We Started With the Assumption That If It Would Hurt Us, It Will Hurt Our Pets
Science has proven that tissue and nerve structures are almost identical in all mammals. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that a painful stimulus to humans will be similarly painful to animals.
Next, We Trained Our Staff to Recognize and Treat Pain
Our doctors have designed protocols in which pain medication is administered to our pet patients before uncomfortable surgical procedures. Giving pain medication early helps decrease the intensity and duration of pain post-operatively, and encourages a more rapid return to a normal behavior and comfort level. It also reduces the depth of anesthesia needed during surgeries, making the use of general anesthesia safer.
With some procedures, our doctors may choose to administer more than one pain medication at the same time. These medications are distinctive in their chemical makeup and work in different ways to alleviate various types of pain. When administered simultaneously, they act in tandem to target your pet's pain more completely. Consequently, we can give smaller amounts of each pain medication, thus reducing the risk of potential side effects.
Our team of experienced nurses is specially trained to recognize signs of pain. They monitor the physical symptoms of pain (increased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate) as well as the more subtle behavioral signs (hunched posture, decreased mobility, and reduced interaction with caregivers). As part of the pain management team, our nurses administer directed doses of pain medication and will alert doctors if they feel more or less pain support is necessary.
Our nursing staff also understands the non-pharmacological ways of decreasing stress and pain. Of course, the basic physical needs of all patients are met. Pets are kept warm and dry, bodily functions are addressed, and nutrition is monitored. Attention is given to every pet's individual needs. For example, animals who like to be held will be held as much as possible, extra blankets will be provided for those that like to hide, animals who can't groom themselves are bathed and brushed, and sore paws are soaked, to name a few caring actions we provide. Gentle handling and compassionate care are used to decrease stress and prevent/treat pain.
Each pet has a different threshold for and response to pain. You are the best judge of your pet's comfort. Please let us know if you think your pet is uncomfortable so that we can fine-tune their pain management plan. Realistically, we may not be able to prevent all pain, but we can try.
To learn more about West Chelsea Veterinary pain management services, please contact us today.