Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Pets In Pain
When we hurt we go to the doctor or take medication and make it go away. However, our pets can't do that. They rely on us - and unfortunately -- their pain often goes undetected until it's too late..health specalist Marilyn Mitzel shows us what signs to look for that aren't so obvious in protecting your pet.
(WSVN) -- Only fictional characters like Dr. Doolittle - and the pet psychic of course can seem to carry on extensive - coherent conversations with animals.
As for the rest of us mere mortal beings - we can talk to our animals.
They clearly understand some of what we say and vice versa.
Research shows dogs have a vocabulary of about 60 words - cats 30 - unless it's quite obvious they can't tell us where or when it hurts .
By nature pets hide pain.
Monica and Robert had no idea what Zeus was facing until he began limping.
Monica says, "He's just in so much pain."
Tests discover a tumor -- eating away at the bone.
Watch what happens when the vet looks at Zeus' leg.
Dr.Chris Stevens from Emerald Hills Animal Hospital says,
"We used to think that pets did not feel pain like we do. but it's really not true. They have the same pathways of pain that people do. It's just that they can't express their pain like we can."
Aggression - appetite loss - constant licking - hiding - unresponsiveness are all pain indicators.
Dr. Stevens says, "Pain can cause a lot of stress which can inturn weaken the immune system."
To end Zeus' agony and the disease from spreading - Doc recommends amputation.
Monica says, "I want that pain gone."
Zeus is preped for surgery.
Early detection and cancer treatment may have prevented amputation.
Veterinarian Dr. Elsa Beck says, "Some people are afraid of treatment because they're afraid we're gonna cause a lot of pain with the treatment and actually it's the opposite."
45 minutes after zeus' operation.
Pain killers keep zeus' comfortable during recovery.
Two days later he's ready to go home. A pain patch helps him cope until he heals compeletly.
Dr. Stevens says, "They're not in pain at that point. They really do well. You'd be amazed at how well they do with three legs. They acclimate great."
Untreated pain also causes stress which can weaken your pets immune system - posing other serious health problems.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Emerald Hills Animal Hospital
Dr. Chris Stevens