According to a recent study in Spain,sudden changes in a dog's attitude, for example aggression, can be due to some internal pain, which sets him off if he is touched! Most of us have suspected this for years, but it's nice when studies confirm things, especially since our pets don't talk to us directly.
"If the pet is handled when in pain, it will quickly act aggressively to avoid more discomfort without the owner being able to prevent it," study researcher Tomàs Camps, of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, said in a statement. "Dogs that had never been aggressive before the onset of pain began to behave in this way in situations where an attempt is made to control them."
Irritability from pain can make nice dogs violent and mean dogs worse! Researchers say, these findings support the importance of the diagnosis and treatment of pain in dogs.
Conventionally, analgesic and antiinflammatory drugs have always come with a variety of potentially harmful side effects.The steroidal antiinflammatories such as prednisone are also immunosuppressive and can lead to secondary infections in the mouth, ears, skin and urinary tract. They can also cause excessive thirst and urination to the point of accidents. Non-steroidals such as Rimadyl, Etogesic,Deramaxx and others have been correlated with vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dry eye, liver disease and even death. Analgesics, such as Tramadol, can make your pet so "loopy", he may not be able to walk and you will misinterpret this as worsening of the ambulatory problem for which you are treating in the first place! So, although at times the risk of using these may be necessary, it is nice to know that there are healthier alternatives you can reach for first!
At the Animal Doctor, we have had great success with a Chinese herbal called corydalis. It is both analgesic and antiinflammatory in its actions and is very safe.It is a brown powder that is mixed in with wet food and is quite palatable.We reach for this first for arthritic pain in stifles, hips or back pain due to spondylosis or intervertebral disc disease.Our source is extremely safe and reliable.
We have used the human homeopathics from the Heel company for dogs and cats. Traumeel tablets orally for acute soft tissue injury, bruises, sprains, and Zeel for chronic arthritic pain. I have used the injectable of these for aquapuncture.
We can stimulate endorphin release (the "feel good" hormone) with acupuncture and in particular increase circulation, stimulate the neuroendocrine sustem and promote healing with electroacupuncture. If you have chronic pain and have never tried this, you should! It feels wonderful. I call it a mini-massage. The tingle is mind boggling. Most pet patients sleep through this;it feels soo good! Cats with lumbosacral disease and chronic constipation(which is very common) in particular are very receptive to acupuncture!
Another modality providing great success, and is very affordable, is laser therapy.This is the same caliber laser that is used on human athletes. I think physical therapists for the football and baseball players would be lost without the ability to utilize laser treatment. We are quickly finding the same with our athletic and chronically debilitated dogs and cats. We are seeing improvement after two treatments. Normally six treatments are performed over a two to six week period depending on the problem, and then maintenance if needed in the future.We are using a schedule IV laser to manage back pain, arthritis in hips, stifles and elbows,and to promote wound and incisional healing including dental extractions.
Pet guardians may be present during acupuncture and laser treatments. During acupuncture, the room is darkened and relaxation music is played.If you'd like, we can teach you how to do an essential oils massage on your pet at this time as well!
Established clients pay $75.00 for their initial acupuncture treatment and $55.00 for each followup. For current clients, laser is offered at an introductory special of $30.00 per treatment with the sixth free.
New clients pay $75.00 to become established which includes a complete physical examination, record review, nutritional video viewing, diet and supplement consultation and treatment recommendations. (Bring current supplements along.)
One of the most important modalities to mobilize stiff joints is swimming! Did you know there is an indoor pool for dogs in New Berlin? It's awesome!( You can see this pool at the Animal Doctor during the next Jammin' on Janesville.)
Lastly, all of the patients mentioned should be receiving a good quality joint support/glucosamine product and omega-3 fatty acid source such as anchovy/sardine oil or krill oil which provides natural anti-inflammatory action.
You can find more on all these topics at www.animaldoctormuskego.com