Is your pet in pain???
Your pet may easily tell you they are painful by crying or limping... Difficulty getting up and down.... Difficulty getting in and out of the bed, or on and off the couch, or asks to be put into the car instead of jumping up themselves...
Most pets, however, will hide pain symptoms. Especially in cases of chronic pain. Their symptoms are much more subtle and non specific... Look for changes in eating habits, decreases in activity levels and stamina, decreasing play behavior, increasing irritability, changes in sleeping places, urinating and/or defecating in inappropriate places, changes in showing happiness, changes in greeting behavior, changes in relaxing behavior. If any of these have occurred, whether suddenly, or over the course of months or years, your pet may be in pain... If you can honestly say that your pet is not the same pet you knew and loved when they first came home, your pet may be in pain....
My pet has difficulty because they are old....
Old age is not a disease. Your pet may have a chronic disease, yes. However, the number one reason a pet acts "old" is because they are painful. Dealing with pain, day in and day out, with no relief, is very debilitating. It can lead to poor appetite, weakness, depression and irritability. Relieve the pain... and you may just have your happy playful pet back!
How can you tell what hurts??
Veterinarians have years of practice using non verbal communication to help us figure out what is wrong with your pet. We listen carefully to what you think is wrong with them, we ask questions regarding your pet's activities and habits, and we perform a full physical exam. We may suspect there is some kind of disease process; and, if so, we may want to try and figure out what is medically wrong with your pet.
But sometimes, nothing is "wrong", they are just painful. So, how do they "tell" us what hurts?? When looking for pain, we can get your pet to "respond" to areas that we think are having problems. But every pet is different in pain response, some will wince, some will flick their ear, some will move away. Some, like most cats, will just quietly turn and look at us. So, throughout the exam, we have to "ask" them multiple times and we have to carefully observe them to determine what really hurts them vs what is simply uncomfortable and annoying to them.
I think my pet is in pain... What next??
Our goal is to relieve pain so that your pet returns to an active, happy, joyful life. Depending on the cause of the pain, the duration of the pain, the severity of the pain, and any other underlying disease, we develop a plan that works best for you and your pet.
Alternative pain therapies, such as acupuncture and herbal therapies, are:
EFFECTIVE!! (Really! Studies show that acupuncture has the same pain relief as morphine!)
FEW TO NO SIDE EFFECTS!! --- CAN BE USED LONG TERM!!!
CAN BE COMBINED WITH WESTERN THERAPIES!! --- NO DRUG INTERACTIONS TO WORRY ABOUT!!!