What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

Acute pain is sudden. It will likely be short-term pain. However, acute pain can lead to chronic pain, so we want to ensure that acute pain is managed early, effectively, and appropriately.

Dr. Sean Penn
Horizon Animal Hospital

How quickly should I bring in my dog if I suspect they're in pain?

I would go ahead and bring in your dog as soon as possible because some acute pain can become chronic, and the earlier it's treated, the better the outcome can be to prevent long-term pain.

What are some signs and symptoms of pain in my dog?

Signs that you might see would be aggression and biting or licking at the location. Sometimes they may have some loss of energy and loss of appetite. There may be swelling in the area, and they may show sensitivity in certain areas of their body, or they may walk with a little bit of a limp or like they're favoring one of their limbs.

Can I use human pain pills like Tylenol, Aleve, or Advil?

Tylenol, first of all, also known as acetaminophen, can be given to some dogs, and that needs to be carefully assessed under the direct supervision and direction of a veterinarian. Aleve is an over-the-counter medication that has naproxen in it, and it is absolutely not safe for dogs under any circumstances. Advil, Motrin, also known as ibuprofen, is absolutely not safe to use in dogs under any circumstances as it can cause gastrointestinal signs and, in higher doses, kidney disease and liver failure.

What are the medications used for pain management?

We do have some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that we use safely in dogs that are prescription only. Oftentimes, depending on the dog, there has to be some monitoring of parameters because some dogs do not tolerate these medications. We also have medications like gabapentin, among others. Acupuncture can be used as an adjunctive, and there are over-the-counter supplements and such that can help. Additionally, sometimes there can be things like, for example, weight management that is instituted to help manage and prevent further harm in cases of things like osteoarthritis with concurrent obesity.

Can a veterinarian help me manage my dog's chronic pain?

Veterinarians are very happy to help manage chronic pain. If you have any questions, it is certainly something that you can call our office about to get an appointment, and we can discuss that further.

Where is the best place for me to get pain medication for my dog?

Pain medication is available through our pharmacy, or it can be available through any veterinary-approved pharmacy that's licensed.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (480) 614-9500, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media https://www.facebook.com/HorizonAnimalHospital.