Pain relief for pets – before during and after operations

1st August 2017


How do we control pain in dogs and cats?

Did you know we give pain relief before an anaesthetic? Drugs given just before the induction are known as ‘premeds’, which is an abbreviation for premedication or pre-anaesthetic medication.


The premed

This is a combination of a sedative and one or more other drugs to prevent pain. It’s designed to reduce anxiety and thereby calm your pet before the anaesthetic as well as provide some pain control. It’s known that if pain relief is started before the operation, pain is much easier to control during and after the procedure.

If your pet is already on painkillers for some other reason, do tell us if these drugs have been given on the morning of surgery.



What are the main pain killer drugs we use?

Opiates - the main drugs we use are the opioid analgesics. At Bollington Veterinary Centre the most common opioid we use is one from the morphine family. These drugs are usually given by injection and are safe and predictable.

Local anaesthetics - where possible we will use local anaesthetic techniques. These are excellent painkillers as they block nerves that conduct the pain signal to the brain.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) – these are used for pain relief at home after surgery as well as in long-term conditions such as arthritis. They are excellent pain relieving drugs and work by reducing the inflammation. During inflammation, chemicals are released at the site of tissue damage, which then act on nerve fibres to start the pain response. NSAID’s block the formation of some of these chemicals that promote pain.


How long do we use painkillers after surgery?

The simple answer is we use them as long as the animal needs pain relief.

If your pet is to undergo an operation, don’t be afraid to ask any of our team at Bollington Veterinary Centre what pain relief we are planning to provide.

If you think that your pet is in pain when you get them home after an operation, call us and let us know. We will be able to reassure you and provide help if needed. You should generally expect your pet to be comfortable and eating normally after routine surgery.

Call us if your pet is in pain

Call us if your pet is in pain >