Pain Management

Managing Your Pet’s Pain to Improve Quality of Life

At Jefferson Animal Hospitals, we take pain management seriously. Your pet will be given pain medication during any surgical or dental procedure and emergency situation as needed. Our pain management protocols are based on compassion and caring, and we are dedicated to making sure your pet‘s pain level and comfort are the most humane and pain free as possible at all times in our care. We are constantly seeking techniques and procedures that promise less pain and faster recoveries.

We believe in evidence-based pain management and consensus with pet owners as to whether a pet is feeling pain. Together we will recognize, prevent or minimize and treat any pain your pet may be feeling.

Pain is often difficult to assess in animals. Dogs and cats are very good at hiding pain and illness as a survival mechanism. Can you tell if your pet is in pain?

Signs of Pain in Pets:

  • Stops grooming, develops a funky hair coat
  • Grumpy or aggressive
  • Cowers, growls or snaps at the family
  • Shallow, rapid breathing, panting (however, panting in cats is always an emergency)
  • Difficulty going up and down stairs, not jumping on the furniture as usual
  • Licking or excessively chewing spots on the body
  • Restless, can’t get comfortable, (use soft padded beds)
  • Doesn’t want to be picked up, cowers, runs, cries
  • House training accidents because too painful to move, or can’t posture to go
  • Muscle shaking of rear limbs or forelegs

What can you do? There are many wonderful medications to treat pets in pain. HOWEVER, use extreme caution with “over the counter” medications like aspirin or Tylenol. Did you know Tylenol can be fatal to cats? And aspirin can cause bowel bleeding and stomach ulcers in dogs and is potentially toxic to kidneys. Ibuprofen is especially dangerous to use and is also kidney toxic. Always ask a veterinary professional for advice about pain medications. Prescription medications are safer for your pet. Our veterinarian will probably take a blood sample to check for healthy liver and kidney function before starting your pet on any long term pain medications.

Ask our trained staff if you have more questions about your pet’s pain levels.