Chronic pain has a huge impact on your dog’s quality of life. Aside from the discomfort, their ability to do their normal daily activities as well as their mobility are affected.
Unlike humans, dogs tend to mask pain as it is their protective mechanism. However, even if dogs don’t show their pain outwardly, it doesn’t mean that they do not feel any pain. Other than that, dogs have varying levels of pain tolerance. However, an effective way for owners to determine if their furbabies are in pain is by noting the changes in their posture and behavior.
Dental disease and arthritis are the most common conditions that cause chronic pain that’s hard for owners to detect. Since chronic pain signs can’t be assessed accurately, vets would usually ask for dogs to undergo tests, such as physical examination, radiology, and comprehensive lab tests. While there are instances where medications for dogs like Rimadyl are necessary, for most chronic pain cases, taking the natural route may prove to be a gentler remedy.
If you’re currently in the hunt for a cure for your dog’s pain, then you’ve come to the right place. Below are ways on how to help your dog experience pain relief:
- Consider Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Or NSAIDs
NSAIDs are some of the most widely-used types of drugs when it comes to managing pain in dogs. These medications are usually prescribed to dogs suffering from arthritis. NSAIDs work by reducing inflammation, which alleviates discomfort.
However, every NSAID is different, and other commonly-used OTC options for humans, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, may be hazardous or toxic to dogs. The common NSAIDs for dogs, such as firocoxib, grapiprant, meloxicam, and deracoxib, can only be taken if prescribed by vets.
- Try Fish Oil Supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements are beneficial in reducing joint inflammation, which is helpful for dogs who are suffering from arthritis. However, you have to keep in mind that omega-3 fatty acids from plant-based sources, like soybean oil or flaxseed oil, can’t be used for dogs. Fish-based sources are more effective at administering DHA and EPA fatty acids.
If you have decided to try some fish oil supplements for your dog’s chronic pain due to joint inflammation or illnesses like arthritis, it is wise to shop around first for the best brands. You must also discuss it first with the vet to avoid problems in the future.
- Have Your Dog Undergo Different Types Of Physical Therapy
Just like human beings, dogs respond well to various kinds of physical therapy. In fact, for a lot of dogs suffering from orthopedic pain or arthritis, physical therapy can be an effective alternative treatment method for pain relief, especially if you are looking for a more natural approach.
Full body massage, acupuncture, rehabilitation exercises, and stretching can help dogs bounce back from their injuries, maintain and improve their joint function, and so on. Also, veterinarians who are certified in physical therapy or acupuncture may create a treatment plan tailored for your dog’s needs. But, it is important to note that the effectiveness of such methods may vary from one case to another.
- Use Opioids With Caution
Although opioids are helpful in terms of pain management after and during surgeries, these are not usually used for chronic pain relief in dogs. This is because the majority of dogs don’t have the receptor that makes medications an effective option to relieve pain. While opioids were a common option for vets in the past, these are not prescribed for pain management these days. But, if you still want to use opioids for your dog’s chronic pain, you must ask your vet first if it’s a good idea or not.
- Beat Your Dog’s Chronic Pain With Vitamins And Supplements
Aside from pharmaceutical medications for your dog’s chronic pain, you can also incorporate supplements and vitamins in their daily pain management regimen. These products have been formulated to restore their normal function from having deteriorating joints.
A combination of vitamins and supplements for dogs can slow down the damage to their joints, making it less painful for them to walk or move around. With lots of vitamins and supplements for dogs available in the market, it is important to know that they have differences. If you don’t have a clue on what is best suited for your dog’s specific condition, you must do some research or ask the vet.
Remember that even if supplements and vitamins have been created to boost dogs’ health, not all of them are suited for your furbaby. So, be careful when choosing any vitamin or supplement for them as this will help you avoid any possible problems that may occur from buying low-quality products.
One of the things that you should do as a dog owner is to create a low-impact exercise regimen for your canine. A good low-impact exercise for dogs is hydrotherapy, which is also referred to as a water cure.
Basically, hydrotherapy is a kind of physiotherapy, which uses water resistance to help dogs experience pain relief, as well as to rehabilitate their injuries. It has been proven to help canines who suffer from different kinds of joint pain and arthritis. The reason why hydrotherapy works is that it allows weightless physical therapy and gets rid of pressure’s added gravity. Due to this, it enables dogs to exercise without putting so much strain on their joints. Aside from that, hydrotherapy can be a natural aid for inflammation because of its ability to decrease swelling in your dog’s body tissues.
Another exercise you can take into consideration if you don’t have a dog-friendly pool at home is taking a stroll on a running track or soft field. Just let your dogs move around freely. Just letting dogs lay around will only exacerbate conditions like arthritis.
Exercise, regardless of its kind and as long as it’s within their threshold, can surely help alleviate our dog’s pain in one way or another. It doesn’t mean that you should not give your dog the rest they deserve; it’s just that it’s essential to ensure that they do more than just resting. However, if your dog doesn’t seem to like any exercise regimen, don’t force them. They might be experiencing so much pain that they can’t even afford to move.
- Give CBD Oil A Try
When it comes to natural approaches for treating chronic pain in dogs, you can give CBD oil a try. While research about its long-term use is a bit limited, there are some studies that show how useful CBD is in alleviating pain, not just in humans but also in dogs. In fact, in one study, it was found that 2 mg of CBD oil, which should be taken twice daily, can boost the comfort level of dogs who suffer from arthritis.
- Weight Management
Another way to help your dog deal with chronic pain is through careful weight management. You have to know that extra pounds may cause painful health problems like pancreatitis. It may also worsen the situation of a dog with a sliding kneecap. If your dog is overweight, you may consider exercising your dog or creating a diet plan for them. You can feed them with specially formulated meals that will help your furbaby shed extra pounds in a healthy manner.
What You Should Not Do When Dealing With Dog’s Chronic Pain
As a dog owner who doesn’t want to see their dog suffering from chronic pain, the first thing that you might do is to give them something from your medicine cabinet. Although it might seem like a good idea at first, it’s not recommended. Even if NSAIDs suited for dogs are similar to OTC medications you usually buy, still, human medicines can be hazardous to dogs. The reason behind it is that the dosage required for dogs is different from what humans need. Your dog’s drug metabolism is also different that a single pill might exacerbate some health problems and could even lead to death.
Both non-drug and drug methods may be used to help ease your dog’s chronic pain. These include regular exercise, various types of therapy, maintaining your dog’s healthy weight, the use of NSAIDs, vitamins, and supplements, and so on. But, regardless of what your dog is going through, it’s highly advised to never give them any drug, medication, or treatment without consulting the vet first.
Your vet knows the medical history of your canine, thus they can provide you with the right dosage or medication to help with your dog’s condition. In addition to that, there are treatments that may just worsen the situation of your dog, causing them more pain. So, if you don’t want this to happen, you should be a responsible dog owner and don’t be reckless when making decisions about what’s good for your dog unless you are a licensed vet. It is always much better to consult experts when it comes to the improvement of the overall condition of your dog, so they will be able to enjoy a life free from pain.
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