Dog Neutering/Pain relief question.... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 05-23-2008, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope somebody can help me here. We just got back from the vet's with our dog. The office was so busy, I didn't get any time to talk to the vet or find out what to do with him now. No cone & no pain meds of any kind. Can I give him Tylenol or Aleve? I made him a makeshift cone out of a cardboard box and so far it's working, but I'm afraid it won't after he really perks up.
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#2 of 25 Old 05-23-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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he doesn't need a cone unless he refuses to leave his incision alone.

I wouldn't give him people meds without a vets advice. I know some people pain killers are deadly to dogs and cats. The pain also keeps him from being crazy and opening his wound.

Neuters seem to be much easier to recover from. Both our male cats acted like they hadn't even had surgery less than a day after the operation. Not sure if the same will hold true for dogs.

~Julia
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#3 of 25 Old 05-23-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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No cone, no pain meds necessary.
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#4 of 25 Old 05-23-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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Our old girl is 10 and when she is in pain from her hips the vet tells me to give her 1 low dose aspirin to a max of 3 per week. NO tyenol or advil, they are not ok for animals.

And unless you see pain I wouldn't treat for it. Neither of my dogs required cones or pain meds after spaying or neutering.
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#5 of 25 Old 05-23-2008, 07:10 PM
 
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After surgery, pain is GOOD. It keeps the animal still. Take away the pain and the animal could injure itself or open the stitches. So let him hurt--it will only be maybe two days before he's back to normal.
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#6 of 25 Old 05-23-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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Yep, my animals have never needed any pain meds after neutering/spaying.
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#7 of 25 Old 05-23-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Yep, you don"t need a cone unless they lick it a lot. Just keep an eye on the incision. Mine had pain meds but they didn't do much (she seemed almost fine by the next day already!) The first day she slept a lot.
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#8 of 25 Old 05-23-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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We use the crate a lot after spay/neuter surgery. Keeps 'em still so they don't open the incision, esp. when they're young and rowdy. We've only had one dog that needed a cone, and have never needed meds for any of them.

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#9 of 25 Old 05-24-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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After surgery, pain is GOOD. It keeps the animal still. Take away the pain and the animal could injure itself or open the stitches. So let him hurt--it will only be maybe two days before he's back to normal.
Absolutely wrong.

Pain increases stress, which causes the body to release cortisol, which DELAYS healing. Studies have shown that animals (and people for that matter) heal better when their pain is adequately controlled. Pain in animals is hard to assess, since they can't exactly point to a frowny face. There are books written on this subject, but we err on the side of safety in our practice. I'd rather have an animal too comfortable than uncomfortable. Would you like to have surgery without pain meds?

From an ethical standpoint, still wrong. This notion of "keeping animals quiet" or "animals don't feel pain like people" is about 20 years out of date. Veterinarians have been brought in front of licensing boards and been censured for failing to provide adequate pain control to their patients.
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#10 of 25 Old 05-24-2008, 08:24 AM
 
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Considering you didn't cite your source (for healing better without pain) I'm going to argue based on my personal experience. I heal better when I feel like shit and therefore stay home from work and stay in bed. I get sicker or hurt worse if I try to take meds and force myself to go to work. Allowing the dog to feel bad enough to stay in bed is fine, based on my own personal experience.

Especially when we're talking about a 1-2 day recovery time for a neuter, now if the dog was hit by a car and had all kinds of problems and expected to be in pain for weeks. . . that would be a different story.
I know my cat never acted in pain from his neuter, he was sitting on his butt & boy parts the day after surgery without hesitation. He was more sick from the anesthesia - so why would I give him more medications if the first ones made him sick?
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#11 of 25 Old 05-24-2008, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. We were able to get a cone from a family member late last night because he wouldn't leave the stitches alone. He doesn't seem to be in too much pain, today.
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#12 of 25 Old 05-24-2008, 09:47 AM
 
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I'm going to stay out of the pain meds debate, but I'll post my vet's trick for abdominal stitches in case your dog doesn't like the cone but still won't leave the stitches alone (a little licking is okay, just not obsessively). Sometimes, depending on the make/model of the dog, you can put a human t-shirt on the pup and tie it in a knot above the back to keep the stitches covered and decrease licking. Just make sure the fabric doesn't rub the incision site and cause more irritation. Come to think of it, this trick might not work so well on a neutering situation, since that is pretty near the hind quarters, but it is worth a shot.

Me , 36 year old RN and future AP mom in training . I am wife to one wonderful husband and "mom" to one great rescue pup :.
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#13 of 25 Old 05-24-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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I never ended up giving my dog her pain meds for her spay and thanks to the advice here and from my mother (who is a very knowledgable breeder) I didn't use the cone, either.

I was also told by my mother that pain meds can be detrimental because it makes the dog feel better ad therefor more apt to do things that can hurt the sutures.

I wish I would have known better when I picked my dog up from the vet, I wouldn't have paid the money for the cone OR the pain meds!
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#14 of 25 Old 05-24-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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So if your child had major abdominal surgery, you would decline any pain meds? Really?

My information on the physiology of stress and healing is dead on. It is wrongwrongwrong to keep an animal in pain for your own convenience.

I was helping out at our local shelter this morning, so I checked in with them, and even the shelter, doing low cost spays and neuters, gives animals analgesia preop, postop, and sends them home with meds (cat neuters excluded - we typically give opioids pre and post op but don't send them home with anything...I agree they're typically fine.
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#15 of 25 Old 05-24-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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Handbook of Veterinary Anesthesia, Second Edition, Muir et. al.
"Once considered acceptable, physical restraint, sedation, hypnotics, and inhalation anesthesia are no longer appropriate unless pain is considered and treated. This is particularly true for pain in the perioperative period. Apprehension and stress produced by fear can initiate a variety of potentially deleterious neurohumoral reactions, in addition to sensitizing both the peripheral and central nervous system to noxious stimuli...The optimal treatment of pain is to preempt the establishment of pain and pain hypersensitivity before, during, and after surgery."

Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XIII, Bonagura
"Pain management in veterinary medicine has improved significantly since cage confinement alone was an accepted method of pain control. Recent advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology, recognition, and management of pain have underscored the importance of providing adequate pain relief in veterinary patients. It is no longer acceptable to leave a painful animal untreated on the premise that the discomfort will prevent excessive movement and additional injury."

That took me 5 minutes with just the books at home. A literature search is going to come up with a ton of articles saying the exact same thing.

Anyone want to cite some texts or studies showing that animals should be kept in pain? Because I didn't notice any citations on those statements.

It's nice that a previous poster has a knowledgeable breeder for a mother. I don't claim to be the best veterinarian in practice, but I do have a full year of classes in physiology and pharmacology, a semester of anesthesiology, rotations in small and large animal surgery and anesthesia, 10 years + of clinical practice, 20 years + working in the industry in some capacity, and subscriptions to about 5 different journals to keep me updated on the latest research. I think breeders can be amazing sources of information on their breeds, and I would never hesitate to send someone to a good breeder if they're interested in getting a particular kind of dog. But does your average breeder know more than your average veterinarian about physiology? No.
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#16 of 25 Old 05-24-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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Our vet didn't mention pain meds or a cone when we had our boy neutered. He was slow and cautious for 24 hours, and he did some very gentle licking of his wound starting at about 48 hours. He was fine.
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#17 of 25 Old 05-25-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I work at an AAHA clinic and by AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) standards pain management must be part of post-operative care. We send every post-operative patient home on pain medications or make sure they received an injectable form of pain control that will last several days such as metacam. If it were my dog I would request pain medications for him.

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#18 of 25 Old 05-25-2008, 09:10 PM
 
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Pain meds that last several days? Given injectable whithout anyone telling me? I'm starting to really reconsider getting my girl spayed next month.
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#19 of 25 Old 05-26-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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My dog was neutered Thursday and was chasing after my 3 year old Friday evening. I am sure he is a little tender but I have not noticed any difference in his activity level
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#20 of 25 Old 05-26-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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Pain medications must always be approved by the owners first. Where in my post did i say that we gave them without permission? if owners refuse pain medications they have to sign an AMR, nothing is eve done without permission. The vet or the vet techs should go over their procedures with you before the surgery so you can ask questions about pain meds, etc.

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#21 of 25 Old 05-26-2008, 01:44 AM
 
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Well, I was going to make the same point that boricuaqueen327 just made. Presumably you'll be shown an estimate including a line item list of what will be done and a consent form. If you have questions or concerns about what is going to be done, it's your responsibility to communicate that to your veterinarian ahead of time. I'm always happy to go over our anesthetic protocols, the specific drugs we would use, what they do, side effects, etc. It's surgery. The owner should be comfortable with what is happening to their pet.

If an owner refused analgesia for their pet (even after we discussed the benefits), we would refuse to do the surgery. I didn't become a veterinarian so that I could torture animals on the whim of an ill-advised owner. Think about the times that you've heard of people receiving surgery without analgesia. Usually it's related to some form of torture. If you tried to have abdominal surgery without any pain meds, my guess is you'd have a hard time finding a surgeon and an anesthesiologist willing to perform the procedure. First do no harm.

Here's the obvious benefit: when your pain is controlled you can rest comfortably, eat, and keep yourself hydrated, all of which is important to the healing process. I've had surgery and I've given birth and I controlled my pain after both of those events. I wasn't out running a marathon because I felt! so! great! But I was kept comfortable so that I could heal. That's just logical.

If you still don't believe me:
American Animal Hospital Association. American Association of Feline Practitioners. AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines Task Force Members. Hellyer P. Rodan I. Brunt J. Downing R. Hagedorn JE. Robertson SA. AAHA/AAFP pain management guidelines for dogs & cats. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. 43(5):235-48, 2007 Sep-Oct.

Pascoe PJ. Better therapies for everyday pain: exciting advances in pain management. Veterinary Journal. 166(3):215-7, 2003 Nov.

Hansen BD. Assessment of pain in dogs: veterinary clinical studies. [Review] [59 refs] Ilar Journal. 44(3):197-205, 2003.

Exciting times in veterinary analgesia
Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, 2003, 30, 1^2

The Management of Animal Pain Where Have We Been,
Where Are Now, and Where Are We Going?
The Veterinary Journal 2003, 165, 101–103
"Studies have shown
that the stress hormones such as cortisol and ACTH
will be elevated without the concurrent presence of
an analgesic along with anaesthetics in many cases
including those _simple_ elective procedures."



I've yet to see anyone here provide any evidence that pain is good for animals. Current standard of care is to provide analgesia, so the burden of proof is on the other side.

Honestly, I'm really surprised by the attitude here. I assumed that most people on this forum would be like our clients since I work at a holistic, bond-centered practice. But our clients have been, with no exceptions, very concerned about pain in their pets. I guess I'll go give them all big sloppy kisses for being so proactive with their animal's welfare. I thought they were the rule, not the exception.
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#22 of 25 Old 05-26-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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cadydid, I'm finding your insinuations extremely rude.

I don't think anyone is saying that they would deny pain medication in situations where it was truly necessary, but following a spay/neuter it is not always necessary and in fact can be harmful if you're drugging a dog in to feeling fantastic when he or she would otherwise be reading his/her normal body signs to tell him/her to slow down and rest. Good heavens, no one here was saying we would deny medication from a truly ailing animal. I was advised by my dog's vet to give her the pain meds twice a day for like seven days. Judging by how well she was the next day after her surgery, filling her with all of the meds would have been quite unnecessary and in addition would hold potential side effects that weren't worth the risk to me considering she wasn't in any pain.

And btw, breeders just pull this info out of their booty. Many of them work with very qualified vets from whom they get their information.
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#23 of 25 Old 05-26-2008, 03:56 AM
 
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Oh my.

I'm not insinuating anything.

I am flat out saying that to deny an animal pain control because you want it kept "quiet" is unethical, inhumane, and cruel. Not to mention completely out of date with the current research.

You want to prove me wrong, have at it, but come up with something better than because someone (breeder or otherwise) said so.
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#24 of 25 Old 05-26-2008, 04:25 AM
 
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come up with something better than because someone (breeder or otherwise) said so.
Sorry, but some person on the internet claiming to be a vet holds nowhere near as much as my vet (who I know is qualified), and I've known for over 25 years (and has been practicing for nearly 50).
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#25 of 25 Old 05-26-2008, 09:24 AM
 
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Sorry, but some person on the internet claiming to be a vet holds nowhere near as much as my vet (who I know is qualified), and I've known for over 25 years (and has been practicing for nearly 50).
Yes, good thing nothing in medicine has changed in the last 50 years.

And you're completely on to me. I'm not really a vet. I'm sure there's LOTS of other people who just happen to have a copy of Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy sitting on their shelves. It's such light reading.
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