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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