Pain relief in cats can be difficult to fix. The pain medications we use for people and dogs can be toxic to cats. Which begs the question: What are the safest and most effective pain medications for cats?
We must know that many of the pain medications present in our homes, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can be very dangerous for the health of our cats. Examples of NSAIDs are Aspirin, Dalsy, and Ibuprofen for people.
Cats are extremely sensitive to the side effects of NSAIDs, and this class of drug should be used with extreme caution in cats and always under the close supervision of a veterinarian.
Why are NSAIDs dangerous for cats?
L os NSAIDs work by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase which is responsible for producing prostaglandins. Prostaglandins cause inflammation, fever, and pain, but they also perform myriad functions in the body, including maintaining proper blood flow to the kidneys, producing a layer of mucus that protects the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract from acid from the stomach and the formation of normal blood clots.
Cats are approximately two to five times more sensitive to NSAIDs than dogs. Because of this:
- Doses for cats of these drugs should be smaller compared to those prescribed for other animals.
- Medicines are given for a short period of time.
- The times that are left between each dose are much longer than what is normally seen with people or dogs.
- NSAIDs are generally only used as a last resort, when other medications, safer for pain relief, are not enough.
When these precautions are not followed, cats can have vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, kidney and liver dysfunction or failure, bleeding disorders, and may even die regardless of treatment.
Can I give Ibuprofen to my cat?
The Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, used to treat fever, pain and inflammation in people. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs treat inflammation by blocking certain processes in the body.
The best thing you can do is avoid giving it to your cat, you can poison it.
Ibuprofen poisoning has many different clinical signs because many cat organs can be affected. The signs also depend on how much Ibuprofen is ingested.
The most frequent signs that cats present are those related to kidney problems, such as decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting, increased or drastic decrease in urine. Cats may also show clinical signs related to gastrointestinal tract irritation and ulceration, including decreased appetite, vomiting (sometimes bloody), diarrhea, depression, abdominal pain, dark tarry stools, and bloody stools.
Other clinical signs may include stupor (near unconsciousness), incoordination, jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes), pale mucous membranes, seizures, an increase in respiratory rate, gasping, and coma.
Is Paracetamol good for our cats?
No, we should not give our cats Paracetamol . When we ingest a feed, it is broken down by a specific enzyme that all humans have, however, cats do not have this enzyme so they cannot process Paracetamol safely.
The active ingredient changes the hemoglobin in the blood so that it cannot carry oxygen throughout the body. The effect in the cat is to change the color of the blood from red (indicating that it is carrying oxygen) to blue or brown and not carrying oxygen. This lack of oxygen produces a slow and agonizing death due to gradual metabolic and organic failure.
¿ Then you can give a cat for pain?
Cat pain medications should only be given to cats under strict veterinary supervision.
Short-term pain is often treated with a prescription opioid pain reliever called Buprenorphine, but this medication can be expensive in the long-term and is often administered directly at the veterinary clinic.
Veterinarians routinely prescribe Buprenorphine to cats for its proven effectiveness in relieving pain. Buprenorphine acts on the central nervous system to decrease pain. Relief can last up to eight hours or more, and the sedative effect of the drug helps keep cats inactive and calm so they can heal more quickly.
Chronic pain associated with inflammation, such as that caused by arthritis , tends to respond better to multimodal therapy (taking multiple approaches at once), which often does not include what might be considered traditional pain medications.
Are there alternatives to medications to avoid pain in cats?
These methods that I indicate are alternatives to medications, I personally think that they may have little result in relieving pain. Anyway, they will not cause our cats evil.
You can learn to gently massage your cat to relieve pain and stress. Perform massages in a quiet area of the house, without distractions from other pets or family members.
Massage helps the activity of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, and regulates immune system cells at specific sites in the body.
Massage is great for treating arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, and many others.
It improves the elimination of toxins, as well as the circulation of blood, nutrients and oxygen to the body tissues, stimulating healing and preventing injuries.
It has been shown to safely increase the brain’s levels of transmitters dopamine and serotonin, while reducing stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Instead of giving your cat pain relief medicine, you can change her diet. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon can ease pain. Due to the inflammation-reducing properties of omega-3s , a simple change in diet can go a long way.
Healthy fatty acids reduce inflammation in the joints. And as you know, it is a very common problem for older kittens.
Cranberry juice is a well known home remedy for cats suffering from urinary tract infection. Urinating too much or too little, doing it outside the litter box, or suffering from swelling and pain during urination are common symptoms of urinary tract infection.
Of course, not all blueberry-based products are created equal, however, it has been shown that in most cases it can alleviate some of your cat’s pain.
Acupuncture for cats
Small needles are inserted into precise points on your cat’s body. These painless inserts send signals throughout the nervous system to the brain, helping to restore balance to the cat’s body.
Acupuncture is often used to relieve symptoms of feline arthritis, it also offers pain relief for other conditions. These include dental problems, urinary tract problems, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Acupuncture treatments can promote faster healing with less pain for certain illnesses or injuries and is safe to use in conjunction with other treatments.
Herbs for cats
Certain herbs can relieve cat pain. These include dandelion and cat’s claw, which contain cortisone-like properties to relieve itching. Other herbs, such as calendula, chamomile, and echinacea, also offer relief from itchiness. Licorice root may help cats with arthritis or cold symptoms.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin and Vitamin C
If your cat is struggling to get rid of stiffness or lameness due to arthritis , over-the-counter nutraceutical supplements can help her move more freely. Products containing Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Vitamin C, often all three, can help relieve arthritis symptoms, but it may take several weeks of daily administration to see results.Glucosamine and Chondroitin work to maintain normal viscosity synovial fluid that surrounds the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. These two components together help reduce pain and inflammation. Vitamin C contributes to the normal formation of collagen, which is the main structural protein in animals.
Regardless of the source of the pain, never try to self-diagnose your pet. Do not administer any type of medication before consulting with the vet. If you suspect that your cat is in pain or that something is wrong with his health, make an appointment with a trusted vet as soon as possible. And always keep in mind that you should never give your cat NSAIDs for any reason, even to relieve pain!
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