Dog Pain Management

Symptoms of pain in a dog:

Here at Animal Medical Center, we encounter the need for dog pain management on a daily basis.  Whether it is from arthritis, surgery pain or bladder pain from a stone, we address it to give the dog relief.  Dogs are wired to hide pain symptoms so sometimes it is difficult to know if pain is present.  Below is a list of common signs that we look for to evaluate possible pain:

  • Vocalization
    • Whining/whimpering
    • Howling
    • Yelping
  • Activity
    • Decreased activity level
    • Restless, won’t settle down
    • Shaking and pacing
    • Clingy with owners
  • Self Protection
    • Lays on or protects painful body part
    • Hides
    • Limps
    • Reluctance to be held
  • Daily Behavior and Attitude
    • Sleeps more
    • Sleeps less
    • Won’t eat normally
    • Lethargic
    • Panting excessively
    • Aggressive
    • Less grooming
    • Excessive licking of painful area
  • Posture
    • “Prayer Position” – front end down on the ground and the hindquarters raised up
    • Laying on one side


Once we diagnose pain, first we try to figure out the cause.  Sometimes just removing or treating the cause is all that is needed.  For example, a dog that is painful with a urinary tract infection usually finds relief in the first 24 hours of antibiotic therapy.  Many patients, however, need pain medication for immediate relief.  This can be short-term use (as in surgery patients) or long term (as in arthritis patients.) Below is a list of common medications we use at Animal Medical Center.

  • Non-steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs – Commonly called NSAIDS, this is the most common class of drugs used for pain in dogs.  It provides quick relief and also reduces inflammation.  We have a variety of NSAIDS that we use which includes Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Metacam and Gallaprant.
  • Gabapentin – This medication is used for pain associated with the nerves.  We commonly use this in pinched nerve cases and painful neck/back cases.  It sometimes causes drowsiness but usually is well tolerated.
  • Tramadol – On rare occasions, tramadol is added to a pain medication regimen to help.  Research proving the effectiveness of pain control with this drug is limited.  Still, we find some patients benefit from its use.
  • Supplements – We have many patients that benefit from glucosamine chondroitin    and/or omega 3 fatty acid supplements.  With long term use, these supplements can decrease the amount of daily pain and limit the need for the drugs mentioned above.

Human Pain Medication

It is VERY important that human medications not be used in dogs, especially NSAIDS.  Dogs have different ways of processing drugs.  Therefore, they can get very sick from taking some human drugs.  The only pain medication that is occasionally used is Aspirin.  This is only acceptable after a veterinarian recommends the use of Aspirin and gives an appropriate dose.  It is not recommended for long term use. 

I think my dog is in pain, can you help?

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Office Hours

Walk-ins accepted from 8am-11:30am and 2pm-5:30pm

Lubbock Office


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm




10209 Quaker Avenue, Lubbock, Tx . 79424

  • "AMC has been our vet for the last 28 years with personal fur babies and now going on 12 years with our Morris Mutts. We could not be here and actively savings dogs without your help and expertise. Thank you thank you"
    Sallie-Morris Safe House
  • "They have the best vets and a wonderful staff and I couldn't be happier with the quality of service and how well they take care of my dog when I take him there! Definitely check out AMC for a friendly, affordable Lubbock vet."
    Kayla B.
  • "Always receive sound judgment, veterinary advice and excellent care here. Strong & trustworthy veterinary care providers. (I can also be a bit intense & all the staff have consistently been patient and kind each visit, intense or not.)"
    Betty H.
  • "I have used AMC since 1999 with all my babies. I've brought them dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rescues I pull off the street. They have given amazing service every visit. I also work at a local pet hotel, and when I call to check on client vaccinations, they are helpful and professional."
    Jeana D.
  • "Great doctors, friendly people and fantastic service."
    Mary W.
  • "Caring staff; knowledgeable vets"
    Virginia M.

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