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Dog Pain Management - How To Treat Acute Vs. Chronic Pain In Dogs

Dogs can experience pain. Sometimes the pain is chronic other times it is acute. Our Murfreesboro vets discuss chronic and acute pain in dogs and treatments including cold laser therapy that can help with the pain.

Chronic vs Acute Pain in Dogs

The difference between acute pain and chronic pain is the duration. Acute pain is sudden pain that has been there for a short time such as a cut. Chronic pain is pain that persists like arthritis.

While acute pain is a common occurrence with a variety of conditions and can be fairly easy to pinpoint and remedy, it is not the same for chronic pain in dogs. This type of pain may require a more in-depth and long-term view of the dog and their behaviors and activity. 

Treatment for Pain

The pain treatment will vary depending on the cause of the pain. Some options for treating pain include pain medication, acupuncture, and cold laser therapy.

Pain Medication

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs otherwise known as NSAIDs are a common medication prescribed for dogs by veterinarians. We will caution that these medications can have side effects and should only be given to dogs under the directive of a veterinarian. Do not give your dog medication made for humans, the dosage is not set for dogs also they may contain ingredients that are toxic to canines.


Yes, some places offer acupuncture for dogs. The idea behind acupuncture is to help your animal's body heal itself by resetting the balance of energy throughout the body, known as "chi". This is done by inserting a series of fine needles into the animal's body at specific points where blood vessels and nerves intersect. Although the process is virtually painless, endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers, are released. This process helps to relieve your animal's acute and chronic pain or discomfort.

Treatment Using Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy for dogs and cats uses low-intensity laser or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to help relieve pain, stimulate and enhance cell function, and improve healing.

Several conditions have been shown to improve with the use of laser therapy including muscle and joint pain, arthritis symptoms, and muscle spasms.

Veterinary cold laser therapy can be used as part of a multimodal treatment plan to help manage pain, reduce inflammation and promote healing.

There are no medications involved in these treatments which means that cold laser therapy can be used as part of your pet's overall treatment plan in conjunction with prescription medications and supplements without the risk of drug interactions. 

During pet laser therapy, the technician concentrates light over affected tissue for periods ranging from 8 to 30 minutes, depending on the issue being treated.

Laser therapy works by emitting light that stimulates cells in a process called photo-biotherapy. Photo-biotherapy encourages cell metabolism and protein synthesis, improving cell strength.

Cold laser therapy helps to stimulate cells, reduce pain signals to nerves, increase blood circulation, and release endorphins to help manage chronic pain in dogs.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking for way to manage your dogs pain? Contact our Murfreesboro vets to book an examination today! 

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