Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Tips for Pets in Pain?

For pet lovers the thought of your pet being in pain is very upsetting.

In the past, veterinarians were trained to not give much worry to the physical pain pets can suffer. In a Fox New report Dr. Dawn Boothe, DVM and professor of clinical pharmacology at Auburn University stated:

"Twenty years ago, veterinary schools taught that animals don't feel pain to the degree that humans do, so there wasn't much attention paid to the issue."

Fortunately, today the school of thinking has changed quite a bit and now pet owners are encouraged to observe their pets carefully for signs they are in pain. And, they are encouraged to take action to help make them more comfortable.

While pets with severe injuries like a broken leg will usually display clear signs of pain such as severe limping or crying, experts say that pets suffering from chronic pain aren't always so easy to detect.

According to Dr. Sandee Hartsfield, DVM, a professor of small-animal medicine and surgery at Texas A&M University:

"A pet with an acute injury like a broken leg is more likely to respond to you by moving away or biting or pawing you, while a pet suffering from chronic pain such as arthritis tends to be quieter than usual."

Arthritis is a general term that refers to a great number of conditions where there is a loss of viscosity and lubrication of the joint. This begins as mild and occasional inflammation (just like with humans) but then develops into a chronic condition that involves actual deterioration of the cartilage that surrounds the joint. Cats and dogs are highly prone to arthritis... especially as they age.

There are signs that indicate that your pet is suffering from joint pain. It may get up slowly after sleeping. It may be reluctant to run or even walk or have trouble hopping into the car. In the worst cases, he or she yelps when you pet him.

Other possible signs that your pet may be suffering from chronic pain are:

Loss of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Distancing itself socially
Below are a few suggestions from veterinarians to help relieve chronic pet joint pain in pets:

Gentle massage with hands or applying heat with warm moist towels to tender areas.
Carefully monitoring diet to prevent excess weight which aggravates joint problems
Comfortable bedding
Dietary supplementation with nutrients known to help with joint pain
Since our pets can't simply tell us when they are in pain you might want to carefully monitor your pets for signs of chronic pain and if trying the above suggestions doesn't help consider going to the vet.

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