Painless pain recommendations

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Jun 01, 2006

Q. Many of our clients don't seem to recognize the signs that their pets are in pain. What can we do?


Caitlin Rivers
"When we take a pet's history it's pretty common to discover signs a pet is in pain," says Caitlin Rivers, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a veterinary assistant and technician supervisor at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pa. "But often clients don't realize the pet's hurting. They think old age is setting in."

The solution, Rivers says, is education. You'll need to build clients' awareness about the signs of pain in pets. For example, explain that if Rover stops getting up to greet clients at the door, it may be time to check his hips. Or you might notice that Rover has a hitch in his gait. So watch for physical signs and ask activity-related questions.

Once clients know to watch for changes in their pets' behavior, they're often receptive to your solutions, which may include pain medication, glucosamine supplements, and weight loss programs. "Clients want pain control," Rivers says. "They want their pets to be comfortable and to live high-quality lives."