By: Sakshi Shukla

When you bring a new dog home you soon discover that there is much to be done to protect it from nastiness and vulnerability. They require special care and soon you are seeking the help of your local veterinarian for various illnesses and conditions. Puppies and dogs need to be vaccinated timely.
For distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and kennel cough the treatment should start around six to eight weeks, followed by a booster at twelve weeks. Veterinaries and vet nurses are experts in keeping our dog healthy, so regular visit them. This will add little more comfort in the short life of our pooch.

Daily Care
To maintain good health, dogs need more than just regular veterinary care. Good nutrition and exercise keeps the body in motion which reduces the risk of diseases and maintains a dog’s vital organs.

Pain
It is shattering to see our dogs in pain. However, sometimes it is more devastating when you can not figure out whether your dog is in pain or not. Pain is the physical suffering that is associated with disease or injury. There are two types of pains that can have severe affect on dogs: Acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is the sharp and severe one that usually appears abruptly. Common cause of it primary includes fractures, bowel obstruction, stones in the bladder, Pain from minor injuries such as muscle strains which can be acute as well.

Signs of pain
Some dogs are quite stubborn and do great job in hiding or living with pain because of many psychological and stressful disorder of the fear to being abandoned by their owners. But it is our responsibility to look after their wellbeing and one should closely watch for the following symptoms when the dogs are in pain:

  • Changes in the behaviour such as eating less than usual
  • Failing to greet owners and familiar guests at the door
  • Biting or growling when being groomed
  • Crying out loud when being picked or touched
  • Dogs who are diagnosed with osteoarthritis in their spine or pelvic joints often do not want to be petted any-more in their back Thus if you notice these symptoms, we would suggest that a visit to the veterinarian is required.

Pain Managment
Pain management is required for any condition that hinders the dog’s normal schedule, activity, appetite and interaction with the family & others. How pain is managed largely depends on its type and cause. Some pains can be cured while other type of pains have to be endured A number of treatments are available for pain due to injuries or orthopaedic problems, these includes are tellington massage (type of massage technique for reducing tension and improving behaviour), swimming and physical therapy. Apart from the above, some recommendations are:

Nutraceuticals- made by combining nutrition and pharmaceutical. Nutraceuticals are naturally occurring compounds that hail from animal and vegetable sources and thus include amino acids, essentially fatty acids (EFAs), herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Its medicine is used to help dogs with skin problems & joint pains. Nutraceuticals such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are preferred because of their less chance of side effect. Although they are not quick healers and can take up to two months to heal and show positive results. Remember sometimes the dog given nutraceuticals may vomit or have diarrhoea. In such condition, reduce the dosage and consult the veterinarian.

Physical Therapy
This is a widely used and effective practice by veterinarians for rehabilitation of injuries. These techniques include stretching, massage, stimulation by use of low-level lasers, electrical sources, magnetic fields and ultrasounds. Always remember this practice can be performed only by licensed veterinaries or certified therapists, So make sure you do not try these at home else the consequences will be severe for the poor dog.

Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points are highly sensitive spots in muscles that trigger pain in other muscles. The object of the therapy is to release the trigger point so that it stops causing pain. Trigger points can be released through acupuncture and massage therapy.

Another type of acute discomfort is the pain that results from surgery. It is a very unfortunate situation that, while surgery helps to relieve major problems, but after affects are not easy to cure. One medication that veterinarians are finding useful in dealing with surgery related pain is fentanyl. Providing pre-operative relief is a relatively new idea in pain management. The basic concept behind this humongous term is any treatment that is given before surgery which decreases the pain and risk of lasting pain in near future and, thus encourages your dog to face all odds and risks from them.

An intern at IIPTF handling social media. Avid pet lover & curious about the world around.