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by Dr. Matthew J. Heller

target, so it’s natural to hide pain as a protective measure. In the event of a trauma, illness or surgery, seek di- agnosis and assistance from a trusted integrative veterinarian.


roviding pain relief for pets is im- portant, whether they are recov- ering from an injury or surgery or suffering from a chronic problem. But recognizing signs of pain in animals is tricky because it’s subjective and its expression varies with each animal. Some pets are stoic when faced with horrible injuries, while others howl over minor ailments.

Humans complain, grumble and often self-medicate to alleviate their aches. A pet may need help and be communicating, “I hurt!” if any of the following signs are evident.

n Being unusually withdrawn, inac- tive, restless or exceptionally clingy

28 Hudson County

n Refusing to walk stairs or not ris- ing quickly when called n Avoiding physical contact, such as being lifted or carried n Whining, whimpering, howling or meowing constantly n Biting or continually licking a particular part of the body n Flattening ears against the head

n Loss of appetite

Changes in behavior may be the only way a cat or dog will commu- nicate its plea for relief from pain. Keep in mind that in nature, preda- tors seek out animals that display signs of pain or injury as a preferred

Mounting evidence from institu- tions such as the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture supports the use of alternative modalities to effectively manage pain and provide relief. Some of the most common include the following approaches.


These non-drug nutrients play a sig- nificant role in strengthening normal body tissues, repairing damaged tissues and improving efficient body metabolism. Pet guardians may use vet-recommended nutraceuticals for up to six to eight weeks to manage low levels of pain.

Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic remedies, sometimes referred to as homotoxicology, comprise the use of plant and animal materials to stimulate the body into

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