The old stand by for treating pain is medication. Veterinary pain medication has improved so much in the last 10 years. We often prescribe pain meds, especially after surgery. It is very effective and affordable to use. And for the most part, it is safe. There are some drawbacks to using pain medications
- Cost: Even though the cost has come down, it can still be $30 or more for pain medication per month for your pet.
- The pain returns when the medication is stopped.
- Your pet can develop side-effects from the medication. These can be serious, such as bleeding stomach ulcers and other stomach problems, liver disease or failure.
What can be used when the pain medications aren’t working any more or when they can’t control all the pain.
Other Methods to Control Pain
There are so many ways for us to address chronic pain in animals. Often, more than one of these methods is added into a regimen. Most of these therapies work to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, increase endorphin production to help decrease pain and improve range of motion and movement.
We place acupuncture needles in specific points to treat pain, paralysis, arthritis and other musculo-skeletal problems. We also use Acupuncture to treat other diseases. (That’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax.)
Acupuncture reduces pain and inflammation by stimulating the nerves to help change the blood flow to certain areas. We either want more or less blood flow depending on what is causing the pain. Endorphin release happens during and after an acupuncture treatment too. BONUS!!
This is often referred to as Veterinary Chiropractics (real Chiropractors hate this though!!) When we do these types of therapies we are stimulating the nervous system directly. The adjustment tells the golgi tension body to RELAX! When the GTB relaxes it send information to the nervous system that it can relax the muscle. This is what gives you that warm, loose feeling after an adjustment.
Cold Laser Therapy
There are different categories of lasers that are used in medicine. The difference is how hot the laser is and how deep into the tissue it will penetrate. Surgery can be done by laser too. That isn’t the type of laser we are using for pain management.
Okay, this is a bit deep!! The laser we use on your pet isn’t going to be dangerous like the one that is used in the movies. Instead, the therapeutic range is often only slightly warming when it is held in place for any length of time. Laser therapy has about a million uses (that might be a slight exaggeration). We use our laser for many different conditions and often together with both Acupuncture and adjustments.
The laser works by interacting with the tissues and cells of the body to help stimulate the natural healing process. This helps a variety of different situations.
We use the laser after surgery to help reduce post surgical swelling and bruising
- After an injury to help with the inflammation response of the body.
- During recovery to stimulate healthy scar tissue and influence the scar tissue
- To help heal topical wound
- To treat musculo-skeletal pain like muscle spasm, arthritis and Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
- Often, we use laser in pets that don’t want to have acupuncture needles, are too painful for adjustments or needles or that have anxiety about being touched by a stranger.
All these different therapies allow us to get you pet up and moving again! This makes us feel almost as fantastic as your pet!!