Thursday, 25 April 2013

pain medication for dogs

Recently Hsin-Yi, in a post about health issues for older dogs, reported that Honey, her great dane, had a trial of pain medications for a week to see whether Honey's behaviour changed while on pain relief. Since Honey didn't show any difference in her level of activity and enjoyment of life, the vet and Hsin-Yi concluded that even though Honey is a senior dog and has some mild spondylosis, she is not in pain.

Hsin-Yi, writing as Honey, said:
It's not giving me any pain - my humans were worried about that so they asked the vet and they tested giving me painkillers for 1 week, to see if I suddenly changed my behaviour...but I didn't show any change at all. The vet said this shows that I'm not actually in any pain - which is very common in mild spondylosis - you just get stiff but no pain.

I hadn't heard of this type of test and I'm interested, given that Penny is now eight and has had surgery for a partial cruciate tear, at which time we were told she would most likely get arthritis later. She has been on a supplement called Glyde all her life, since the vet found a click in one of her elbows when she was just a puppy.

Yesterday Dr St Clair, whom I've posted about previously, has written an article about using medications to ensure our dogs are not in pain. 

One thing that jumped out at me in his article is the explanation of why dogs don't show pain  when they are at the vet. He says it's because their adrenaline level is up when they walk into the vet surgery. I've certainly been one of the many people who look in amazement at their dog and say, 'But she was limping at home!'

He also points out that dogs don't show pain as we do, so it's difficult to know whether they are suffering.

 I'm going to keep his advice in the back of my mind, and if I suspect Penny is hurting in her joints, I might do the pain-relief trial that he recommends  - and that Honey did.

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