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Pain Management

We are Passionate about Pet Pain Management

At Newport Harbor we face conditions on a daily basis that involve pain in our patients. We will never let pain go untreated. We have seen facilities that give the pet owner an option of pain medications for surgery. We don't give the option, we insist.

Our knowledge of pain pathways and methods of control has expanded over the years. As an example, when we do surgery it is rare that we would only use one pain medication. This allows us to lessen the pain by more than one route. This makes it more effective and safe. We also use preemptive pain strategies. Very simply, it has been proven that if you treat pain prior to its existence it is much easier to control.

When it comes to managing your pet’s pain, our practice offers and the highest quality of care utilizing compassion and the most effective medical treatments available. We develop a unique pain management plan to best serve the individual needs of your pet. This plan may include medication, complementary treatment or a combination of both.

Pets often share traits in common with their humans like a love of popcorn or an achy hip. Research has shown animals also share the way they experience pain. Therefore, you may recognize some medications, techniques and care for animal pain that your own doctor similarly prescribed for you. Common medications we prescribe for pets include analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflamatories (NSAIDs), anti-anxiety medications or topical anesthetics. However, it is very important to note that you should never give your pet medication designed for a human unless first consulting with us. Many medications designed for humans can cause life-threatening and irreversible reactions in animals. As with small children, medications should be kept out of reach of your pet.

We may also prescribe lifestyle changes for your pet. A specific diet, soft bedding, a few more rounds of fetch, raised food and water dishes or an extra snuggle now and then are just some of the things that may help your pet’s pain at home.

Many pets experience successful pain relief through complementary medicine. Therapeutic  (cold) laser, nutritional support or physical therapy often assist our practice to better manage your pet’s pain. Therapies such as massage, heat or strength building may seem familiar while some of our newer technology and machines might sound new to you. 

Determining whether your pet’s pain it is acute or chronic is the first step to identifying the cause. Acute pain is often sudden and triggered by a specific event. For example if your pet receives a recent injury, they may experience acute pain. However, chronic pain persists over the long term and causes may include conditions such as joint inflammation, arthritis, or unattended tooth decay.

Early intervention is important when it comes to managing your pet’s pain. Some common signs of pain in your pet may include:

  • Limping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and / or vomiting
  • Vocalization
  • Change in temperament or behavior
  • Licking a specific area
  • Change in bathroom habits
  • Panting
  • Appearance of the third eyelid
  • Hiding

Notify our practice right away if you notice any of the above signs so we can take action to assist your pet.

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