Causes and Signs of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain doesn’t necessarily cause the extreme agony of an acute injury, but in the long run it can make a deeper impact on a dog’s quality of life by lingering or recurring indefinitely. A variety of problems can create chronic pain in dogs, from digestive disorders and muscle spasms to slipped discs and previous surgeries. However, most cases stem from osteoarthritis. This degeneration of joint cartilage affects dogs much as it does humans, producing chronic pain and stiffness.
You can’t always tell from your dog’s stance and gait whether it suffers from chronic pain. However, your dog may also lose interest in favorite activities (including eating), vocalize when the bad feels especially severe, or refuse to let you pet it. These symptoms should prompt you to schedule a veterinary exam.
Medical and Non-Medical Treatment Options
Veterinarians can usually diagnose common causes of chronic pain in dogs by running lab tests and consulting X-rays to look for joint issues. In many cases, a veterinarian will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs or corticosteroids to combat inflammatory pain. Unfortunately, these drugs can produce unwanted side effects and complications in some animals. Other medical treatment options may include laser therapy and surgery.
Home care can do much for chronic pain in dogs. For instance your veterinarian may recommend a weight loss plan to take pressure off of painful joints. Your pet may not feel enthusiastic about moving around, but regular exercise can actually help keep joint pain under control.
Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition for Chronic Pain
Nutritional support can play a major role in your dog’s chronic pain treatment regimen. Consider supplementing your dog’s diet with the following items.
- Fish Oil – Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that dogs can digest relatively easily. Two of the fatty acids, EPA and DHA, can reduce inflammation and inflammatory pain. A third, arachidonic acid (AA), eases inflammation in a manner that mimics NSAID drugs.
- Willow bark – If you’ve ever experienced pain relief from aspirin, you’ve taken a derivative of willow bark. This substance uses the same basic ingredient, salicin, to reduce inflammation and pain that accompanies it.
- Cat’s Claw – This herbal supplement works well with other natural products to ease the inflammation associated with chronic pain. It also helps to normalize immune system function to soothe pain caused by autoimmune disorders.
Pawfy Pain Relief chews combine the great taste of bacon with all the pain-easing nutritional supplements listed above. If your pet needs help for chronic pain, give these treats a try!