When your beloved companion experiences chronic pain it can have a detrimental effect on their quality of life. Today, our Hermitage vets discuss chronic pain in dogs, what the signs are, and how you can help manage your dog's pain.
Chronic Pain in Dogs
We always hope to love and care for our canine companions as though they were one of our own human family members, and while we can do a pretty good job at it there may be conditions that we just can't prevent. Chronic pain is one such condition that not only causes your dog pain but also can drastically reduce their quality of life.
The Causes of Chronic Pain in Dogs
When dogs experience chronic pain the most common cause is Osteoarthritis affecting approximately 40% of dogs. Some of the contributing factors for osteoarthritis include hereditary and other congenital factors which can affect dogs of all ages and breeds.
How to Tell if Your Dog Is Experiencing Chronic Pain
If you are concerned that your canine companion may be suffering from chronic pain then you will want to note any signs and symptoms that you see and bring them in for a full examination to rule out any other possible causes.
Your vet may utilize the following pain assessment methods to diagnose your dog's condition:
- Veterinary examination
- Physiologic biomarkers
- Objective measurements of gait (eg, force plate) and/or activity and movement (eg, accelerometer)
- Owner assessment of activities of daily living (ADL)
- Multifactorial clinical measurement instruments.
Treating Chronic Pain in Dogs With Laser Therapy
Veterinary cold laser therapy is a fairly new method of treatment for symptoms related to various disorders and is most commonly used to help manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing for your pet.
Therapeutic lasers use light waves of a specific wavelength to alter the physiology of the affected tissues. The light emitted by these lasers throughout treatment will help to stimulate the cells within the tissues and allows for faster cellular regeneration.
The wavelength of the laser used will determine the tissue that can be affected. Most commonly used lasers emit near-infrared light with the use of lower wavelength lasers becoming more common. Low-wavelength lasers are used to treat areas near and involving the skin while higher-wavelength lasers can focus on deep tissue repair.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.