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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Introduction to Pain Management

By Peter W. Hellyer, DVM, MS, DACVA, Associate Dean for the Professional Veterinary Medical Program, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University

Animals, just like people, feel pain when they are injured or sick. However, recognizing pain in animals can be difficult because animals do not act the same way that people do when they are in pain.

Pain management in veterinary medicine is a routine part of the physical examination and treatment plan. Pain and the types of behaviors associated with it are good indicators of a physical problem. The type and extent of the pain can help the veterinarian diagnose the problem and select the appropriate treatment. Good pain management can help a sick or injured animal recover faster.