Pet Pain Relief: Natural & Medicinal Treatments
Pets experience pain for all kinds of different reasons. They can have joint pain caused by arthritis, or tummy pain caused by something they ate. Like you, they can have earaches and headaches. And sometimes they have pain caused by more serious illnesses like liver disease or cancer.
Whatever is hurting your fur baby, you want to give them pain relief—fast.
Today we’re going to chat about some safe, natural and medicinal ways to provide pet pain relief.
Read on to learn about:
- Signs & symptoms of pet pain
- Natural pet pain relief
- Pain relief medication
- Supplements to help prevent pet pain
Signs & Symptoms of Pet Pain
Possibly one of the hardest things about caring for pets is trying to understand what’s happening inside. They can’t tell us when or where something is hurting, so we have to learn how to spot the symptoms of pet pain.
Some key indications that your pet may be in pain include:
- Lack of energy
- No interest in playtime
- Growling or snarling when touched
- Hiding in a corner or under furniture
- Shivering or whimpering
- Excessively licking
- Limping or refusal to walk
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- No interest in food or water
There could be many reasons why your pet is less energetic. But if they are in pain, whether it’s due to an injury, disease, infection or just plain old age, there are some things you can do to help.
Natural Pain Relief for Pets
Seeing your pet in pain can be disheartening, and sometimes scary. But that doesn’t mean you should rush for the bottle of ibuprofen or aspirin. What’s good for us can be very dangerous to doggos.
Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to ease pet pain.
Now, we’re not suggesting you take your pup for a run if he has a broken leg. And we’re not suggesting you harass your kitty with feather toys if she’s feeling sick.
But if your pet is simply feeling the effects of old age, you might consider some moderate activity. Use it or lose it!
A low-impact exercise routine—something as simple as extending the length of daily walks—can help ease aches, pains and stiffness.
Hydrotherapy is also proven to help pets with arthritis and joint pain by keeping bones and muscles strong, healthy and pain free.
While some may view this as an overhyped petting session, a full-body massage has proven to be highly effective in helping to manage pet pain.
Different pets respond to different types of physical therapy, so it’s important to understand which one is best for your pet.
In addition to full-body massage, the healing art of pet acupuncture also gets a lot of praise from proactive pet parents.
CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil
Cannabis-derived treats, oils and supplements continue to gain popularity among pet parents looking for natural pain relief options.
CBD oil, which comes from the flowers, leaves and stalks of hemp plants, contains high levels of cannabinoids--the primary chemical found in cannabis.
Hemp seed oil, which comes from hemp plant seeds, contains low levels of CBD.
Both are known to help relieve pet pain.
No worries--your pet won’t get stoned! There’s virtually no THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) in CBD oil or hemp oil.
If you’re aware of the root cause of your pet’s pain, these natural remedies may come in handy. That said, not every animal will respond to treatment in the same way.
So, if you’re unsure about what’s really causing your pet’s pain, talk to your vet, as there are many different treatment options, including prescription medication.
Medicinal Pet Pain Relief
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Sometimes natural pain relief remedies just won’t do. And that’s OK. There are plenty of medications available to help you relieve your pet’s pain.
NSAIDs help reduce swelling, stiffness and joint pain. And although they work for both humans and animals, you don’t want to give your pet the same NSAIDs you keep in your medicine cabinet.
There are special NSAIDs made just for animals. They include:
- carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)
- deracoxib (Deramaxx)
- firocoxib (Previcox)
- meloxicam (Metacam)
Aspirin is an over-the-counter NSAID used to relieve pain and sometimes thin the blood. Your vet may suggest giving it to your dog for a limited amount of time.
Aspirin is NOT recommended for long-term use in dogs because it has a greater potential for side effects, including the risk of bleeding.
NSAIDs will often do the job to relieve pain, which is why veterinarians don't often prescribe other kinds of painkillers. Sometimes, though, your pet might need something stronger.
In those cases, vets may recommend gabapentin, tramadol or Amantadine.
Gabapentin is used to treat pain from damaged nerves in humans and dogs. It may make your dog sleepy for the first few days, but that usually goes away. Sometimes your vet will prescribe it alongside other drugs.
Tramadol is a painkiller that works somewhat like other mild opioid medications. Vets sometimes give it to aging dogs with constant discomfort. Some side effects include an upset stomach, vomiting and dizziness. Studies have shown that tramadol may not be as effective as gabapentin.
- Amantadine, often prescribed to treat chronic arthritis is dogs, blocks neurotransmitters to reduce pain. Side effects may include agitation, soft stools, diarrhea and gassiness.
How to Safely Administer Pet Medications
Giving your pet medications requires precision and organization—especially if you’re coordinating more than one medication. Ask for a written copy of the treatment plan in addition to concise instructions (and a demonstration) on how to give the medicine to your pet.
Be sure to give the drug only as your vet recommends. Too much or too little can cause problems.
Don't share medications between pets. What's good for one may not be good for another.
Keep a close eye on your pets when giving NSAIDs. These BEST symptoms could be an indication they’re having a negative reaction to the medication:
- Behaviour changes
- Eating less
- Skin redness, scabs
- Tarry stool/diarrhea/vomiting
If you spot these symptoms, stop giving your pet the drug and call your vet right away.
Side Effects of NSAIDs for Pets
In most cases, NSAIDs will temporarily relieve pain. But they can also produce significant side effects ranging from gastric upset and bleeding to liver damage and seizures.
Most—if not all—NSAIDs have been plagued by reports of serious health problems resulting from their use. Still, they continue to find a following among veterinarians and pet owners who value their potent and fast-acting pain relief.
It’s also important to remember that relieving pain does not equal finding a “cure.” Pain relief drugs minimize pain, but they may also mask escalating joint problems.
NSAIDs do nothing to heal or stabilize the joint’s destruction; as soon as the drugs are discontinued, your pet will revert back to the discomfort associated with joint deterioration.
Talk to your vet about risks and rewards of using an NSAID to reduce pain.
Prevent Pain with Scientifically Formulated Pet Supplements
Adding supplements to your pet’s meal is a proactive way to help them stay healthy and pain free.
The major cause of chronic pain in pets is arthritis.
For those who want to avoid pharmaceuticals and potential side effects, supplements designed to help with pet pain can be given to help restore weakening joints.
PureForm Agility is formulated for your pet to build strong bones and joints, thereby proactively reducing pain.
Supplements are often preferred over NSAIDs when pets are recovering from an injury or surgery.
PureForm Restore* contains only active ingredients and natural anti-inflammatories, such as Glucosamine Hydrochloride, MSM, Curcumin, Boswellia Serrata, Magnesium, and Vitamins C & E, to help your pet quickly recover without side effects.
*Not to be used with pharmaceutical medications.