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Treating Pain
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How to treat pain for your pet?
Your Vet may prescribe specific pain medications for your pet. These may be for post-operative pain relief, pain following an injury, trapped nerves, or for chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis. It is very important that pain relief medications are given correctly:
• Follow the dosage instructions carefully and report any problems immediately
• NEVER give human medications to your pet unless specifically directed by your Vet
• Keep ALL medications in a safe place, out of reach of your pet and children.
• Accidental over-doses can occur and in some circumstances can be fatal.
willows-cardiology-icon
How to treat pain for your pet?
Your Vet may prescribe specific pain medications for your pet. These may be for post-operative pain relief, pain following an injury, trapped nerves, or for chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis. It is very important that pain relief medications are given correctly:
• Follow the dosage instructions carefully and report any problems immediately
• NEVER give human medications to your pet unless specifically directed by your Vet
• Keep ALL medications in a safe place, out of reach of your pet and children.
• Accidental over-doses can occur and in some circumstances can be fatal.
NSAIDs are very commonly used drugs in dogs and cats to treat inflammation and pain. Careful attention must to the quantity given and the frequency of the dose. NSAIDs should always be given with food. If a pet is not eating please contact your Vet for advice as the medication may need to be changed.

NSAIDs are usually safe, however, there are potential risks of using these medications. Side effects can include lethargy, inappetence, vomiting and diarrhoea. If these symptoms should occur stop the medication and contact your Vet. Continuing to use these medications despite symptoms occurring can result in more serious complications such as gastric ulceration, intestinal bleeding and kidney toxicity.
Buprenorphine is used to treat mild to moderate pain in dogs and cats. Although used frequently in dogs, it is particularly useful for cats in the home environment as the medication can be given orally. Buprenorphine is generally safe to use when correctly following the dosing guidelines provided by a Vet. There are a few common side effects including; sedation, weakness or disorientation. If you become concerned about your pet do not hesitate to seek veterinary attention.
Tramadol is used to treat moderate pain in dogs and it may be prescribed on its own or in combination with other pain killers. When Tramadol is prescribed for be sure to understand the dosage instructions clearly to enable you to correctly and accurately administer the medication. Side effects seen with Tramadol are not common but can include sedation, upset stomach and drowsiness. Although not too dangerous if these symptoms occur, please contact your Vet as they may wish to alter the prescription.
Gabapentin is an anti-convulsant drug that works in the nervous system. Although this drug is not a typical painkiller, it is commonly used to treat trapped nerves or chronic pain in dogs and cats. Gabapentin is usually prescribed with other pain killers as it has potential to amplify their analgesic effect. The dose prescribed will be specific to an individual pet and can be adjusted with time or in the event of side effects. The most common side effect of gabapentin is sedation. It is advised that you monitor your pet for any incoordination or drowsiness. If you become concerned please contact your Vet.
Paracetamol is used to treat a variety of pain conditions in dogs. It is generally safe but can be toxic when given at the incorrect dose. Please do not administer paracetamol to your pet unless it has been prescribed by your Vet, and only use the prescribed formulation as some human ones contain additives which can be toxic. Side effects of paracetamol can include vomiting, difficulty breathing, drooling, dullness or a painful tummy. Please contact your Vet should these symptoms arise. Paracetamol is toxic to cats so it is important to never give paracetamol to your cat.
Amantadine is used most commonly to treat chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis in dogs and cats. It is administered orally in either liquid or capsule formulations. Side affects you may see can include; agitation, diarrhoea, flatulence and dizziness. You should contact your Vet if you see any of these symptoms in your pet.
Amitriptyline is a tricyclic depressant used to treat trapped nerves or chronic pain in dogs and cats. It is administered orally as tablets. Side effects can include drowsiness, dry mouth or eyes, decreased urination, constipation, vomiting, hyperexcitability, increase in seizures in epileptic pets. If any of these signs should occur, the treatment should be stopped and you should contact your vet.

Anaesthesia and Analgesia – Find Out More

To assist owners in understanding more about Anaesthesia and Analgesia, we have put together a range of information sheets to talk you through the some of the main areas of pain management at Willows.