[vc_row][vc_column][trx_section box=”yes”][trx_title align=”center” color=”#d9ae4c” weight=”700″]

Pain Awareness

[/trx_title][trx_title align=”center” color=”#d9ae4c” weight=”700″]

Chronic Pain in Dogs

[/trx_title][trx_title type=”4″ align=”center” color=”#434544″ weight=”700″ bottom=”mini”]by Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH[/trx_title][vc_column_text]

For some reason it can be really difficult to convince an owner that their pet is in pain. I hear excuses every day that explain away painful behavior: “she’s just get old,” “she is slowing down,” “he just needs shorter walks,” etc. Subtle changes like decreased activity, trouble or hesitation going up and down stairs, not engaging with the family normally, changes in hair coat (not grooming), changes in bathroom habits, or changes in sleeping habits can all be your pet telling you he/she is in pain. Most people can recognize acute pain pretty well as there is a significant response by their pet – when there is a broken bone, when a pet has a burn or understanding pain caused by surgery. However, chronic pain is more subtle and difficult to recognize. Owners expect pets, like humans, to cry out in pain, stop eating, or stop doing things they love and unfortunately, that is not always the case. Pets that are in pain may eat, complete their daily tasks, and may not vocalize much about it.

I’m often surprised when owner explain away the complete inability to use a limb! If your pet is limping and refusing to use a limb – there is something wrong! But I hear it more often than I would like.

I have a lot of conversations about quality of life and when is the right time to euthanize a pet. I also have a lot of conversations about the number of medications that an owner finds acceptable to keep their pet on daily. I often find that the more medication or supplements a pet needs, the owner feels like the worse quality of life for the pet. This may be true if your pet is having adverse side effects from the medication (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) but if you pet is tolerating the medication well then using combination therapy will allow us to use lower doses of all medications long term! By taking advantage of medication, supplements, and non-traditional therapies we can significantly improve a pet’s quality of life.

Another aspect to consider is lifestyle and management changes in the home. Yoga mats or rugs make a huge difference in your arthritic pet’s ability to move comfortably around the house. This means your pet will follow you around the house and interact with the family more normally. It also prevents acutely painful injuries after a fall.

As a veterinarian, I only get glimpses into your pet’s life, I cannot know them better than you do. It is immensely helpful if you have your pet evaluated when signs of disease are subtle. We have more options and more time to make improvements. If you notice something that concerns you, call your veterinarian ASAP to have it evaluated, as there may be a 1-2 week wait to get into the office.

[/vc_column_text][/trx_section][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1533135180690{margin-top: 40px !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1533134942241{background-color: #d9ae4c !important;}”][trx_title type=”2″ align=”left” color=”#f6f2e4″ left=”20″ right=”20″]About Dr. Eileen Savier[/trx_title][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1533135315368{padding-right: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;}”]Dr. Eileen SavierBarks & Recreation is proud to feature Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH as our Veterinary Blogger in our “From the Vet” Series. Currently part of the team of doctors at Keystone Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Savier is a 2012 Graduate of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, She completed her clinical experience at The Ohio State University and after veterinary school she pursued further education and certification in Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Fear Free veterinary visits. Dr. Savier has a special interest in integrative medicine, animal behavior, and internal medicine and is committed to improving animal health care by integrating Eastern and Western philosophies. She enjoys working with fearful & aggressive dogs and cats and she has had additional training in low stress handling techniques and encourages positive reinforcement during exams and procedures. Her clinical interests include pain management, animal behavior, geriatric patient care, and internal medicine. Dr. Savier is a member of the following associations:

Dr. Savier shares her home with two (soon to be three) dogs, two cats, and a toddler. She lovingly refers to her two dogs as Coconut Retrievers as they were rescue dogs she brought home from the island of St. Kitts. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and planning her next Disney vacation.

Join us every month for Dr. Savier’s “From the Vet” series to get more information related to the health and welfare of your furry family members![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]