Dogs that suffer from chronic pain experience a serious decline in quality of life, yet the signs of chronic pain can be difficult for even the most attentive pet parents to spot. Here, our Union City vets discuss chronic pain in dogs, the signs and treatments that can help your dog live more comfortably.

What is chronic pain in dogs?

Although we can generally do a commendable job, there might be circumstances beyond our control. We strive to provide love and care for our canine companions just like we do for our own human family members. Chronic pain is a condition that can cause significant discomfort and greatly diminish your dog's quality of life.

How to Know if Your Dog Suffers From Chronic Pain

If you think your furry companion might be dealing with ongoing pain, take note of any signs and symptoms you notice and bring them in for a comprehensive examination to eliminate any other possible causes.

The following pain assessment methods may be used by your vet to diagnose your dog's condition:

  • Veterinary examination
  • Physiologic biomarkers
  • Objective measurements of gait (eg, force plate) and/or activity and movement (eg, accelerometer)
  • Owner assessment of activities of daily living (ADL)
  • Multifactorial clinical measurement instruments.

The Causes of Chronic Pain in Dogs

Chronic pain is a common issue for dogs, with osteoarthritis being the leading cause, affecting around 40% of them. Osteoarthritis can be caused by hereditary and other congenital factors, which have the potential to impact dogs of all ages and breeds.

Chronic pain in dogs can also be caused by:

  • Intervertebral disk disease IVDD
  • Cancer
  • Dental Health Problems

Treatments for Chronic Pain in Dogs

It is important to avoid giving your dog medications that are meant for humans. Our pets can be harmed by many medications that we take. When your dog is diagnosed with a condition that causes chronic pain, veterinarians will determine the recommended treatment based on the underlying cause of the pain.

For painful dental health conditions, surgery is often the most effective treatment option.

Chronic pain related to cancer can be treated a number of ways, including oral medications and topical medications.

Laser Therapy to Treat Chronic Pain in Dogs

Veterinary laser therapy is a fairly new method of treatment for symptoms related to various disorders and is most commonly used to help manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing for your pet.

Therapeutic lasers utilize light waves of a specific wavelength to modify the physiology of the affected tissues. During treatment, the lasers emit light that stimulates cells in the tissues, promoting faster cellular regeneration.

The wavelength of the laser used determines which tissue can be affected. Most lasers emit near-infrared light, and the use of lower wavelength lasers is becoming increasingly popular. Skin-related issues can be treated using low-wavelength lasers, while deep tissue repair can be targeted by higher-wavelength lasers.

If you're interested in learning more about how veterinary laser therapy can benefit your dog, it's a good idea to speak to your vet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog suffering from chronic pain? Contact Reelfoot Animal Hospital today to book an examination for your pup. Our vets can prescribe medications and treatments for your pet to help relieve pain and improve quality of life.