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Managing Acute Pain in Cats - by Liz Gordon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Friday, 01 March 2013 20:50

Staying pain free on the road to recovery:  Cats just like people, can experience pain after surgery. To keep it under control & to ensure your cat stays as comfortable as possible, it's already been given a dose of pain relief (analgesia). This should provide comfort 'til the next day.

As required, your vet will also dispense follow-up pain relieving medicine. It's important to follow the dosage requirements. All being well, your cat will make a good recovery. However, if you believe your cat's uncomfortable, still in pain, or are worried in any way about his/her condition, please contact your vet.

Signs of pain or discomfort to look out for: Like in people, it's known that pain can persist for days following injury or surgery. Unlike people, cats cannot verbally tell you when they're sore, but they can tell you through their body posture & facial expressions. A pain-free cat will exhibit normal behaviour routine, including eating normally, moving about well & interacting with family members as she/he has done in the past.

Faces of Acute Pain:       

“THE HUMPY” A cat with a hunched back, legs straightened often sitting quietly at the back of the cage may be in pain. This cat also has droopy ears & slanted half closed eyes. This posture is often seen after abdominal surgery.

“THE SQUINTY” Cats with their heads down, ears droopy & eyes half closed & in a slanted position may be in pain. Note how a line drawn through the centre of the eyes makes a V shape.

“THE FLAT OUT” Recumbent, tense or rigid cats may be in severe pain. Cats with facial expressions of pain; droopy ears & slanted half closed eyes.

“THE UNTOUCHABLE” Previously friendly/easy to handle cats that hiss, snarl or flinch - try to claw or bite in reaction to gentle pressure to a wound.  Those that generally resent handling are probably in pain.  A reaction can be expected to be proportional to the amount of pain being experienced.

A Picture of Good Pain Control:

“THE CROISSANT”- The ears are (upright) & forward, the eyes are not slanted. A horizontal line could be drawn through the centre of each eye. The back is minimally hunched & the cat appears bright & alert. They'll display a relaxed, tucked in leg posture, resembling a croissant.

Note: While uncommon, medication can cause stomach or bowel upset. If you observe nausea (often seen as drooling), vomiting, or loose bowel movements (especially being off food), stop administering meds until you've consulted an expert. 

Compliments of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica 2010

Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 21:16

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