September 09, 2018

Recognizing and Treating Orthopedic Pain in Cats and Dogs

Recognizing and treating arthritis and orthopedic pain in animals isn’t all that different than in humans, says James Gaynor, DVM, DACVA, DACVPM, pain specialist at Peak Performance Veterinary Group in Frisco, Colorado.

Recognizing and treating arthritis and orthopedic pain in animals isn’t all that different than in humans, says James Gaynor, DVM, DACVA, DACVPM, pain specialist at Peak Performance Veterinary Group in Frisco, Colorado.

“The typical signs of arthritis in small animals, dogs, and cats really changes in behavior and activity. So no different than a person. If a person hurts his or her knee they walk differently, the way they go up and down stairs may be different—so we can see the same thing in dogs and cats. We may or may not recognize that they walk differently, but certainly a patient who has a rear limb problem walks differently upstairs or maybe may not go upstairs or doesn't jump. A patient with a front limb problem usually doesn't want to go down stairs, or walks very differently, it doesn't want to jump out of a car.

So, we manage all of that pain, whether its front or rear limb or wherever it may be, usually in that what we call multimodal manner. We take care of inflammation, we take care of spinal cord components, sometimes we take care of kind of perception of pain.”

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