The Pain Consultation and Referral Service (PCRS) at Foster Hospital for Small Animals was created especially for patients with painful conditions that have proven difficult to manage using standard methods. Pain occurs in animals after surgery, after trauma, along with certain diseases (acute pain) and can persist (chronic pain) for long periods of time in some cases, as in the case with cancer, neurological, orthopedic or muscular disorders. We now recognize that undertreated pain may profoundly affect quality of life, and unrelenting pain can be a reason pet owners choose to euthanize their beloved pets. Pain may also compromise recovery from surgery or illness. A few analgesics for acute pain are approved for perioperative use in small animals, but more complex acute pain situations frequently arise. And with only one class of pain medication (the NSAIDS) specifically marketed for chronic pain in dogs, and none approved for use in cats, chronic pain therapy can be a challenge. Borrowing in large part from human medicine, pain specialists have adopted new techniques for management of both acute and chronic pain in animals. We provide expert and comprehensive pain management services, including non-conventional treatment regimens, all aimed to improve the comfort of companion animals.
Patients who may benefit from a consultation with, or referral to the PCRS include those suffering from osteoarthritis, prolonged post-surgical pain, pain resulting from medical conditions, major trauma, terminal disease (cancer, organ failure) or any other condition in which pain significantly impairs quality of life. This is especially important at the end of life, and our hope is that, together, we can enable pets to enjoy many comfortable days at home with their owners. We believe that no animal should experience pain as long as there are the means to treat or prevent it. When standard treatments fall short, a pain consultation can help.