Dr. Bennett’s Thoughts on:

PAIN

If your pet is not moving around like a young pet, it is most likely from pain.  If not using a limb/foot properly, think pain.

Pain can be from poor genetics causing conditions like elbow changes or hip dysplasia and similar problems.  In general these conditions lead to arthritis. Arthritis hurts!  Sometimes it is from injury or other conditions.  So, what can we do to help keep our pet from hurting?

Control of pain is through a multi-modal plan.  Different drugs and supplements do different things to stop or control pain.  If your pet is experiencing pain, we can combine our medications and supplements to have a balanced treatment plan.

  1. Control their Body Condition Score. Get the extra fat off of them.
  2. Encourage regular moderate exercise. Swimming is extra beneficial.
  3. Use supplements
    1. For any cause of pain or arthritis your pet may benefit from fatty acid supplementation, in particular omega 3 fatty acids. Cats and Small dogs  <15 # can have 300-500 mg omega 3 per day, medium dogs 15 – 40# 500 to 1000 mg, large dogs 40-70 # 1000 to 1500 mg and larger dogs 2000 mg per day.  There are veterinary formulas and human formulas – even just using fish oil capsules.  Read the label. Dose for the omega 3 amount, not the total mg that may be listed.   For picky pets you can use krill oil which is not fishy tasting.
    2. Glucosamine and Glycosaminoglycans. Favorite products include Dasuquin, Cosequin, Vetri-Science Glycoflex. Many of the products have other substances or proprietary blends that may be beneficial.  Follow instructions on the bottle.
    3. Turmeric with Bromelain. Available in 300 mg capsules.  Give two times daily. 1 in small to medium breeds, 2 in medium to large breeds and 3 in large to giant breeds.
  4. Massage – Gentle massage of muscles should help keep blood flowing to muscles. Only do this if the pet enjoys it.
  5. Laser therapy – please ask your technician for treatment information
  6. Acupuncture- please ask your technician where acupuncture is available.
  7. Use medications.
    1. Prescription Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs). These are about the greatest things available for most of our dogs and cats for reducing pain AND inflammation.  Unless there is a specific reason to NOT use a prescription NSAID on your pet with pain, you should.  Contraindications include pre-existing liver or kidney disease, idiosyncratic drug reaction or gastric ulcers which are reason not to use them.   Blood work is needed to determine your pet’s ability to start long term use and to continue to use these medications. 
    2. Prescription Gabapentin. This medication augments the effects of other pain medications. It does cause some sleepiness. Some pets can take it once daily at bedtime. Others benefit from a 2 times daily dose.
    3. Prescription Adequan. Adequan is a nonpainful injectable form of polysulfated glycosaminoglycans.  This product is not a pain killer; it is used for our dogs and cats to have molecular building blocks to maintain their joint health. Joints with the needed building blocks hurt less.  The maintenance schedule of this drug is once every 1 to 3 weeks.  It can be given at home or at the clinic.  There are oral forms of glycosaminoglycans that help but not as effectively as the injection.
    4. Other prescription products that may be used include Amantadine, Tylenol with Codeine, etc