When owning an animal, there will be several times throughout their life when you need to bring them to a veterinarian’s office. More times than not, it will be to receive pain medication for an injury or an age related disorder. When discussing medications with your vet, be sure to keep in mind some of the most effective analgesics available on the market.
Morphine is a popular narcotic due to its extremely potent properties and relatively few side effects. It is consistent in treating acute pain, even after an extensive injury. The effects of morphine on dogs is quite similar to that of humans; therefore, your pet does need to be monitored closely after administering the drug. For example, the same euphoric addiction that arises in humans, can also manifest in canines. Morphine has a couple of side effects including: sedation, vomiting, and constipation. Sedation is the most common by far, making it seem as if your buddy is in a prolonged period of somnolence. Hence, this drug is a very effective analgesic for the treatment of pain and it should be administered with notable caution.
Demerol is another treatment option for canine trauma; it is approximately one fifth as potent as morphine. As with the aforementioned, Demerol should not be used long-term since its efficacy diminishes within the first couple of uses. After repeated doses, the animal may become resistant to the drug’s capabilities. Demerol provides approximately an hour or two of pain relief in dogs, making it suitable for beginning analgesic treatment with less potent medications. Also, the drug works well with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs which could help alleviate pain even more.
The group of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, known as NSAID’s, are usually the first resort due to their safety, availability and ability to be used for an extended period of time. Their viability allows them to be used for both acute pain and chronic pain. Popular NSAIDs that are safe to use under monitored conditions include Aspirin and Ibuprofen.
Another pain reliever in dogs is the use of canine physical therapy. Just like human physical therapy, this rehabilitation of the animal allows it to regain function in affected parts of the body, while reducing pain. Massages, for example, increase blood flow to the tended area, as well as providing relaxation to the muscles. Aquatic swimming therapy also allows the stretching of tendons and crucial ligaments for range of motion.This regiment is extremely effective in speeding up recovery post-surgery.
Finally, thermotherapy consists of using hot and cold packs to increase blood flow to a specified site; the heated packs decrease stiffness, allowing your pal to feel more comfortable and relaxed. The use of ice packs provides analgesia after a rigorous session by reducing the inflammation in the joints and muscles of the canine.
In summary, there are a variety of different medications and techniques which can be used to provide analgesia. For acute pain, narcotic medication will provide relatively safe and extremely potent analgesia to a canine, while chronic pain can be relived with more subtle medications in the NSAID’s group. Physical therapy in dogs greatly increases the recovery time post-accident while also decreasing the pain significantly, making these medications and techniques the most effective analgesics available.