Managing pain in dogs and horses
Practically since the beginning of recorded history there has been a debate regarding animal pain.
Nowadays veterinarians not only understand the value of pain management, but are pushed by their customers to alleviate the pain of their pets.
Due to the sometimes violent nature of the horse in pain, pain control is a priority for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
A dog’s reaction to pain is dependent upon the individual dog and the degree and nature of pain it is experiencing. Not every dog reacts the same way.
An era in which the vast majority of professionals accept the necessity of good pain management, evaluations can differ widely regarding the quality and intensity of pain.
A guessing game
Misjudging pain, or failing to anticipate it properly, can affect the animal’s comfort, wellbeing and even recovery. Inadequate treatment of pain can also create situations in which both the patient’s and the caregiver’s safety is compromised.
While veterinarians look for certainty in every diagnosis they make, detecting pain in animals can be a kind of guessing game. It could be said that pain assessment is as much a part of the art of being a good veterinarian as it is the science.
Where does it hurt?
Without the advantage of patient self-assessments, the veterinarian is left to infer the presence of the pain and its intensity. Doing so accurately, visualizing the pain and anticipating the right pain management response, has become an essential part of the practioner’s art.
On this website you will find useful information about pain, pain management in dogs and horses and modern technologies for controlling pain.