Dealing Pain Control on Small Animals

By: SA Perillo

Pain control is no easy topic as pain levels differ from person to person and from animal to another animal as well. Pain threshold is likewise different for every animal. Pain may be of two types such as chronic or acute. Chronic pain is a long-term pain from which it persists because of continued damaged process even if some injury to the bone or muscle has initially healed. These two broad categories have significant difference especially in treatment and medication.

As per research, acute pain is short and sudden. They occur when there’s injury and fades as the injury heals. However, chronic pain persists continuously even after the injury or damaged is healed. Most often long-term damage processes such as arthritis belong to this category. Pain is such an interesting sensation. Below are just some of the main points about pain that may not be keenly observed by people.

First is that, pain has a mechanism in remembering how painful something was. Pain Memory may be something psychological in nature but indeed, when people experience pain; they tend to associate the previous pain experience to a possible new pain that may be felt. Imprinted pain through neurological pathways seem to persist even if the injury has been done; phantom pain as others may term it, this kind of pain somehow threatens people and make them fearful of something that may be associated with the same pain that they have felt before.

Second is that, pain is said to be a threshold event. Threshold is the limit in tolerating something such as in pain. Scientific studies have told that people and even animals have different levels of threshold. For instance some may have high threshold while others may have low. This is the main reason why some people could manage to handle such as boxers who have to endure pain as much as they can to win the boxing game. They may be considered as people with high threshold for pain. Other people however may have very low threshold for pain that a single scratch or injury might be very painful for them. Knowing about this is enough for veterinarians to consider varying pains.

Dealing with acute pain is different from dealing with chronic pain. With acute pain, pain reliever must be provided even before the pain occurs. If pain reliever is administered before pain transpires, lower dosage of pain reliever is just needed and pain is just felt in a shorter period of time. When pain is anticipated, pain relievers may be advantageous as the threshold for pain may no longer be felt. Dosages in taking pain relievers must start with a higher dose before lowering it down. This is how it should be administered as opposed to the popular procedure of taking low dosages first before higher dosages.
In animals, there are more choices of pain relievers for dogs than in cats. However, there are still some medications for acute pain that may be prescribed to cats.

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