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Caring for your pet

Posted October 09, 2013 in Advice Column, West Des Moines

Bella is a dog that couldn’t use her back legs. Max couldn’t use one of his front legs. Bella is walking without surgery. Max was going to be put down and now runs around normally. These cases and many more ranging from hip dysplasia and arthritis to soft tissue strain to fast or slow onset “herniated” disks have made astounding recoveries or control.

Pain management patients at Family Pet Veterinary Center receive advanced specialty care. General practice veterinarians like Dr. Jen’s own father think pain control is one or two drugs such as Rimadyl and Tramadol. While these drugs can be beneficial, they are just small pieces of the big picture. Eighty-five percent of our patients have been able to get off of Rimadyl as a long-term drug, and the others have been able to reduce the dose. Why? At FPVC, we focus on the whole patient. We use three to five much less expensive non-organ-harming drugs to treat and control pain, each along different pathways. We also utilize medical acupuncture (when appropriate), nutrition and therapy to improve patient outcomes and response times.

Sometimes owners don’t notice their pet is in pain — many times because it has been a gradual progression of being uncomfortable to pain for which other parts of the body are doing more work. This usually happens in months to years and thus, understandably, is seen as normal by pet owners. A muscle and full physical exam is the first step getting results.

Please check back next month to learn more.

Information provided by Dr. Jen Mathis, DVM, CVJ, cVMA, IVAPM of Family Pet Veterinary Centers, 421-4VET,

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