decreases pain, swelling and inflammation around affected joints. A series of six treatments in the first three weeks are followed by a single treatment every two-three weeks depending on how well the pet is doing. We have several certified staff members on staff delivering this exciting new treatment. Please see the separate section on this web-site devoted to our laser.