Pain Management for Pets

Pain Management –

Animals may experience pain for a variety of reasons, but here we’ll focus on our application of pain management techniques on one of the most common culprits for bringing on pain… arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive degenerative disease that affects both dogs and cats, commonly as they age. Pain can be mild to severe and chronic. Early detection is critical as it gives us the opportunity to develop a multimodal management program to slow progression and prevent more debilitating aspects of the disease. Early detection is an important reason for your pet’s annual physical exam, and then bi-annual check-up as your pet reaches the senior years.


Are there signs my pet may have arthritis?  Consider these questions:

For Dogs — Is there difficulty getting in and out of the car? Is there difficulty getting up and down? Is there difficulty with steps and stairs? Have you noticed any decrease in ability or desire to exercise or go on walks? If a male – do they still hike leg to urinate? Any problems noticed while defecating? Do they stay in the same spot or do they walk around during bowel movement? Is your dog sleeping well? Restlessness?

For Cats – Do they still jump on counters, furniture, etc? Have they changed their response to brushing? Have their grooming habits changed? Do they avoid being picked up?

Management Solutions

Weight Loss

In pets with weight issues, weight loss plays a critical role for improving your pet’s arthritic condition. We can help with dietary suggestions and special prescription foods formulated specifically to help address these issues.

Pain Medications

There are a variety of pain medications the Doctor can prescribe for your pet following a thorough evaluation of his or her particular needs and condition.

Enhanced Therapeutic Medicine

Therapeutic laser treatment, acupuncture and medical massage are practices we’ve added to enhance the treatment options we give.

Cold Laser Treatments

Cold laser can progressively relieve pain and reduce inflammation and can be very effective in pets suffering from arthritis. This is typically a series of six quick non-invasive treatments, every other day or so until your pet shows signs of improvement, and then we can reduce the frequency. Your pet may seem a little sore after the first treatment but subsequently you should see increased comfort and mobility of movement. Our PetLase laser is a FDA cleared therapy laser that creates a penetrating laser light. This light is absorbed by injured cells and releases endorphins which stimulate the cell to heal itself naturally. This creates both instant and long lasting pain relief and faster healing time, a welcome alternative to surgery and medications.


Acupuncture is used as a proven adjunct to our traditional therapies and is utilized for pain relief. Dr. Hart is certified in veterinary medical acupuncture. We have seen amazing results with this form of healing that recently entered the veterinary field of small animals.

Source material: Multimodal Management of Osteoarthritis: Rick Wall, DVM, CCRP, DAAPM, CMTPT

Contact Us/Hours

Southport Veterinary Center

2131 Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824
Phone: (203)259-5295
Fax: (203)254-3799
Hours of Operation:
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
After Hours

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