When your beloved canine companion experiences chronic pain, it can have a detrimental effect on their quality of life. Today, our San Diego vets discuss chronic pain in dogs and how you can help manage your pet's pain.
Chronic Pain in Dogs
We always hope to love and care for our canine companions as if they were human family members, and while we can do a pretty good job of it, there may be some conditions that we simply cannot avoid. Chronic pain is one such condition that not only causes pain in your dog but can also significantly reduce their quality of life.
Causes of Chronic Pain in Dogs
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs, affecting approximately 40% of them. Hereditary and other congenital factors can cause osteoarthritis in dogs of all ages and breeds.
Diagnosing Chronic Pain in Dogs
If you suspect that your canine companion is experiencing chronic pain, take note of any signs and symptoms you notice and bring them in for a thorough examination to rule out any other possible causes.
Your vet may utilize the following pain assessment methods to diagnose your dog's condition:
- Veterinary examination
- Physiologic biomarkers
- Objective measurements of gait (eg, force plate) and/or activity and movement (eg, accelerometer)
- Owner assessment of activities of daily living (ADL)
- Multifactorial clinical measurement instruments.
Laser Therapy Treatment for Chronic Pain in Dogs
Veterinary laser therapy is a fairly new method of treatment for symptoms related to various disorders and is most commonly used to help manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing for your pet.
Therapeutic lasers use light waves of a specific wavelength to alter the physiology of the affected tissues. The light emitted by these lasers throughout treatment will help to stimulate the cells within the tissues and allows for faster cellular regeneration.
The tissue that can be affected will depend on the laser's wavelength. With lower wavelength lasers being used more frequently, the most widely used lasers emit near-infrared light. Higher-wavelength lasers can target deep tissue repair while lower-wavelength lasers are used to treat areas close to and involving the skin.
Speak to your vet if you would like to learn more about how your dog may benefit from veterinary laser therapy.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.