When your beloved canine companion experiences chronic pain, it can have a detrimental effect on their quality of life. Today, our Los Angeles vets discuss chronic pain in dogs and how you can help manage your pet's pain.
Chronic Pain in Dogs
We always hope to love and care for our canine companions as if they were a member of our own human family, and while we can do a decent job of it, there may be certain conditions that we simply cannot prevent. Chronic pain is one such condition that not only causes your dog pain but also can drastically reduce their quality of life.
Causes of Chronic Pain in Dogs
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs, affecting approximately 40% of dogs. Hereditary and other congenital factors, which can affect dogs of all ages and breeds, contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
Diagnosing Chronic Pain in Dogs
If you suspect that your canine companion is suffering from chronic pain, you should record any symptoms you observe and bring them in for a thorough examination to rule out other potential causes.
Your vet may use the following pain assessment methods to diagnose your dog's condition:
- Veterinary examination
- Physiologic biomarkers
- Objective measurements of gait (eg, force plate) and/or activity and movement (eg, accelerometer)
- Owner assessment of activities of daily living (ADL)
- Multifactorial clinical measurement instruments.
Laser Therapy Treatment for Chronic Pain in Dogs
Veterinary laser therapy is a fairly new method of treatment for symptoms related to various disorders and is most commonly used to help manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing for your pet.
Therapeutic lasers use light waves of a specific wavelength to alter the physiology of the affected tissues. The light emitted by these lasers throughout treatment will help to stimulate the cells within the tissues and allows for faster cellular regeneration.
The laser's wavelength will determine which tissues can be affected. Most commonly used lasers emit near-infrared light, although the use of lasers with shorter wavelengths is increasing. Lasers with shorter wavelengths are utilized to treat areas close to and involving the skin, whereas lasers with longer wavelengths are utilized to repair deeper tissues.
Speak to your vet if you would like to learn more about how your dog may benefit from veterinary laser therapy.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.