Everyone, from owners, to family veterinarians, to specialists and veterinary technologists must act as a team to ensure that your pet has a pain free life. It is important to try to identify when an animal is experiencing pain early when it is easiest to treat. Preemptive analgesia is beneficial to pets when perceptive caregivers and owners recognize that the situation is appropriate. Since compassion is an essential part of everything we do at Western Veterinary Cancer Centre, it follows that pain control is integral to the caring process.
Recognizing When a Pet is in Pain
Knowledgeable practitioners and caregivers watch for subtle changes in activity level, appetite and movements. Some pets, particularly cats, may express their discomfort audibly. Increased breathing rate, increased heart rate and dilated pupils can indicate the presence of pain, even when the animal is otherwise quiet. Some pets become more reclusive whereas others, especially younger dogs and cats, may become unusually restless and wildly active.
Just as with people, every pet’s tolerance for, and response to pain is different. Recognition, evaluation and appropriate action are the basis of a pain control approach that dovetails with response to therapy and ensuing quality of life for each patient.
The management of pain begins with informed, compassionate care by every member of the veterinary health care team. Sensitivity in handling and maintenance of a secure, low-stress environment is of fundamental importance. Please visit the following link for a position paper on the treatment of pain in animals which we at the Cancer Centre fundamentally ascribe, from the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists.