The professionals at Veterinary Medical Associates put a priority on keeping your pets comfortable and pain free. We follow the pain management guidelines set by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), setting the standard for extraordinary care of companion animals.
Assessing for Pain at Every Visit
Our veterinarians check for pain in every patient, even at regular wellness exams. Pain is always an indicator of a problem: illness, injury, or abnormal condition. It is our goal to identify sources of pain in your pet before other symptoms occur. This early identification of health problems allows us to apply prompt treatment and relief.
To assess for pain, we palpate the body and flex all joints. We may have the patient walk, sit, stand, or run to observe the gait, energy, and condition of your pet. Other diagnostics may be performed as well, such as X-rays, ultrasound, or lab work. And we evaluate any changes in behavior, such as a reduction in activity or decrease in appetite.
Pets typically hide their pain, a protective mechanism that often fools pet owners into believing their companions are healthy and comfortable. Signs of pain are there, but they can be subtle. Some indicators of pet pain include:
- Restlessness or lethargy
- Excessive licking, chewing, or scratching
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden aggression or snapping, especially when handled
- Limping, refusing to climb stairs or jump, or unwilling to play
- Inappropriate elimination or accidents
While these can be indicators of pet pain, any unusual behavior or changes in your pet’s routine should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian. We will perform an assessment to be certain your companion is well.
Surgical Pain Prevention
Pain management before, during, and after pet surgery is always necessary and appropriate. We anticipate the level of pain in each surgical patient and initiate protocols to block pain before it happens. Our hospital uses the safest anesthesia available, testing the patient prior to surgery to identify the level of risk. After surgery, you receive pain medications to administer at home, keeping your pet comfortable throughout the healing process.
Comfort for Pets, Peace of Mind for You
Whatever the need, we keep your pet comfortable and relaxed for optimum healing and a commitment to compassionate care. We provide our patients with a combination of traditional and alternative pain reduction treatments, including veterinary chiropractic and laser therapy.
When there are no more options for a cure, or your aging companion is nearing the end of life, we offer a variety of pain management techniques. Our focus is on providing humane comfort and relaxation until the end.