In recent years, veterinarians have made great strides in understanding how animals exhibit pain and how it can be managed.
Many animals will instinctively hide pain as a survival mechanism, which in the past led to incorrect assumptions on their ability to feel pain.
Pain management has become an important topic in veterinary medicine. New guidelines show that pain management helps improve the recovery process, whether from illness, surgery, or injury. Pain management can also reduce stress and increase the quality of life, so it can potentially help your pet live longer.
Understanding pain is an important part of management. There are two types of pain to understand: acute pain and chronic pain.
Acute pain is sudden pain. It is often a result of injury, inflammation, or infection. Acute pain is usually temporary. We offer pain management after surgeries, dental extractions, and for injuries. After surgeries, we can give an injection which can last a minimum of 24 hours and in addition send home pain medication to keep them comfortable.
Chronic pain is classified as pain that last longer than two weeks. It can be acute pain that goes untreated or pain that develops over time. Chronic pain that goes untreated can be harder to control the longer the pain goes on. Chronic pain can include: osteoarthritis, dental disease, and cancer.
East Springs Animal Hospital strives for advanced pain relief. We can provide this with offering advanced alternatives which include: epidurals, constant rate infusions of medications, and local anesthetic blocks.
Epidurals are when we inject pain medication into the fluid around the spinal cord in the patients back. The epidural injection is used to desensitize nerves and stop the progression of pain. The injection used provides a pain relief effect in the hind limbs without causing paralysis. This is similar to what a woman would get for childbirth. We typically use epidurals for hind limb surgery or tail surgeries.
Constant rate infusions are a way to continuously give pain medication through an intravenous catheter. This keeps the patients comfortable after an extensive surgery, which can include: orthopedics, abdominal exploratories, and cystotomies.
Local anesthetic blocks are injections that block pain to a specific area providing a local loss of sensation. There are a number of different blocks that can be performed. We regularly do blocks on spays and neuters, dental extractions, and abdominal surgeries.