Friday is here again and the Turkey coma is almost passed. Actually, I will be having daily turkey comas for a couple more days. Anyway, I wanted to share another client misconception. It's the "Hey Doc, he's a little stiff on the stairs but I don't think he's in pain because he doesn't cry", misconception.
Here's the deal, if your dog is stiff, slow to rise, or limping (even if it is a subtle limp), he is in pain. (I've picked the male gender for this patient because we tend to be worse about this particular oversight than female owners. Don't know why, just an observation)
Think about it. When was the last time you had a limp? Why were you limping? I bet it was because your leg hurt. The same goes for when you have a tough time on the stairs, or can't get up off of the ground after playing with a grandchild, the challenge is due to pain in a joint or your back. The pain is real and can be debilitating.
Dogs and cats give us subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) signs of pain and discomfort. Abnormal movement, decreased activity, missed jumps, you get the picture. While these changes are often seen more frequently in older pets, they are not normal and the pain will decrease the quality of life. If you notice these changes or anything similar, it is important to have a complete orthopedic examination at the veterinarian. At that time, the doctor may recommend radiographs to determine the exact nature of the problem and the source of the pain. Then, and only then, can a safe and effective treatment plan be formulated.
We use a multi modal approach to the management of chronic orthopedic pain in our patients. Diet, supplements, medications, laser therapy, joint injections, and stem cell therapy are just some of the weapons in our battle against chronic pain in pets.
If your dog is limping, or if your cat can't jump on the counter or make it into the litter box anymore, give your vet a call and get to the bottom of the problem and relieve your pet's pain.