first tho..i am not a vet nor a vet tech...and i only know what i have actually used here with our vets guidance (with some human medicine knowledge thrown into the mix). so i will give some basics to think about and talk to your vets about should the need ever arise.
good pain control is the biggest gift you can give to your pet. as soon as you say "i don't think he is in pain...." (because he hasn't stood up and said what? "HEY I HURT!")....you have just shut the door on any possible comfort. animals display discomfort in the same and in different ways then we do and just because you don't see or recognize it does not mean it is not there.....think about it..if you have arthritis, or dislocating hips (dysplagia) or luxating patellas or a bad back, if you just sprained an ankle, or twisted your neck...you have pain from these things, and so do they. if you have cancer, you will want something to make the pain go away, if you have a chronic bladder infection or are passing a kidney stone, excuse me, but that is uncomfortable too. pancreatitis freaking hurts, and so do heart attacks. i would like to see any human have a hysterectomy or a castration or a bunch of teeth pulled out in surgery and not be looking for some really good post op pain meds.
simple easy pain control for MINOR pain...dosing by body weight and on the advice of a vet
plain asprin, glucosamine/msm, metacam or melixacam, the first nations "Lakota" product actually works really well and cartrophen injections are great for reducing the need for higher doses of drugs. rimadyl is too risky for the liver in my opinion, the other NSAIDS work safer and better.
all of these are anti-inflammatories and need regular and responsible dosing, not just when you think of it but as the vet orders and directs....and keep in mind that natural occuring anti-inflamatories like glucosamine or shark cartiledge or devils claw can cause gastric bleeding if given incorrectly.... just like ASA can.
AND you can safely use things like glucosamine for chronic mouth inflammation, irritable bowel disease, chronic cystitis or bladder infections, or bladder cancers...it is a natural anti inflammatory so it reduces inflamation which causes pain. cartrophen works great in conjunction with the NSAIDS for bone, joint, tendon or connective tissue pain and with it you can reduce the use of metacam and decrease the risk of developing ulcers. AND cartrophen can help chronic inflamatory bladder cystitis plus it actually saved the life of a human infected with mad cow disease because mad cow disease patients die from a massive inflamatory response in the brain. all of our arthritis animals get a starting set of cartrophen injections, it makes it easier to deal with their painful issues with lower doses of drugs..
for moderate to severe pain...keep up with the use of the NSAID of choice (unless you put them on prednisone or depo injections then take them off until they are finished with those drugs)
muscle relaxants to ease muscle tightness which naturally occurs with ALL pain, muscles contract and tighten to protect the painful area. codeine, liquid or tablet, tramadol, fentanyl patches, morphine can all be used in conjunction with some anti-inflamatories, muscle relaxants and anti-neuropathic pain agents to help control out of control pain.
if it is neuropathic pain (pain from the nerves...intermittent, DEEP, burning, sharp, sudden, startling) use something like elavil (which will also settle out natural anxiety caused from unexpected/unprepared for pain that seems to come out and zap them from nowhere (this really freaks out animals and makes them feel really unsafe)), gabapentin works well also to block the nerve pain but getting the dose right is harder and it is more expensive and more sedating.
anti-nauseas like gravol can be used to block nausea caused from the actual disease or the side effects of the narcotic meds and it can actually potentiate (make stronger) the effect of a pain med. so maybe a tramadol and half a gravol will work better for pain then just the straight tramadol.
rantidine, empties the stomach faster, cimetidine and sulcrate coats the stomach, and losec changes the PH and helps to prevent ulcers from continued, long term anti-inflamatory use.
lactulose is great for the constipation side effects of some of the narcotics and will get the bowels moving again. and what alot of vets don't know is that we also use it in treating humans with liver disease. the free floating toxins from the damaged liver that float around and make patients feel really nauseated and sometimes even makes them mentally unwell is bound up by the lactulose and removed from the body thru the large bowel. the results can be quite amazing.
and then there are the lasix, atropines, drugs to help move fluid out of the body..they can help improve breathing, stamina, appetite as the overload and pressure of fluid is removed. and another thing that vets might not know is you don't have to give the atropine by injection to get the results, so families of an end stage cardiac or lung cancer animal can help them find relief at the end by the instillation of a simple atropine eye drop...it is fast, it is easy, it is non invasive and it works just as good as injecting it under the skin.
lots of drugs have many different uses, no drug just effects the body in one way. if you have a good vet, they will work with you to find the right combination to achieve comfort and maintain quality of life for as long as you can.
ok, i am tired, done for tonight.
rusty is still with us, raymond still has diarrhea, spritely's swelling is down but the front of her leg is now open and breaking down into the deep tissues. we have hosed it a few times and cleaned it with iodine and i will be calling the vets the first thing in the morning cuz i think this is a really bad sign.
it was a busy evening, dawn came to see nola again, mj came to help me with more tax receipts, L&L helped put the barn guys to bed and i am ready to follow.