Journal of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

Journal of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

(ISSN: 2659 – 0743)

Volume 2, No. 1,  2020
Pages 230-246

DOI: 10.36108/jvbs/9102.20.0172

The Management of Pain In Animals on The Clinic Floor
Omamegbe, J. O.1 and Nwinyi, F. C.2

1Department of Veterinary Surgery.

2Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Abuja. Abuja. Nigeria.


Most animals presented for veterinary care are suffering or will suffer from some pain during restraint, clinical examination, samples collection, diagnostic imaging, parenteral drug administration or clinical procedures et cetera. The Veterinarian is ethically, morally and professionally enjoined to recognize and alleviate such pain. Although most studies on animal pain have been focused on mostly post surgical pain in dogs and cats, animals afflicted with most common external or internal, infectious and non-infectious disease conditions also suffer from pain. Identifying animals in pain alone is difficult except if a Veterinarian with a penchant for the management of pain in animals actively looks out for it in patients. The measurement of pain in animals poses even more difficulties for the Veterinarian than its identification mainly because animals are unable to communicate the locations, the temporal occurance and the severities of the pain they feel just as they don’t of other clinical manifestations. Therefore, animals in pain rely on their owners, handlers or keepers et cetera who actually don’t know how or where it hurts them to provide such details to the Veterinaruan. To complicate matters, the use of validated pain assessment scales in animals is fraught with serious limitations except to some less extent, for the visual analog and the simple descriptive scales which seem applicable in real clinic situations. A multi-modal mode of management in which opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, local anesthetics, α 2 – adrenergic agonists, NDMA receptor antagonists and ketamine delivered through a variety of routes, at varied dosages and regimens, is advocated for pain management in animals. The need to regularly review the state of the patient vis-à-vis the need to modify the treatment module and regimen cannot be over emphasized when and if a clinical case is under consideration. This may involve the change of medications, the addition of more medications, the reduction in the number of medication, changes in dosages and the regimen in use from time to time. This discuss is aimed at the general Veterinary practitioner who is presented daily with different species and breeds of animals suffering from varieties of clinical conditions or which will undergo a variety of clinical procedures capable of causing pain in the course of veterinary health care delivery in diverse clinic settings.

Keywords: Pain. Animals. Identification, Assessment. Management. Veterinarians

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