What Are The Alternatives To Pain Medicine For Cats
An appropriate diet can go a long way in relieving chronic inflammation and pain in cats.
For example, many overweight cats suffer from arthritis. Giving them food that has a reduced caloric density with normal amounts of protein will help them lose weight while still allowing them to retain muscle mass and strength.
Excess body weight not only puts undue stress on arthritic joints, but it also promotes the inflammation that is at the heart of the disease. Foods or supplements that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid can also reduce joint inflammation and the pain associated with it.
Pain meds are not the only, or sometimes even the best, way to provide a cat with pain relief. Talk to your veterinarian to determine what combination of diet and other forms of therapy might be right in your cats case.
Herbal And Home Remedies
Nursing care is one of the best ways to help limit feline pain. In addition to creating an environment for your cat that may be less stressful and safer, you may also wish to research at-home remedies for cats in pain. Herbal supplements and homeopathics may be available, but be sure they are safe for cats. Though natural remedies are usually made purely of plants and minerals, they still contain natural chemicals which may be harmful to cats. Additionally, research has shown that changing a cat’s diet to that of quality food, rather than poorly mixed commercial diets made from grain and additives, may have a significant benefit to cats with many kinds of health problems.
Dogs Are Not Small People
Tinker Bells owner isnt alone. When owners see their dog or cat limping or showing other signs of pain, they often think about giving their pet an over-the-counter pain reliever for people. But even if data show an NSAID is safe and effective in people, the drug may not be safe and effective in dogs because the drug may:
- Last longer
- Be absorbed faster by the stomach and intestines and
- Reach higher blood levels.
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What Over The Counter Drugs Are Toxic To Cats
Aspirin causes inflammation, bleeding, ulceration and perforation of the stomach, bone marrow toxicity, metabolic acidosis and damage to the kidneys and liver.
Symptoms begin within 3-6 hours of ingestion, but may be slower to occur if lower doses are given over some time. The first signs of aspirin toxicity include loss of appetite and vomiting.
Some veterinarians do prescribe aspirin to cats, but at a much lower dose, and less frequently than in other animals. If your cat is put on aspirin, close veterinary monitoring will be necessary.
The drug inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandin. Prostaglandin helps to protect the lining of the stomach from acid, regulates blood flow and glomerular filtration rate in the kidneys. When ingestion of ibuprofen occurs, the reduction of prostaglandin results in stomach ulceration and in severe cases, stomach perforation andacute kidney failure.
The medication can cause a life-threatening condition known as methemoglobinemia which is an increase in the production of methemoglobin, a form of hemoglobin that is unable to function as an oxygen carrier, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the organs and tissues.
Toxic levels of waste products of metabolism build-up, causing liver failure. In addition to liver damage and methemoglobinemia, Heinz body anemia can also develop. This is a condition in which Heinz bodies destroy red blood cells.
Prescription Pain Relief For Dogs And Cats
While there are a number of OTC human medications you should never give your pet, your vet may prescribe a pain med for your pet thats commonly prescribed for humansalbeit at a different dosage and a potentially different formulation. If its available at your local pharmacy, you can use your SingleCare card to save.
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What Is Cbd Oil
Cannabis plants contain more than 100 active compounds, but the one most often used for medicinal purposes is cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD differs from cannabiss major active compound, tetrahydrocannabinol , in that it does not have a psychoactive affect, meaning it will not get users high. CBD oils contain a high concentration of CBD and can be used for therapeutic purposes.
There are not many classical medical studies that explore the effects of CBD oil in cats, says Dr. Daniel Inman, a veterinarian at Burlington Emergency Veterinary Specialists in Williston, Vermont. While we dont recommend CBD oil for our patients, holistic veterinarians are using it to treat a variety of ailments, including inflammation, anxiety and pain.
Inman is careful to specify that CBD oil is often used to subjectively increase comfort and improve quality of life in pets, not necessarily cure ailments. This type of treatment should be advised by your veterinarian and not initiated without their consent.
Symptoms Of Drug Poisoning In Cats
Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, dicolfenac , naproxen or oxaprozin cause certain reactions in a cat. If you suspect that they have ingested the drug, you can look for the below symptoms:
- Excessive vocalization
If you have accidentally given your cat ibuprofen or a similar human intended NSAID, you should take them to the vet. This is because they are likely to develop symptoms and a veterinarian may be able to take preemptive action. You can also take a look at this article on first aid for poisoning in cats.
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What Medication Can You Give A Cat For Pain At Home
The good news is that theres a lot you can do for your cat if its in pain. There are a variety of pain medication and other alternatives you can use to provide pain relief for your cat, although the underlying conditions always need to be treated by a veterinarian. Still, not all pain meds are safe for cats, which is why it is extremely important knowing what you can give your cat for pain.
The Sciencehow Nsaids Work
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs affect substances called prostaglandins that the body releases in response to irritation or injury. When a cell is damaged, an enzyme called cyclooxygenase is activated. An enzyme is a protein made by the body that speeds up a chemical reaction. The enzyme itself remains unchanged during the reaction. Essential to all body functions, enzymes are very specificeach enzyme stimulates a specific reaction that causes a specific result.
In the case of the enzyme COX, it stimulates cells to produce several substances, including prostaglandins, after the cells are damaged. COX is present in most body tissues, including the digestive tract and kidneys.
Prostaglandins are present throughout the body and have several important functions. These substances:
- Contribute to pain, inflammation, and fever
- Protect the lining of the stomach and intestines
- Help maintain blood flow to the kidneys and
- Support platelet function .
Many NSAIDs work by blocking COX, so fewer prostaglandins are produced:
Other NSAIDs work by blocking some activity of certain prostaglandins:
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What Medication Can I Give My Cat For Pain At Home
No human pain medication is 100% safe for your pet. Although we treat them as equal members of our family, our pets are not simply small humans, and we cant just adjust the dose of medications to their size. So, resist the urge to give your cat over-the-counter meds for pain to help it feel better, without consulting with your veterinarian first. Together, you can determine what combination of diet and other forms of pain therapy or pain medication might be best for relieving your cats pain fur real!
Pain Relief For Dogs: Final Thoughts
No loving pet parent ever wants to see their four-legged friend in pain.
As tempting as it may be, however, to forage through your medicine cabinet for a quick fix, traditional over the counter medications developed specifically for humans isnt ideal when it comes to pain management in dogs, as the potential side effects can ultimately do more harm than good. The same can be said for many of the stronger pain medications traditionally prescribed by animal hospitals.
Fortunately, there are more holistic options on the market today than ever, many of which are ideal for easing pain, discomfort, and arthritis-related issues such as joint stiffness. Integrating these options into your dogs healthcare regimen in conjunction with the care plan developed by your holistic veterinarian is a sure way to promote your dogs health and happiness and put them well on their way to recovery.
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Examples Of Nsaids Include:
- Motrin/Advil ibuprofen
- Aleve naproxen
NSAIDs are also referred to as analgesics or antipyretics . They are very effective and safe for humans if taken appropriately.
Cats, like all species, metabolize different NSAIDs differently. There are some NSAIDs that are safe to give cats talk to your veterinarian. Currently, there are 2 NSAIDs that are FDA approved for acute pain, but none that are FDA approved for chronic pain. However, with the guidance of your veterinarian, there are NSAIDs that can be safely used long-term for chronic pain.
Is Tylenol An Nsaid
So does that mean Tylenol is an NSAID?
The answer is no. This is because it doesnt relieve inflammation the way an NSAID does. Instead, Its considered a non-aspirin pain reliever.
Even still, its just as dangerous as an NSAID when it comes to your pup and should never be given to your dog for easing pain of any kind.
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Medicine To Manage Pain In Cats
Determining the cause to alleviate the pain is imperative to helping the animal feel better. However, in cats, pain management does not always have a straightforward approach. While there are many ways for a veterinarian to medically manage animal pain, unfortunately, there are fewer options for cats than there are for dogs.Pain relief medications that can be used on cats include:
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
- Used to treat mild to moderate pain
- Provide analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic help
- However, caution must be shown when used with cats
- Recommended only for short-term use
- NSAIDs can cause liver, kidney, stomach, intestinal problems
- For example, acetaminophen is toxic to cats and can be fatal
Home Remedy For Cat Mouth Problems
A friendly skinny stray cat showed up. He would eat the wet food but not the dry. He is also drooling and appears to be uncomfortable with regard to his mouth. I just lost my job and can’t afford a vet bill -What can I give him to ease his discomfort – OralGel, Peroxide with water, Baking Soda paste… ??
By: El Segundo, CA
Replied on 04/19/2011
Mouth problems in cats can be caused by dental disease, inflammatory disease in the mouth, some viral respiratory infections, Feline Immunovirus or a mass in the mouth. If the cat will allow you to, look in the mouth. Look to see if any sores are on the surface of the tongue, are the gums near the teeth a fire engine red, are any growths visible, are any teeth obviously infected, broken or loose? Unfortunately homecare is pretty limited. Continue with soft foods. You may be able to find an enzyme based oral hygiene spray for cats. It may help and is unlikely to cause any harm. You may want to see if there are any cat societies or animal welfare groups in your area that may be able to help with the cost of a basic veterinary exam.Julie Ann, Vet Tech
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Joint Pain Or Arthritis
Cats with chronic joint pain or inflammatory conditions like arthritis require a lifelong management plan. This may involve the use of medications. Therapies and special diets are often used to promote your cats health and wellbeing throughout the management of many different conditions that contribute to pain or discomfort.
Reducing Fever At Home
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Issues With Gabapentin For Pain In Cats
There are very few drawbacks to using gabapentin to help with feline pain management. It’s so safe, many veterinarians even prescribe it for use in aggressive cats to take the edge off before a vet visit. However, owners should monitor for possible lethargy, ataxia , and stomach upset with this prescription medication.
What About Nsaids That Are Made For Cats
Currently, there is only one oral NSAID that is FDA-approved for use in felines, called Onsior . But it is only prescribed for short-term use and can only be given once a day.
There has been increased research into NSAIDs and their potential use for long-term use in cats, specifically for the treatment of chronic pain .
The American Association of Feline Practitioners , in conjunction with the International Society of Feline Medicine , released consensus guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats in 2010. The report explains, It is only recently that NSAIDs have become licensed for long-term use in cats in some countries.
These guidelines explain that NSAIDs are an important class of medication in feline medicine, and that its worth looking into whether they can be used safely in cats in long-term treatment protocols.
The guidelines also say that any cat being prescribed NSAIDs should be given the lowest effective dose and that all cats should undergo pre-treatment screening prior to starting an NSAID regiment and be closely monitored while on NSAIDs.
Your veterinarian will determine whether NSAIDs can be safely used for your cat.
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Add Supplements To Their Meals
Supplements can help your cat to stay strong and reduce possible inflammation in their body. These supplements usually contain vitamins, such as C and D, which are known to help common painful ailments like arthritis.
You can find supplements in a chewy tablet or you can get it in a liquid form to mix into their food. The liquid option often contains fish oil which is high in Omega-3s which help to naturally reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the heart, skin, and kidneys.
Its important to be careful though when giving your cat supplements as giving them too much could cause some health problems. For instance, if the supplements contain high levels of certain vitamins, especially D3, it could end up being toxic to your cat. Because of this, its important to read the directions of the supplements to find the right amount to give them. You also should talk your plans over with your vet to ensure that the supplements you plan to use are safe and if they have other supplement recommendations for you to use.
How To Tell If A Dog Is In Pain
We already briefly touched upon a dogs canny ability to hide their pain. But why do they do this to begin with?
Simply put, its instinctual for them and goes back to the pack lifestyle of their ancestors. In the wild, its dangerous for an animal to show signs of weakness, as it leaves them vulnerable to attack. For instance, to protect themselves and their social rank within a pack, wolves will often hide pain as a means of survival in the wild.
Even though theyve traded in the forests for our living room couches, dogs have still inherited this instinct from their wolf forebearers. As a result, its not uncommon for dogs to hide pain from their pet parents for as long as possible.
In fact, by the time a dog begins showing noticeable signs of pain, whatever condition theyre suffering from may be relatively progressed. For this reason, its absolutely essential that you act right away the moment your dog shows any amount of distress, no matter how small. A trip to the veterinarian may very well be called for to assess whats wrong and to develop the appropriate care plan in addressing your dogs pain.
That said, its important for pet owners to be able to recognize when their dog is in pain. The good news is that you dont have to be a mind-reader to detect distress in your pup.
Here are the tell-tale signs that your dog is likely in pain:
- A sagging tail or a tail tucked between the legs
- Dull, droopy, or tired-looking eyes
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