Pain Management in Pets

Over the past several years, veterinary medicine has dramatically evolved its understanding and approach to pain management in pets. The bond between a pet and its owner makes it more likely that the owner will be the first to recognize the signs that their pet is in pain or experiencing discomfort, making them an important advocate for their pet’s veterinary care. Since pets cannot tell us what treatments are working and which ones are not, the pet owner plays an important role in their pet’s veterinary care.

Understanding the different types of pain is the first step in initiating treatment. Some pain is acute, or temporary, while other pain may be chronic, or persistent. Acute pain often is the result of a sudden event, such as an accident, injury, or surgical procedure. Chronic pain may be experienced for many different reasons, but arthritis and cancer are two of the most common causes. This type of pain may remain consistent, or frequently return over and over.

Sometimes, pain can be the result of a developing medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection or ear infection. Pain is how the body alerts us that something is wrong. Often, once these conditions are treated, the pet will no longer experience pain. However, as in the case of more chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis, ongoing pain management becomes an important quality of life issue. Pain-induced changes in the nervous system cause it to become more sensitive. The longer pain goes unmanaged, the more difficult it may become to control it.

Understanding the underlying conditions that can result in pain allows the veterinarian to anticipate the need for intervention, potentially controlling pain development. For example, it is known that there will be a certain level of pain during surgery. Depending upon the extent of trauma anticipated, the veterinarian can plan to treat that pet with the appropriate type and dosage of pain medication. Skilled animal doctors can also use the most current surgical techniques to minimize tissue trauma, which may reduce the need for more powerful medications. However, the surgeon must also be aware that each animal will experience unique levels of pain perception.

Pets being treated for behavioral issues should be tested for possible underlying medical conditions that may be causing pain. Inappropriate or aggressive behavior, as well as lameness and self-mutilation may be caused by pain, and pain management plays an important role in that pet’s behavioral treatment.

When selecting medications for pain management in pets, it is important to consider the source of pain. Musculoskeletal pain responds to different medications than neuropathic pain. Once the cause of pain has been determined, veterinarians can then select the medication best suited for that pet’s pain. Pet owners who are more in tune with their pet can be the best resource for animal doctors when assessing which medications are successful in treating their patient’s pain, since they are the most accurate at observing changes in their pet’s behavior.

Providing adequate pain management is vital to patient quality of life, and improves the owner’s bond with his or her pet. Veterinarians should begin educating pet owners on the importance of identifying and treating pain early in their pet’s life. As veterinary medicine evolves its understanding of pain management, new treatments and techniques will become available that can help our companion animals live longer and happier lives.

Selecting The Best Animal Doctor In Las Vegas For Your Pet

Selecting The Best Animal Doctor In Las Vegas For Your Pet

Proud pet owners in Las Vegas seeking a friendly and knowledgeable animal doctor need look no further than Pet Health & Lifetime Care Center on Desert Inn. Whether you are looking for routine care for your pet or specialized care, our compassionate veterinarians at Pet Health Hospital are committed to your pet’s health and well-being. We advocate for our pet patients, and offer the advice and guidance necessary to help your pet live a long and happy life.
Lifetime Care Programs

No matter what age your pet is, our animal doctors will take the time to assess all new patients individually, to establish a baseline for that pet’s health upon which to determine their future needs and care. Our Feline Health and Canine Health Lifetime Veterinary Care Programs were compiled by our lead veterinarian Dr Mark Beerenstrauch, who drew upon his years of experience as an animal doctor to draft a program addressing the unique needs of each pet based on species, breed, age, and health status. Risk factors such as genetics, past medical history, travel history, and exposure to other pets are also considered. The result is a comprehensive profile for pets that include routine and low-cost screenings and procedures throughout their life that may potentially prevent the need for costly treatments further down the road. Carefully selected vaccination schedules, wellness checks and health direction empower pet parents with the tools needed to help their furry loved ones increase their quality of life and overall lifespan.
Pet Health Hospital Lifetime Care Services

Some of the important aspects of our Lifetime Care Programs may include:

Behavioral Counseling– Behavioral problems such as excessive barking, chewing, and stress or separation anxiety can make the pet/owner relationship difficult, and are responsible for a large percentage of pet surrenders to shelters. Preventing and treating these conditions is an important part of a healthy relationship, and essential to a pet’s security and happiness.
Customized Health Maintenance Programs (Canine Health and Feline Health)- Our customized veterinary wellness programs are designed to maximize health, well-being, and comfort during all stages of your pet’s life. Preventative Wellness Screens and Breed-Specific Monitoring play an important role in the early detection of disease.
Dietary Counseling– Obesity is one of the most common diseases in pets, and research shows that it may reduce a pet’s lifespan by as much as 30 percent. Dietary adjustments must be made based on their age, sterilization status, and activity level, and your Pet Health Hospital Veterinarian will assess your pet’s Body Condition Score at each visit to ensure their diet is meeting all of their nutritional needs, to help fend off potential health issues.
Geriatrics– Typically starting at 11 years of age for small dogs and as early as 8 years of age in large-breed dogs, the senior life stage is the best time to check for underlying diseases in your pet. Depending on the pet’s breed, simple screening procedures can allow for early diagnosis and treatment of conditions. Your animal doctor will consider your pet’s size to recommend when senior care should begin.
Hospice/ Euthanasia- Losing a family member is never easy, but at Pet Health Hospital, your veterinarian will take the time to discuss your options when quality of life issues surface, and help provide a peaceful passing for your senior pet.
Laparoscopy– Also known as “minimally invasive surgery”, laparoscopy can be a less painful alternative to traditional spay procedures. Smaller incisions are created, thus leading to quicker healing. It is also useful for gastroplexy surgery to prevent bloat in larger breed dogs.
Pain Management– Veterinarians now have a better understanding of how pets experience pain, and believe they feel pain the way people do. Subtle changes in behavior may indicate pain, since animals tend to mask symptoms of pain. Using the right medications, Pet Health Hospital can help your pet live a more comfortable life.
Parasite Control- Despite the dry and arid climate of Las Vegas, pets still are prone to parasites. Your Pet Health Hospital animal doctor can examine your pet’s travel history and environment information to suggest screening and treating pets for parasites, including intestinal, external, and heartworms.
Vaccines– Our vaccine protocol follows the guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccination Guideline and the American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Vaccine Advisory Report. Certain “core” vaccines, particularly those administered at an early age, can provide protection from deadly diseases with a relatively low risk to the pet. Other “non-core” vaccines will only be recommended on an individual basis to the pet parent after discussing with them the risks of the disease based on prior medical history and the chances for exposure.
The veterinarians at Pet Health Hospital are among the best at what they do. They take the health of your pet very seriously, and will spend as much time as necessary to ensure your pet is healthy and has the best quality of life they can have. If you are seeking a Las Vegas veterinarian for your pet’s routine care, or have questions about health concerns, our services may be the perfect match. Our dedication to our patients will keep you coming back, while our expertise and compassion can help you and your pet spend more years together.

New Pet Hospital in Las Vegas

New Pet Hospital in Las Vegas

A new pet hospital in Las Vegas is changing the face of veterinary care. Pet Health and Lifetime Care Center on Desert Inn is the brainchild of Las Vegas veterinarian Dr Mark Beerenstrauch, who started his state-of-the-art practice to provide the highest quality care for pets while evolving the current mainstream approach toward pet health care.
Most pet owners only visit a veterinarian when their pet is ill, has an injury, or needs vaccinations. Recognizing that this is not the best path to overall pet health, Dr Beerenstrauch, or “Dr B” as he is known in the local pet community, has created Feline Health and Canine Health Lifetime Veterinary Care Programs designed to follow patients through every stage of life. A puppy or kitten’s needs can be very different from those of an elderly pet. One major factor these programs take into consideration is the breed of the pet. Breed can give a veterinarian great insight into what diseases or conditions that pet may be prone to, which allows them to screen and observe accordingly. For example, Scottish Terriers are more likely than any other breed to develop bladder cancer, while Boxers are more prone to develop cardiac problems. Early detection and treatment of diseases lead to increased life expectancy in pets, making breed-specific preventative wellness an important part of Pet Health Hospital’s Lifetime Care Programs.

You can expect your pet’s first visit with a Pet Health veterinarian to take longer than a routine exam, so a full evaluation of your pet’s current state of health can be assessed. An individualized wellness program will be created using that information and any known history of health problems your pet may have. In addition to considering breed-specific risks, your Pet Health veterinarian will also address any dental, weight management, behavioral, or other risk factors that may affect the health and lifespan of your pet. This appointment is also an opportunity for your vet to begin educating you on how to provide a higher quality of life for your pet.
The philosophy at Pet Health Hospital is to advocate for your pet throughout his or her life. Dr B has spent the entirety of his career building his wellness programs, which he uses to determine the specific times in that pet’s life when veterinary maintenance is necessary to maintain optimal health. Routine and low-cost procedures are performed as needed to avoid larger and more costly complications that may later compromise the pet patient’s life. Routine vaccinations, wellness checks, and health direction play a significant role in helping pets live a longer and healthier life.

No one will take your pet’s health as seriously as Pet Health Lifetime Care Center on Desert Inn. For questions on their Lifetime Care Programs, or to schedule your pet’s first appointment, contact one of their friendly and helpful staff members. Pet Health Hospital wants to be your first choice when you are seeking a veterinarian in Las Vegas.

Breed-Specific Preventative Wellness

In the constantly evolving industry of veterinary medicine, many exciting advancements have been made. These new technologies allow veterinarians the opportunity to offer newer, better, and more effective care for their clients, from laser therapy and acupuncture to stem-cell treatments. While many people consider their veterinarians to be animal health experts, they often only bring their pets in to see them for immunizations or illness. One new approach to pet health that is gaining interest is breed-specific preventative wellness.

The knowledge that different breeds have the tendency to develop specific conditions or diseases is not a new one. What is new is the concept of building lifetime wellness programs around specific breeds. Las Vegas veterinarian Dr Beerenstrauch recently opened Pet Health and Lifetime Care Center on Desert Inn with the intention of educating clients to see wellness care as customized medicine built around the unique breed risks of their pets. To emphasize this approach, Pet Health designs a Feline Health and Canine Health Lifetime Care Program specifically for each pet to provide a longer and healthier life for each pet patient. Rather than treating illnesses as they arise, breed-specific care gives veterinarians the ability to screen patients for high risk conditions and diagnose diseases earlier. Nutritional and dental wellness plans help round out the program, potentially increasing the quality of life and lifespan of pets.

It is important that the prospective pet owner research the breed of pet they are interested in to gain a better understanding of the risks for breed-specific illnesses. For example, Great Danes are at risk for bloat, Boxers for cardiac problems, and Poodles have a higher chance of developing diabetes. For mixed breed pets, DNA testing can aid in identifying their ancestry, assisting the veterinarian in developing a wellness program.

Following a breed-specific wellness plan with a veterinarian that understands the risks of each individual breed strengthens the bond between vet and client, allowing them to proactively work toward screening for and identifying illness. If Poodles are at risk for developing diabetes, early testing and treatment can help prevent disease-related complications such as blindness and neurological damage. Early diagnosis can make the difference in a pet’s quality of life and help pet parents keep down the costs of health care.

As veterinary medicine continues to advance, genetic testing and research will continue to offer new answers on the prevention and treatment of breed-specific illnesses. This will continue to improve the quality of life for pets, as well as increase their overall lifespan. If you are looking for a different kind of veterinarian in the Las Vegas area and would like more information on breed-specific wellness programs, contact Las Vegas veterinarian Dr. Beerenstrauch at Pet Health and Lifetime Care Center on Desert Inn at (702) 910-4500 to schedule an appointment.