Understanding Your Pet's Chronic Pain

Understanding Your Pet's Chronic Pain

Posted by Hunter S. Doggson on Aug 12th 2020

In order to help your pet find the relief they need, it's important that you understand what might be going on with them. Here, we've put together a comprehensive explanation of chronic pain in pets to know what they are going through and the CBD holistic treatment that can help them manage their pain. 

Chronic pain management is an extremely important aspect of pet care, especially in geriatric animals. And yet, it is one of the most under developed areas of veterinary treatment. As a consequence, to injury or as a component of the aging process, chronic pain can be a major influence in our dog’s quality of life.There are many medications that we are all familiar with that form a basis for pain management. We have been the beneficiaries of the development of many excellent NSAIDs like RimadylÒ(carprofen), EtogesicÒ(etodolac), MetacamÒ(meloxicam), DeramaxxÒ(deracoxib), and PrevicoxÒ (firocoxib). The chondroprotectants, including Cosequin and Dasequin amongst others, have been problem free adjuncts that have been well received by our clients even though clinical studies validating their efficacy are still lacking. The disease modifying pGAG, Adequan, has more clinical research behind its ability to support cartilage health while interfering with degradative matrix metalloproteinases making it a foundational choice for osteoarthritic management.There are both protective and debilitating aspects to pain. Physiologic pain tells the body when it is at risk for tissue damage from temperature extremes, chemical agents, and direct tissue injury. Clearly, physiologic pain is protective. Initially, acute posttraumatic pain may be protective in that it encourages the dog to guard an injured area until healing occurs. But the pain and sensory pathways are susceptible to a variety of influences that alter the sensitivity and the structure of these neurons. The stronger the painful stimulus and the longer it persists, the greater the likelihood that chronic pain will continue well beyond the normal healing period. Chronic pain can be a debilitating affliction, the presence of which dogs are poorly equipped to effectively communicate to either owner or veterinarian.The nociceptors (pain receptors) associated with physiologic pain have much higher thresholds than the sensory nerves responsible for general tactile information. There are different nerve types associated with the sensory (A beta fibers) and nociceptive (A delta and C fibers) receptors but they all form synapses with neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord.

CBD stimulates descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. These compounds might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.Collectively, secondary hyperalgesia and allodynia make up what is commonly called central sensitization or dorsal horn windup. The net effect is that innocent sensations are perceived as pain and what should be mildly painful sensations are perceived to be very painful.To add insult to injury, the sensory nerve fibers may undergo a structural reorganization at the dorsal horn level. This leads to painful sensations from such innocent contact as the touch of a feather or the light touch of a cloth all mediated through the sensory fibers. This component of pain is referred to as allodynia.

The final step in the pain pathway involves the delivery of the pain impulse from the thalamic region to the cerebral cortex triggering the conscious perception of pain. Although anesthetic block this perception of pain, they do NOT prevent the peripheral and central sensitization process from occurring.Although it’s not fully understood, CBD affects the pain impulse similarly to the way it affects seizures, which are also caused in part by impulses in the cerebral cortex.

Talk to your veterinarian about your pet and their chronic pain, and ask about how CBD can give them the relief and mobility they deserve.