There are many treatment options for management of your pet’s chronic pain. It can be very confusing to know which treatment modality is best for your pet. We often have the greatest success in slowing the progression of osteoarthritis and treating chronic pain using a multi-modal approach. This is much different than 20 years ago when our options were very limited. Consultation with our doctors and technicians about your pet’s specific needs can lead to a treatment plan to optimize care. Our goals are to provide maximum quality of life with minimal side effects. A few of the common options available include:
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) (Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx, Novox, etc):
These drugs are very effective in decreasing swelling at the site of pain (joint or other tissue). By decreasing swelling we can dramatically decrease pain. Side effects are very rare but can be severe, including internal organ damage. For this reason we require frequent monitoring of blood work. These drugs are much safer for your pet than aspirin, Tylenol or other human pain relievers.
These supplements (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Omega Fatty Acids, and ASU) come in many different forms and concentrations. Joint health supplements may be able to help decrease the process of cartilage breakdown in joints as arthritis progresses. We have seen positive results with early and continued use of quality joint support supplements. Nutraceuticals are not all regulated by the FDA, therefore a product’s claims and ingredients may be false, so it is very important to talk with your veterinarian about a pure, high quality and safe joint health supplement for your pet. Trusted products are available at your veterinary clinic.
- Other Pain Medication (Tramadol, Amantadine, Gabapentin, etc.):
Our doctors can prescribe additional pain relief for severe pain, in conjunction with other therapies. Similar to all medications, side effects can be significant, and dosage needs to be carefully monitored by a veterinarian.
This treatment, using very small sterile needles, has been used for pain relief since ancient times. Recently it has been scientifically proven to aid in reducing your pet’s pain. For most dogs the process is very painless and simple, and can be performed during an office visit. Most pets require 4-6 sessions before significant results are seen. Acupuncture is performed regularly at our clinic by a trained veterinarian.
- Laser Therapy:
Class IV Laser Therapy is FDA approved to help reduce pain and swelling in joints and muscles. It is non-invasive and has no side effects, making it a nice option for pets who can’t tolerate othermodalities. 5-8 sessions are usually needed for initial improvement. We are pleased to be certified and have a therapeutic laser at Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic, where a program will be tailored for your pet’s needs when treatment is started.
- Physical Rehabilitation:
Physical Rehabilitation has an established scientific basis in humans and companion animals to restore, maintain, and promote optimal physical function. It can also have significant benefits for older pets suffering from chronic pain, including slowing the progression of arthritis. A personalized plan can help to restore and maintain wellness and quality of life by decreasing pain and improving muscle mass and mobility, which is so often lost with pets that have arthritis. Our own Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner can evaluate your pet, design, and help you implement a complete program.
We know how confusing it can be when it comes to making choices on how to successfully manage your pet’s chronic pain. We are here to help. Please contact any of our staff members or doctors to help develop the most appropriate and beneficial individualized plan for your pet.