News Bites

News Bites for August 2021

Covid 19 has obviously affected each and every one of us. Nationwide, the veterinary profession has increased appointments by 30-50% since covid began. Nationwide, there is also a shortage of veterinarians and veterinary technicians, so you can understand how this has caused some problems.

At Riverton Veterinary Clinic, we have tried to rearrange our appointments, increase appointment visits, and increase staff to be more able to accommodate all of the furry friends that need to be seen. This has been not only difficult, due to the lack of veterinarians and technicians, but also exhausting for the staff that we are fortunate enough to have at our clinic.  

We know how frustrating it is to have a sick pet and not be able to get in immediately. Please understand that we hate to send you to another facility, and we do everything in our power to accommodate everyone that needs to get in. Depending on the type of problem your pet has, it is sometimes better to send them to a specialty facility that 

has better equipment to treat your pet, or overnight care that your pet might require.

Please understand that we will do everything in our power to see your sick pet. Please also understand that if we are running a little late for your appointment, it is due to the fact that we are seeing more sick animals daily, and often this puts us behind. 

We hope you continue to entrust your furry family member to us and we hope that you understand that we are working as hard as possible to accommodate everyone that is counting on us to help their pet.

Pain in our Pets

All veterinarians take an oath as they graduate from veterinary school. As part of this oath, they pledge to prevent and relieve animal suffering. Because animals do not speak directly to us to let us know if they are in pain, veterinarians are trained to observe their actions.

Some of the clinical signs related to pain could include decreased appetite, decreased playing with their favorite toy, increased aggressive behavior, not sleeping in the bed with the owner, etc. This information is obtained by getting a complete history from the owner and by asking a lot of questions pertaining to the pet’s behavior.

After getting a thorough history, veterinarians rely on their physical exam. Does the pet tense up when their abdomen is palpated? Do they turn their head and look at you when their back legs are flexed or extended? Is the pet protective of a certain part of their body? All of these things can be our pet “telling” us they are in pain. 

Managing Pain

One of the best ways to manage pain, is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is difficult in some cases, but as veterinarians we are obligated to try.

Prior to any procedure that we are going to perform in the clinic we can use different ways to prevent pain. We can use local blocks, where we use lidocaine or bupivacaine to block the pain before we even start the procedure. We use these blocks for spays, neuters and oral health procedures. This helps provide a smoother anesthetic experience and a more comfortable recovery for our patients. 

If pain is already present, such as arthritis, trauma, lacerations, etc., there are other modalities that we can use to help. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are similar to Advil or Aleve. They help control pain and inflammation. Rimadyl (Carprofen), Meloxicam, and Onsior are just a few NSAIDs that are commonly used in the veterinary field. 

Opiods are typically more potent than NSAIDs. These medications are reserved for very painful situations.

We do not only rely on pain medicine, but other therapies have proven helpful as well. Therapeutic laser treatment and acupuncture are just 2 proven ways to help our furry friends recover faster and manage pain as well. 

Sometimes the most important part to managing pain is keeping our pets quiet and relaxed at home. This task is usually a lot easier said than done, but preventing them from running outside, or jumping on and off furniture while they are recovering can not only help them heal faster but prevent future injury. In addition, by providing them a safe, warm place for them to rest can reduce their stress as well. 

If you feel like your furry family member is showing signs of pain, please let us know and we will evaluate them to see how we can help relieve their pain.