Pain Management and Healing

Alleviating your pet’s pain is one of the best ways you can improve their health. Partner with us to begin your companion’s journey to healing and everyday comfort.

Comprehensive Pain Management for Your Pet’s Wellbeing

Pain severely impacts pets’ comfort and quality of life. Left untreated, pain can degrade every aspect of your pet’s health, happiness, and well-being. From small changes in their normal routine to complete immobility, pain is a very powerful sensation that can be a dark cloud in your best friend’s life.

Knowing how overwhelming it can be to experience intense or ongoing pain for yourself, you can likely imagine what your pet is going through when you notice signs of pain. It can still be hard to tell sometimes if your best friend is in pain since they can’t simply speak and tell us what’s hurting.

Your Good Shepherd veterinary family considers management of both acute and chronic pain in dogs and cats to be an important goal to help our pet parents navigate. At Good Shepherd, we utilize different pain management techniques such as PRP, Stem Cell and Laser Therapy, along with other supportive care like Solensia and Librela, weight management with diet, and joint supplements.

How do you know if your best friend is in pain?

Pets are often masters of hiding any indications that something is wrong, especially our feline friends. This can make it difficult to know when your pet needs to be taken to the veterinarian for further pain evaluation and possibly treatment.

With that being said, there are some signs you can watch for that may indicate a painful condition:

A cat laying on its back while a veterinarian's hands gently examine
  • Changes in the way your pet moves
  • Limping
  • Decreased activity
  • Difficulty getting up or down
  • Suddenly avoiding certain high-impact activities (running, jumping, using stairs)
  • Changes to your pet’s body
  • Holding postures that are unusual
  • Increased panting or breathing
  • Visible eye problems (redness, squinting, eye rubbing)
  • Muscle fatigue and wasting
  • Changes to your pet’s behavior
  • Increased aggression
  • Decrease appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Vocalization
  • Avoidance or hiding behaviors
  • Changes in urination or defecation habits

Effective treatments for Pet Arthritis can help ease the pain

Arthritis is a complex condition involving inflammation of the joints. Although there are many causes and types of arthritis in pets, Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease (DJD) are by far the most common. In many cases, the degree of arthritis is related to the age of the animal. In other cases, excessive wear and tear of a joint or poor conformation predispose a dog or cat to arthritis.

How Good Shepherd helps with treating Osteoarthritis

Librela and Solensia Injections:

Librela and Solensia are monthly injectable treatments offered to our canine and feline companions suffering from osteoarthritis.

Librela is for our canine friends and Solensia is for our feline friends. These injectables help to alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis with effects that last up to 30 days. Both treatments use monoclonal antibodies (laboratory-produced molecules engineered to serve as substitute antibodies that can restore, enhance, modify, or mimic the immune system’s attack on cells that aren’t wanted), a treatment that is administered to target the nerve growth factors (an insulin-like protein, which regulates growth, development, and maintenance of sympathetic and embryonic sensory neurons).

Solensia Logo
Librela Logo

Weight control:

Extra weight can be hard on joints, especially ones already in pain. While weight alone does not cause arthritis, excessive weight can make arthritis and the associated pain worse.

We can help discuss the ideal weight for your pet. As a very general rule, an average dog should eat about 1 cup of dry food for every 20 pounds of body weight per day. This amount should be based on your dog’s ideal body weight. An adult cat should eat between 24-35 calories per pound of body weight each day. If you have trouble achieving your pet’s ideal weight, we can discuss alternatives to help you get your best friend at their ideal body weight.


Moderate exercise aids mobility, and joint function exercise is important to control your pet’s arthritis. Obviously, the degree of arthritis and other health issues can play a role in what amount of exercise your pet can tolerate. Think of your pet’s joint as a hinge: too little use can cause it to rust or freeze up, whereas too much use can wear it out. As a rule, moderate and controlled exercise is best. Avoid jumping, roughhousing, or chasing Frisbees with your pet. Leash walks and swimming are good activity choices.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that contain helpful anti-inflammatory properties. These should be included in your pet’s diet. Most dog and cat foods have very little Omega-3 content. Omega-3s are important for a number of reasons, but they are especially vital for arthritic animals because of their anti-inflammatory properties. The important components of Omega-3 are EPA and DHA. Whatever product you choose, be sure to get a reputable one, as these products are not FDA-regulated and could contain toxins.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are the most common form of treatment to reduce pain and inflammation from osteoarthrosis. They reduce inflammation and pain. We will advise you on the best choice if this is the option chosen for treatment. It is important to select these medications with care since some dogs and cats are more sensitive than others to the potential side effects. Common side effects include decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most pets will have pre-medication blood tests to make sure that they can safely metabolize and excrete the medications, then annual blood tests to ensure continued safe usage. If you have any concerns following the administration of any medication we have prescribed, please discontinue them and contact us immediately.

Nutritional supplements:

To Maintain Joint Health The other commonly used component for osteoarthrosis is nutritional supplements designed for joint health. These supplements improve joint function in many instances because they provide the nutritional building blocks needed by the body to produce healthy cartilage. Since they are nutritional products and not drugs, they are non-toxic and can be used in conjunction with anti-inflammatories and other pain management therapies. The optimal result is often obtained with a nutraceutical in combination with an anti-inflammatory.

What to expect on your visit:

We offer a comprehensive physical exam to help determine what avenue of treatment your loved one(s) need.

Diagnostics which include:

Lab work (to determine internal functions)

This will let the doctors know if and what medications may be used. If your pet has never had lab work before, this will be a great start with a baseline.

Radiographs (to determine bone composition and integrity)

this will let the doctors know what forms of treatment would be the best options. As with the lab work, if your pet has never had radiographs before, this will help establish a baseline, especially when we follow up with radiographs post treatments.

All of our radiographs are interpreted by a board-certified Radiologist.

This will help us discuss with you, the pet parent, about what is the best option to help give your best friend pain relief and on their way to healing.