Sep 23, 2022

Is your pet in pain? Know the signs.

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets

We’re back with another pain themed VetStem blog as we commemorate Animal Pain Awareness Month. A few weeks ago, we discussed the types of pain in animals as well as the importance of pain management. This week, we will look at the signs and symptoms of pain in pets.

Types of Pain in Pets

To recap last week’s blog, there are several types and classifications of pain. Acute pain is characterized by pain that has come on suddenly or has only been present for a short period of time such as from a surgery or trauma. Chronic pain comes on gradually and may be more subtle, such as pain from osteoarthritis. Additionally, pain can be nociceptive (from noxious stimulation), inflammatory (from acute or chronic inflammation), and neuropathic (from damage to an element of the nervous system).

Signs and Symptoms of Pain in Pets

In order to determine if our pets may be in pain, it is important to know what to watch for. Signs and symptoms of pain in pets may vary based on the individual animal as well as the species. For instance, dogs often show arthritic pain by limping or favoring a leg. In contrast, cats do not typically present with lameness or limping and instead will be less willing to jump and/or have shorter jumps.

It is also important to note that animals may hide their pain. This is especially true of cats, who tend to be masters at hiding their pain. Fortunately, the IVAPM has come up with a list of common signs of pain in both cats and dogs. According to the IVAPM, the most common signs of pain are:

  • Decreased activity – Take notice if your animal is not playing as much as usual
  • Not going up or down stairs – This could be an early sign of osteoarthritis
  • Reluctance to jump onto surfaces – This especially applies to cats
  • Difficulty standing after laying down – This is a sign of osteoarthritis
  • Decreased appetite – This can signal mouth pain
  • Over grooming or licking a particular area – This can be a sign of referred pain

Additionally, the IVAPM has provided a checklist for both dogs and cats that can be used to help you and your veterinarian determine if your pet is in pain.

While September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these potential signs of pain at all times. If you notice that your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, a trip to your vet may be in order.

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Sep 16, 2022

VetStem Cell Therapy for Pain Management in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, VetStem Cell Therapy

Animal Pain Awareness Month continues and this week we are discussing stem cell therapy for pain management in pets. As most of our readers know, thousands of animals have experienced an improved quality of life as a result of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. While stem cells have many mechanisms of action including the ability to differentiate into many tissue types and stimulate the regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues, they also have the ability to reduce pain and inflammation.

Stem Cells Can Reduce Inflammation

The ability of stem cells to regulate inflammation is important when it comes to pain management. Through cellular communication, stem cells are able to limit inflammatory responses and actually shift from a pro-inflammatory environment to an anti-inflammatory environment. By reducing inflammation, stem cells promote healing and increased comfort.

Stem Cells Directly Modulate Pain

While a reduction in inflammation can lead to increased comfort, current literature supports that stem cells also have the ability to address both acute and chronic pain directly. Initial impressions about the functions of stem cell therapy have focused on healing, regeneration, and reduced inflammation, while more recent studies have looked at the ability of stem cells to directly modulate pain. The recent literature demonstrates that stem cells secrete pain blocking cytokines (small proteins), which can have opioid-like effects. Interestingly enough, these effects can actually be reversed by Naloxone, an opioid antagonist.

VetStem Cell Therapy for Pain Management

Veterinarians see and treat pain in their patients every day. There are numerous treatment options available including medications, devices, and surgery. Stem cells are another tool veterinarians can employ to treat pain in pets. VetStem Cell Therapy has the advantage of being a readily available, natural source of anti-inflammatory and pain blocking cells. This can be especially beneficial for cats and some dogs who do not tolerate anti-inflammatories well.

If you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers near you.

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Sep 9, 2022

Animal Pain Awareness Month

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets

As we mentioned in last week’s blog, the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) declared September Animal Pain Awareness Month to raise awareness and to help veterinary professionals and pet owners recognize and manage pain in animals of all species. As such, each year, we dedicate the entire month of VetStem blogs to the topic.

Types of Pain in Animals

It is important to note that there are multiple types and causes of pain in animals. Pain can be acute such as pain from a recent surgical procedure or injury. Acute pain is characterized by pain that has come on suddenly or has only been present for a short period of time. Alternatively, chronic pain can be more subtle and likely came on slowly over an extended period of time. An example of chronic pain is osteoarthritis pain.

We can further break this down into types of pain. The three primary classifications of pain are nociceptive, inflammatory, and neuropathic. Nociceptive pain is caused by noxious stimulation such as an injury/physical damage, exposure to chemicals, or exposure to extreme temperatures. As its name suggests, inflammatory pain is caused by acute or chronic inflammation. And lastly, neuropathic pain comes from damage to an element of the nervous system.

Pain Management in Animals

Just like people, acute and chronic pain can lead to a decreased quality of life for our pets. By managing an animal’s pain, we not only make them feel better, but we also help them live a happier life. IVAPM works to educate veterinary professionals and pet owners to better understand how to recognize and manage pain in pets and, in doing so, has helped the field of veterinary pain management grow tremendously in recent years.

As the field continues to grow, there have been a great many advances for methods to control pain in animals. Pain medications are no longer the only way to control pain. Several newer and more natural alternatives have become more mainstream in veterinary medicine including things like rehabilitation, acupuncture, and even stem cell therapy. With these advances, veterinarians now have the ability to help several different painful conditions that they struggled with in the past.

Pain management is an invaluable tool in maintaining happy and healthy pets. It is important to keep an eye out for signs that your pet may be in pain. In the coming weeks, we will cover signs and symptoms of pain in pets.

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Sep 2, 2022

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Veterinary Medicine

It’s officially Animal Pain Awareness Month. Each September, we devote the entire month of VetStem blogs to this very important topic. Animal Pain Awareness Month was created by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) and is dedicated to raising awareness to help veterinary professionals and pet owners recognize and manage pain in animals.

Who is IVAPM?

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) was founded in 2001 by a group of veterinarians, including one of VetStem’s earliest users and collaborators, Dr. Jamie Gaynor. The organization evolved over the years and today, is led by an active board of directors to provide veterinary pain management education as well as a pain management certification program.

The IVAPM unites veterinary professionals across all disciplines from around the world to advocate for best practices in the treatment of pain in animals. The organization is committed to encouraging pain management for all animal species through education and advocacy. They also encourage various veterinary organizations to raise public awareness about pain and pain management as it pertains to veterinary patients. IVAPM is the leading forum and educational resource for veterinary professionals and pet owners interested in animal pain prevention, management, and treatment.

IVAPM Board of Directors

The IVAPM has an active board of directors that includes veterinarians and specialized veterinary technicians primarily from the United States. The current President of IVAPM is an experienced VetStem user, Dr. Douglas Stramel. Dr. Stramel has been utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy since early 2008. Stem cells have the ability to directly modulate pain, which we will discuss in a blog later this month.

IVAPM Pain Management Forum

One of the primary goals of IVAPM is to educate the veterinary community to recognize and treat pain in all species of animals. IVAPM provides continuing education on a variety of topics around the world. As mentioned above, they also provide the only interdisciplinary pain management certification program for veterinary professionals.

In addition to these efforts, IVAPM launched the very first Pain Management Forum earlier this year. VetStem sponsored a dry lab with Dr. Douglas Stramel in which he discussed VetStem Cell Therapy as one of several pain management modalities he employs in his practice.

Resources for Pet Owners

The IVAPM does not solely focus on educating veterinary professionals. Pet owners play a key role in both recognizing and managing their pet’s pain. Thus, the IVAPM has several resources for pet owners as well. Through their website, pet owners can search for Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioners and also find various resources to help determine if a pet is in pain.

Stay tuned for more Pain Awareness themed blogs all month long!

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Sep 17, 2021

Stem Cell Therapy and Pain Reduction

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Stem Cell Therapy

It’s still Animal Pain Awareness Month so we have another pain-themed blog for you. This week, we are talking about how stem cell therapy may reduce pain in pets. We frequently share stories about pets who have gained a better quality of life after treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. And while we know stem cells have multiple mechanisms of action, one lesser-known mechanism is the ability to modulate pain.

You may remember last week’s blog in which we discussed the various classifications of pain. To briefly review, those were:

  • Nociceptive – caused by noxious stimulation (injury/physical damage, exposure to chemicals or exposure to extreme temperatures)
  • Inflammatory – caused by acute or chronic inflammation
  • Neuropathic – from damage to an element of the nervous system
VetStem recipient Deuce had decreased pain after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy for osteoarthritis and tendonitis.

Below, we will discuss how stem cells have the ability to address each one of these pain classifications.

Stem Cells are Anti-Inflammatory

For many years, differentiation was believed to be the primary function of regenerative stem cells. More recent literature, however, supports the notion that stem cell therapy may be an effective treatment option for pain management. The ability of stem cells to regulate inflammation is important when it comes to pain management. By reducing inflammation, stem cells promote healing and increased comfort.

Stem Cells Act Directly on Acute and Chronic Pain

While a reduction in inflammation can lead to increased comfort, current literature supports that stem cells have the ability to address both acute and chronic pain directly. Stem cells have been shown to secrete pain blocking cytokines (small proteins), which can have opioid-like effects. Stem cells have also shown the ability to reduce neuroinflammation (inflammation of the nervous tissue).

If you think your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, contact us for a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Sep 9, 2021

How to Recognize Pain in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets

We are officially in the second week of Animal Pain Awareness Month. For those who missed last week’s blog, September was declared Animal Pain Awareness Month by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) to help owners recognize the signs of pain in pets so they can seek help from a veterinarian when needed.

When it comes to pain in pets, it’s not always easy to tell that our animals are hurting. Some pets are masters at hiding their pain. But there are some tips and tricks to help determine if your pet might be in pain. It is also helpful to understand the various types and causes of pain.

Types of Pain in Pets

There are multiple types of pain in pets. But first, we must understand the difference between acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is characterized by pain that has come on suddenly or has only been present for a short period of time. Examples of acute pain include pain after surgery or from a new injury, such as a fall. Alternatively, chronic pain can be more subtle and may be considered just “slowing down” or “getting old.” An example of chronic pain is osteoarthritis pain.

Digging a little deeper, we can look at the three primary classifications of pain. The first is nociceptive pain. This type of pain is caused by noxious stimulation such as an injury/physical damage, exposure to chemicals, or exposure to extreme temperatures. The next classification of pain, and one that we talk about frequently on this blog, is inflammatory pain. As its name implies, this type of pain stems from acute or chronic inflammation. And lastly, we have neuropathic pain which is caused by damage to an element of the nervous system.

Signs that your Pet may be in Pain
But how do you know if your pet is in pain? As we mentioned, pets can be good at hiding their pain. Fortunately, there are some potential signs of pain in pets that you can keep an eye out for. The IVAPM has provided a list of the most common signs of pain in pets:

  • Decreased activity – Take notice if your animal is not playing as much as usual
  • Not going up or down stairs – This could be an early sign of osteoarthritis
  • Reluctance to jump onto surfaces – This especially applies to cats
  • Difficulty standing after laying down – This is a sign of osteoarthritis
  • Decreased appetite – This can signal mouth pain
  • Over grooming or licking a particular area – This can be a sign of referred pain

For a more extensive list of symptoms of pain in both dogs and cats, visit the IVAPM website.

While September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, it’s a good idea to always keep an eye out for these potential signs of pain. If you notice that your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, call your veterinarian. And stay tuned for next week’s blog about how stem cells can treat pain!

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Sep 3, 2021

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets

September is a very special month in the veterinary world. It is Animal Pain Awareness month, which was created by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) in an effort to raise awareness and to help pet owners recognize and manage their pet’s pain.

Some pets, especially cats, are masters at hiding their pain. So, it is important for animal owners, with the help of their veterinarians, to be able to recognize pain in their pets. There are multiple educational resources available to help owners recognize pain in their pets. For instance, owners can learn about the different types of pain as well as the typical signs of pain. These tools can help owners determine if their pet may be in pain and if a visit to the veterinarian is in order.

Your veterinarian will also help with pain management. Whether your pet may benefit from rehabilitative exercises, joint supplements, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, or other pain medications, your veterinarian can help to get your pet on the right track to living a pain free life. There are multiple treatment modalities when it comes to pain management, with both naturopathic and drug-based therapies, or a combination of the two. One more natural option is VetStem Cell Therapy. Stem cells have shown the ability to modulate both acute and chronic pain. But we will talk more about that in a later blog.

This month’s blogs will all be dedicated to recognizing and managing pain in pets. In the coming weeks, we will share information about the different types of pain and also how to tell if your dog or cat is in pain so stay tuned! And as always, if you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area. 

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Sep 18, 2020

Stem Cell Therapy May Reduce Pain in Pets

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Stem Cell Therapy

As Animal Pain Awareness Month continues, we wanted to share some information about how stem cells may relieve pain in pets. We frequently share stories about dogs with osteoarthritis who regain mobility and a better quality of life after receiving VetStem Cell Therapy. While stem cells utilize multiple mechanisms of action, one primary benefit of stem cells is their ability to reduce inflammation and pain.

Pain in Pets

As we mentioned in last week’s blog, pets can suffer from acute and chronic pain. Pain in pets can result from a variety of causes and there are three primary classifications of pain:

  • Nociceptive – caused by noxious stimulation (injury/physical damage, exposure to chemicals or exposure to extreme temperatures)
  • Inflammatory – caused by acute or chronic inflammation
  • Neuropathic – from damage to an element of the nervous system

Stem Cells are Anti-Inflammatory

One major mechanism of action is the ability of stem cells to down regulate inflammation. By reducing inflammation, stem cells promote healing and increase comfort. When used to treat osteoarthritis, stem cells may promote cartilage regrowth and therefore healthier and less painful joints.

Stem Cells Act Directly on Pain

While a reduction in inflammation can lead to increased comfort, current literature supports that stem cells have the ability to address both acute and chronic pain directly. Recently, there have been studies to evaluate stem cells’ direct effects on modulating pain. Stem cells have been shown to secrete pain blocking cytokines (small proteins), which can have opioid-like effects. Stem cells have also shown the ability to reduce neuroinflammation (inflammation of the nervous tissue).

If you think your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, contact us for a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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