Archive for March, 2012

HOLISTIC PAIN MANAGEMENT FOR PETS

There are many types of pain.  Some are very severe and others more tolerable.   Although we think of pain as bad it is actually the body’s way of letting us know that something is wrong.   It tells us to slow down and protect the damaged area.    Without pain we would not be aware that we were damaged in some way and we would continue doing things that would make the pain worse.    Of course, if the pain is severe using pain killers to make life more tolerable is often necessary.   However simply masking the pain without taking additional steps to help the damaged area heal would be a big mistake.

Pets can develop painful conditions for a number of reasons and what relieves their pain depends to a great extent on what causes it.    Common painful conditions that dogs and cats develop include musculo-skeletal diseases which include injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone.    Specific problems such as arthritis, a torn cruciate ligament, a torn muscle, a torn menisci, hip dysplasia, a dislocated hip, osteomyelitis  and  osteosarcoma are all diseases causing musculoskeletal pain.   Other painful conditions may originate from the diseases of the nervous system including spinal cord compression from intervertebral disks disease, narrowing of the spinal canal known as vertebral stenosis. and spinal arthritis (vertebral spondylosis) which often compresses spinal nerve roots.    Gastro intestinal pain may result from gas distension, a gastric ulcer, and an intestinal foreign body causing intestinal obstruction.    Urinary tract pain can arise from stones in the kidney or passing down the ureters.   Stones lodged in the pets urethra can cause the bladder to distend and become very painful.    Oral pain can arise from loose teeth, a cavity, a tooth root abscess, or expose dental pulp.   A corneal eye ulcer, a foreign body in the eye or glaucoma can all cause severe eye pain.   To reiterate it is important to keep in mind that pain is a protective mechanism the body uses to tell the pet or person to avoid using the area while healing is occurring.  Consequently masking pain with pain killers although sometimes necessary may encourage the pet to use the limb before proper healing has occurred.

Before pain can be treated it must first be recognized by either the pet’s guardian or the veterinarian.    Because animals can’t tell us where it hurts and when it hurts caretakers and veterinarians must learn to recognize subtle signs of pain.    Sometimes pain is obvious such as when a pet walks stiffly or limps, or screams out when he or she moves in a certain way or is touched at a certain spot.   However, some dogs or cats are more stoic and pain may not be so obvious to the pet’s caretaker.    The less obvious signs of pain include a change in posture,  subtle changes in gait,  a change in ear, tail or head carriage, less activity, a decreased appetite, an increased heart rate, dilated pupils,   excessive panting, a personality change such as a more aggressive or fearful nature.

Once pain has been recognized and hopefully localized, there are many holistic options for reducing pain and making the pet more comfortable.   These options include herbal and nutritional anti-inflammatories like:     Valerian root, Rosemary, Ginger, Celery seed, Phenylalanine, DMSO, MSM, Hops, and Boswellia.  Glucosamine, collagen type 2, Hyaluranic acid, Yucca, and Ultra-InflammX .    Homotoxicology remedies like Trammel, Zeel, Spascupreel and Traumeel are all used to treat painful conditions.   The herbal or homeopathic remedy Arnica has long history of being used for pain management

Other  techniques  which can minimize pain include acupuncture, chiropractic, veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM), pulsed magnetic therapy,  Frequency Specific Micro current (FSM), infrasonic therapy, Class 4 Laser therapy,  massage therapy, trigger point therapy, prolo-therapy,   physical therapy,   Rubeolla viral Immune Modulator injection (RVI),  and finally Adequin and Legend injections.

The above therapies for pain can be used alone or in combination.     Keep in mind that what works well for anyone animal may not work as well for another.    Pets are like people and each individual has a unique physiology which determines which remedies or modalities work the best for them.   Consequently, it may take several trials before the best solution is found.

It is important to point out that holistic solutions are commonly not as fast acting as drugs but are much safer.     For most herbs or nutritional remedies pain relief may take as long as 2-3 weeks and consequently the quicker acting drugs may have to use in the initial stages in combination with the slower natural remedies.

Finally, one thing pet caregivers must realize is that it is very important to keep their dog under control during the healing process.    As we reduce the pets pain they want to run after birds, rabbits or squirrel in spite of their discomfort and in doing so commonly reinjure themselves.    Short easy walks can be beneficial but if the dog is pulling hard on the leash the walk may be contra-productive.

For more information on alternative and holistic medicine please visit us at www.doc4pets.com.

 

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing
dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is
certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to  Awakenings magazine.

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties.   Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington, Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, lymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe
Farms, Grosse Pointe,  Romeo,  Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint , Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

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