What Is the Best Pain Medication for Dogs?

There’s a reason that pain management is a field by itself in the field of medicine: there’s plenty to learn about pain! While we would love to see was one medication that could be used for all kind in pain, decision to the best pain medicine for a patient is based on a myriad of factors.

In every case it’s the vet’s job to determine “In this situation which is the most appropriate method of managing pain for the animal?” The goal is to ease pain with medications that are secure, efficient and easy for owners to access and administer.

The first thing a vet asks is “What is the kind of pain we’re trying to treat?” Chronic pain from an ongoing issue is different from an acute pain that is a result of injuries or surgeries. Cancer pain is so complex to warrant its own class.

The next thing the vet considers is “What kinds of pain medication are appropriate in this instance?” The main categories of pain medicines are opiods NSAIDS and steroids, as well as neutraceuticals and alternatives to drugs. Every class targets distinct section of the pain pathways. Certain kinds of pain respond better the same class of medication in comparison to others. Some pets may not be able to handle a specific drug because of reactions to other medications or medical health conditions.

In many instances the most effective treatment for pain is the combination of several medications which is known in the context of “multimodal treatment for pain.” Through a wide range of painkillers targeting various locations along the pain path typically, we require less of each one to achieve a better outcome.

The ultimate question is “What is the best option for this family member and patient?” The veterinarian must be aware of such factors like cost, frequency the medication needs to be administered, as well as how easily it is to administer. No matter how effective medication is, it’s not going to work if the owner is unable to make the pet take it!

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