Chronic vs. Acute Pain in Dogs

By Dr. Joyce A. Login | Featured on Zoetis Pet Care

Pain can be a tricky thing to identify in your dog. Pet owners often think of their dog’s pain as their inability to move or activity level – lower activity levels may equate to more pain. Although true, pain may be present in many other forms other than movement, like behavior. Dogs tend to hide their pain, often showing only subtle physical and behavioral signs. This makes it difficult for you to notice they’re suffering and potentially prolonging their discomfort.

There are two primary types of pain in dogs— acute and chronic. Here is some more information on each.

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Anytime you can relieve your pet’s pain, it’s a big relief for you, too. Thankfully, veterinary medicine offers more ways to do that than ever before. In fact, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are the most common pain medications prescribed for pets today.

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8 Signs of Pain in Cats

8 Signs of Pain in Cats

Article By Jessica Vogelsang, DVM | Featured on PetMD
Pain it isn’t always obvious to others when you’re experiencing it. Unless it’s a broken leg twisted at a 90-degree angle or a big bruise on your arm, pain is a condition with no obvious external manifestations. Sure, some people are good at going around making sure everyone knows they’ve stubbed a toe or pulled a groin muscle, but other people are more like cats—you’d never know anything was wrong.
Cats are renowned for their ability to mask pain and discomfort. This is a great advantage when out in the wild around a predator, but it’s a big problem in a home when pet owners are unaware that their pet has a problem.
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specialty veterinarian hospital, beaverton

7 Signs That Your Cat Might Have Arthritis

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Arthritis isn’t just a condition suffered by people; cats can develop it, too. While it seems to be that cats are a bit more resistant to the effects of joint degeneration than dogs, older cats can still suffer from it, and it can decrease their quality of life.
Cats don’t usually cry when they’re in pain, and that can confuse some owners. Our feline companions are often stoic, and they may try to hide their pain from us, so it’s important to know how to decode their behaviors. Here, we explore some of the signs to watch for that might indicate your cat has arthritis. Read more

Dogs are very good at hiding pain. Remember, in the wild, the weak or painful may become the prey of another animal. We believe this is the reason why pets try to mask their pain. The best way to make sure your dog isn’t hiding pain is with regular checkups. Here are a few more tips to keep your dog pain free. Read more

specialty, vet clinic, beaverton, oregon

How do You Know if Your Cat is in Pain?

Article by Dr. Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ | Found on PetHealthNetwork
Assessing pain is a complicated challenge, especially in cats. Pain has two primary components: the sensory aspect (intensity, location and duration) and the affective aspect (emotional toll).
Because pain assessment is somewhat subjective, veterinarians constantly try to create tools that make this process more objective. For validity, any pain measuring tool should take into consideration both characteristics: the sensory and the affective.
Signs of pain in cats
A British study was recently conducted in order to reach a consensus about criteria when evaluating pain in cats. A total of 91 signs, chosen from the existing literature, were assessed during four rounds of evaluation, by 19 feline medicine experts. Some worked in private practice, others in veterinary schools1.
Ultimately, 25 signs were considered to be reliable and sensitive for indicating pain in cats, across a range of different clinical conditions1:
Top 5 signs

  • Appetite decrease
  • Avoiding bright areas
  • Growling
  • Groaning
  • Eyes closed

Other signs included: Lameness, difficulty to jump, abnormal gait, reluctant to move, reaction to touch, withdrawing/hiding, absence of grooming, playing less, overall activity decrease, less rubbing toward people, general mood, temperament, hunched up posture, shifting of weight, licking a particular body region, lower head posture, eyelids tightly shut, change in form of feeding behavior, straining to urinate, tail flitching
The top 5 signs are indicative of severe pain. Behavioral changes, such as irritability, tend to be seen with more long-term pain. The other signs can be observed with less intense pain. All of these signs cover both the sensorial and the emotional aspects of pain1.
What if you see these signs of pain in your cat?
Cat owners should be aware of these signs. Some mistakenly attribute behavioral changes, such as absence of grooming or playing less, as signs of aging; they can actually be signs of pain.
Remember, the presence of any single one of these 5 signs means pain. If you see any of these signs in your cat, see your veterinarian right away. Also remember that the absence of a sign does not mean your cat is no pain.
These signs may help both vets and cat guardians better assess the pain status of cats in their care.
While it can be fairly easy to recognize severe pain, it is much more difficult to detect low grade pain. The criteria above are a great start. Hopefully, this research will spark more studies to help us assess mild pain in cats as well to ensure their well-being.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.
Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: [email protected]

Your Guide to Healthy Healing: How to Treat Cat and Dog Pain

Article by Dr. Marty Becker DVM | VetStreet
Just as with human medicine, advancements in the way we understand and treat pain in dogs and cats are improving the quality of life for our pets. Veterinarians are now able to choose from a wide array of products and strategies to ease the hurt.
“Animals can feel all the same aches and pains that we can because they share the same physiologic structures,” says Dr. Robin Downing, owner of Colorado’s The Downing Center for Animal Pain Management. Read more

10 Most Overlooked Aches and Pains in Cats

10 Most Overlooked Aches and Pains in Cats

BY Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD | Article Featured on VetStreet
If you’ve ever awoken to the soft pitter-patter of paws on your face, thrilled to the grace of a glorious sofa-to-loveseat leap or felt the telltale squish of a hairball beneath your bare feet, you’ll know that cats are special. So special, in fact, that they manage to bring their feline singularity to their expression of discomfort, too.
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Article From Pet MD

Rhinitis and Sinusitis in Dogs

Rhinitis refers to the inflammation of an animal’s nose; sinusitis, meanwhile, refers to the inflammation of the nasal passages. Both medical conditions can cause a mucusdischarge to develop. With prolonged inflammation, bacterial infections are common.
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Treating Pet Pain - OVSH

There is More Than One Way to Treat Your Pet’s Pain

There are many modalities available to pet owners to better manage the pain experienced by a companion canine or feline. Which options to use, how frequently they should be employed, and concerns for side effects are some of the main considerations that may govern the availability of such treatments for a pet’s pain management.
In my veterinary practice, the goal in treating my patients’ pain is to always improve their comfort, mobility, and quality of life while reducing risks for mild to life-threatening side effects from medications or other prescribed treatments (radiation for cancer, etc.). This approach is termed multimodal pain management and I use it frequently and effectively for my canine and feline patients’ arthritis and other health problems that cause pain (intervertebral disc disease [IVDD], trauma, surgery, muscle and ligament damage, etc.). The multimodal pain management protocols I recommend involve combinations of the following therapeutics tailored specifically to my patients’ needs.
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