Seeing your dog in pain and not knowing what to do can be heart-wrenching. We want our dogs to be happy and pain-free, always. It is important to educate oneself about the different kinds of OTC medicines, natural medicines and physical therapies that can help relieve your dog’s pain.
Remember that no medicine should be administered to your dog without a vet’s prescription/advice.
Signs of pain in dogs
Although your dog will try to tell you that they are in pain, it is not always easy to spot the signs. A vet can prescribe painkillers for your dog for several different reasons that include pain associated with dental procedures, pain from an injury, post-surgical pain, painful skin allergies, a simple bloating, or arthritis.
Signs that indicate your dog is in pain
- Lowered tail
- Decreased appetite
- Reluctance to jump or climb stairs
- Unusual behavior that includes sudden aggressiveness or quietness
What kind of medicines can be given when your dog is in pain?
Every ailment is different and so is the cure for it. You must not attempt to give medications to your dog based on your judgment and speak to the veterinarian if your pet is in pain. Having said that, there are multiple painkillers for dogs and various methods to relieve pain, here are some of them:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines
Just like humans have OTC medicines, dogs have them too. You cannot administer human medicines to dogs as they can be dangerous and toxic for them. It is advisable to give your dog pain medicines prescribed by the veterinarian only. Additionally, do not attempt to estimate the dosage according to a human body, ask your vet about the right amount of dosage to be given.
- Natural pain relief therapy
Due to its wonderful effects on pets, natural pain relief therapy for dogs has been gaining a lot of attention. There are many different types of natural therapies, here are some of them:
Cannabis Leaf Extract Oil
This oil has a formulation that is composed of Cannabinoids including CBD, CBN and other constituents which assist pets in all forms of discomfort including joint pain, muscular pain, arthritic pain and skin infections. There have been a lot of questions and doubts around what these natural painkillers for dogs are and how safe they are. Here are some common questions most pet parents have:
What is Cannabis Leaf Extract?
Cannabis Leaf Extract is a compound that is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant that has many therapeutic properties. It works by activating the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for the sensations of pain. It binds itself to cell receptors in the muscle tissue, skin and nerves. This in turn, alleviates pain and inflammation.
Which health problems does Cannabis Leaf Extract Oil help with?
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Cannabis Leaf Extract Oil can help treat your dog’s skin diseases, joint pain, sore muscles, arthritic pain and dry or flaky skin.
Is Cannabis Leaf Extract Oil safe for dogs?
Most topical therapeutic oils that are derived from the Cannabis Leaf are safe for dogs. Look for an oil that has no THC in it, because this is the compound responsible for causing hallucinogenic effects. There are many options available in the market with a wide range of ingredients, so speak to your vet to pick the right cannabis leaf infused pain relief oil for your dog.
Will my dog get high with Cannabis Leaf Extract Oil?
No. Cannabis Leaf Extract Oil cannot get your pet high since it does not contain the compound responsible for causing hallucinations or psychoactive effects. Hence, it is totally non-addictive and non-psychoactive for pets.
Homeopathy is another branch of natural pain relief therapy to treat your dog’s pain. It works by using refined diluted herbs, minerals and several other natural ingredients. It is an alternative treatment option for dogs. Homeopathy is known to work on your dog’s natural immune system, prevent and treat a variety of conditions and have lesser side effects than traditional medicines. Homeopathy can be administered in many forms like- tablets, liquid and powder. Finding the right remedy and treatment can be difficult. A professional can help you provide the right homeopathic treatment for your dog’s ailment.
Bach Flower Therapy
This is a branch of natural therapy that derives the Bach Flower essences from plants, trees and minerals. Founded by Edward Bach, a medical Homeopath doctor, Bach Therapy is believed to heal negative emotions like fear, uncertainty, loneliness, sadness or despair in pets. The Bach Flower essences have little taste or smell and work gently on your dog’s body to balance the emotional and physical state. It is known to be non-toxic and safe for dogs. It can be administered topically in the forms of bath salts, skin creams and sprays.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp Seed Oil is another form of natural therapy that has gained popularity in recent times. It is an anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing oil for topical and oral use. Hemp Seed Oil is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant and can treat a variety of ailments. Despite the popular myth, Hemp Seed Oil is safe, non-toxic and does not get your pet high, as the oil is devoid of the compound responsible for causing hallucinogenic effects. Hemp Seed Oil is an all-rounder medicine as it can treat skin issues, relieve pain, reduce anxiety and stress and decrease the loss of fur.
*Always seek natural pain relief therapy under the supervision of a professional, because every ailment requires a different medicine.
- Physical therapy for pets
Physical therapy or physical rehabilitation is a lot like physiotherapy for humans, it is helpful to dogs just the way it is helpful to us. Physical therapy for dogs can help in reducing pain, improve strength, endurance, flexibility and overall health.
Canine physical rehabilitation can help restore function in dogs who have had an injury, accident, or a disease. Your vet may suggest a combination of treatments or a single treatment that can relieve your pooch’s pain. Treatments may include massage, heat treatment, hydrotherapy and exercise. In some cases, a vet might also suggest canine physical rehabilitation as an alternative to surgery as a way to stimulate senior dogs’ brains and give them a new purpose.
Here are some canine physical therapy exercises you can do at home. However, do consult your vet before you try these exercises with your dog.
To improve balance
Plank: This is a basic stand. Help your dog stand still for 10 seconds without any movement and with the head up.
Core balancing: Assist your dog to stand on some cushions and encourage them to stay still. You can distract them by tickling their belly to help them in engaging their core muscles and making the exercise fun.
To improve strength
Sit and stand: Using a treat, encourage your dog to sit and stand, repeat it 10 times, twice a day.
Back extension: Ask your pet to stand on an elevated surface with only their front feet. Make sure your dog’s head and neck are in a straight line with their back. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
To improve mobility
Dancing: Cha-cha with your pet! Lift their front paws, sway from side to side, move backward and forward to increase their mobility.
Cookie stretch: Help your pet to stand still. Using a treat, lure your dog’s nose to their shoulders, then their hip, then between their front legs. Do this for both sides. Make sure your pet is standing still throughout the exercise.
Apart from this, regular walking, running and swimming are also beneficial for your dog. Not only does your dog get to exercise but also gets to spend time with their favorite humans.
A form of physical therapy, Hydrotherapy for dogs has been a growing trend in treating canine physical ailments. Hydrotherapy or water therapy refers to the therapeutic use of water to aid your dog’s recovery or improve health. Water provides buoyancy and resistance, in turn making the muscles stronger and building endurance without putting much stress on your dog’s joints. Hot water can also relax the muscles, ease pain and aid in the healing process. Hydrotherapy for dogs usually consists of swimming or walking or exercising in water. Because this therapy puts less pressure on your dog’s joints, it is usually recommended to senior dogs with arthritis or dogs with physical injuries.
*Always speak to your vet before opting for any of the physical therapies for your dog.
When should you consult a vet?
You should speak to your vet when you notice the first signs of discomfort or any kind of unusual activity in your dog. Describe the problem to your vet carefully and in detail. This will help them in pinpointing the exact problem and understanding where the pain is. Depending on the diagnosis, your vet may prescribe medicines and additional treatments for pain management.
Follow your vet’s advice and do what they suggest. Do not hesitate to ask your vet about natural supplements or generic formulations of pain medicines for dogs. A lot of the natural medicines are easily available online.
Ask your vet if a multimodal plan can be followed to relieve pain. A holistic approach that attacks the pain from several directions can be more effective.
Always consult your vet before you go for any pain relief therapy, because not every therapy is suitable for every dog. Your vet can provide you with a physical therapy plan designed specifically to treat your dog’s pain and ailments.
If you cannot step outside due to the COVID-19 restrictions, call a vet at home or opt for an online video consultation for your pet.
No one deserves to live in pain, especially not our furry babies. Call your vet at the earliest signs of pain and get regular checkups done from the vet to make sure everything is a-okay! For anything else, Team Wiggles is always here to help, call us on +91 8431620000 and our team of experts will help you and your pet at the earliest!