Pain Management Options

We never want to see our pet sick or injured, but just like people, accidents and chronic conditions can form in our pets. If your pet is in pain, the number one priority is finding a way to give your pet some type of relief, so that he or she can live a better, pain-free life. Depending on the injury or condition there are several different options to help manage pain in your pet. The overall health and age of your pet will also be a major contributing factor when it comes time to decide which pain management option is best for your pet. Below, let's walk through a few pain management options that may work well for your pet.

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Physical Therapy

Using physical therapy is an excellent way to help your pet overcome an injury. Physical therapy can help reintroduce movement to your pet which can help strengthen and stretch certain muscles which may have become rigid following an injury or surgery. Most physical therapy options will work well for rehabilitating an injury but the key to successful physical therapy is continuing the exercises at home. Working together with your veterinarian you will establish a schedule to meet with a physical therapist, sometimes once or twice weekly, with repeated practice every day at home. Physical therapy is also a good option for older pets who have developed chronic pain conditions such as various dysplasias and arthritis.


A tried and true method to help manage pain in your pets is with medication. Typically, this can be in one of two forms. A veterinarian may prescribe a mild pain killer to help mitigate pain. This can be taken daily as a buffer, or taken only as needed. The second option is to have your veterinarian prescribe an anti-inflammatory. This may help keep swelling down which can greatly reduce pain. Always take pain medication as prescribed and be sure to stay in close contact with your veterinarian to monitor your pet's overall health. While many pain medications for pets work, they can have undesirable side effects which can impact organ function.

Alternative Therapies

Many alternative therapies that call on Eastern medicine practices can be implemented for dogs and cats to reduce pain. Many veterinarians are turning to chiropractics and acupuncture in an attempt to find an alternative, non-invasive treatment option to help restore quality of life to pets suffering from chronic conditions. Using acupuncture to help treat painful conditions in animals has seen a great deal of success. Acupuncture involves inserting very small needles into designated areas of the body to help restore the body's natural energy flow, eliminating pain. Usually, your veterinarian will set up several acupuncture appointments very close together, sometimes with multiple appointments the same week. As your pet undergoes treatment, the appointments to receive acupuncture will become more spread out, until eventually your pet no longer requires the treatment.

CBD Oils and Chews

With the legalization of marijuana across several states it seems that CBD products are popping up more than ever. There are several CBD based products that are safe for pets to use which can help reduce pain. CBD is an all-natural product that is derived from the cannabis plant and has been found to have several beneficial qualities. Many pet owners are turning to CBD to help treat chronic pain disorders associated with arthritis and various dysplasias. While the research surrounding the effectiveness of CBD for pets is still being conducted, the initial findings are very positive. CBD is available in a variety of formats including an oil which can be added to foods and treats or chews with CBD mixed into an otherwise tasty treat. Many local pet stores and online pet stores carry CBD products which can be purchased without a prescription from your veterinarian.

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