Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. Most definitely not OK and, in fact, I don’t recommend it even for dogs any more, based on research findings linking aspirin use in dogs to gastric ulcers. But though the use of aspirin in dogs has long been common practice — even if that may be changing — the use of aspirin in cats has never been recommended.
Cats are very sensitive to pain medications, and that’s why veterinarians have long been reluctant to wade into these murky waters, even when faced with cats in chronic pain. With the increase in the keeping of indoor cats, however, many of these pets are living longer, healthier lives — or they would be if their quality of life were not decreased by the constant pain of arthritis. The management of that pain is extremely important, especially in these older cats.
But it’s not just older cats who benefit. Treating pain doesn't just make the hurting stop: It also promotes healthy healing. Untreated pain slows healing time, interferes with sleep and depresses the immune system. The treatment of pain improves respiration, shortens postsurgical hospitalization and improves mobility.
Can you see why I’m a strong advocate for modern pain management for our pets? Despite the benefits, though, you should never — let me emphasize that — never give pain medications to your cat without your veterinarian’s guidance. If your veterinarian is reluctant to provide medication and advice on pain control, push for a consultation with a specialist to design a safe, individualized pain-management program for your pet. Veterinary specialists in oncology, surgery and anesthesia are usually most familiar with the wide variety of pain medications available today, as well as their safest use.
Pain control is never a one-size-fits-all prescription and, in some cases, medication is only part of the package. Complementary and alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and supplements (glucosamine, etc.), may also be an option for cats suffering from chronic pain, as can working with your veterinarian to get and keep your cat at a normal weight, to avoid putting more pressure on joints that are already aching.
I know I am always writing about the importance of working in partnership with your veterinarian, but when it comes to pain management you really need to be sure you and your veterinarian are on the same page. Don’t guess or check the Internet for answers: Work with your veterinarian to develop a safe and effective individual pain-management plan for your cat, and don’t hesitate for an instant to call with questions, concerns or observations. Managing pain in cats is simply not appropriate for guesswork or DIY medicine, ever.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
The Montez family was happy to be
reunited with Corky and to add their dog's
one-eyed friend, Captain, to their…
Dr. Marty Becker dispels misconceptions
like "all cats in a shelter are sick" or that
Searching for a pet sitter or boarding
facility for your avian friend? Make sure
to ask these important questions.
Does your kitty ever take kibble away
from his dish and munch on it in another
spot? Here's what's going on.
A people-loving dog who hails from Italy,
the Bracco Italiano is usually happiest
when he's with his family or out…
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Visit HealthyPet magazine for interviews with pet-loving celebrities, health advice from our experts, training tips and…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.