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Pain memory in dogs – why it is so dangerous and how to treat it.

Schmerzgedächtnis beim Hund - wenn der Schmerz seine Warnfunktion verliert. Warum dies passiert und wie man es behandelt.

Pain in itself is unpleasant, but it has an important function in the dog’s body – and of course in the human body as well. It is a warning signal and usually leads to dealing with the area where the pain occurs. You look, you check, you treat, and if necessary, you spare. For example, if you bump your elbow, you notice it, turn your gaze and attention there. Classically, we then rub over this spot. Next time, just consciously observe yourself doing that. So pain is actually a great idea of the body. But pain can also lose its important warning function. Pain memory in dogs

How can this happen? Pain memory in dogs

If a pain is very severe, occurs more frequently, or if the pain is chronic, the signal processing of the central nervous system may change. Examples would be chronic pain that is not treated or not treated adequately, after surgery, or in acute injuries that are not treated or not treated adequately with pain therapy.

What happens when the signal processing of the central nervous system changes?

The function of the receptors is disturbed and they react even to weak stimuli or when there is no stimulus at all. A false alarm. A pain signal is sent to the brain even though no pain-inducing factor is present.

Pain itself has become a clinical picture. The dog has developed a pain memory.

What is it like for the dog to have developed pain memory?

If a dog has developed a memory for pain, it is important to be aware that this is how it actually perceives pain, even if there is no factor causing the pain. The pain is real and burdensome for him. The dog does not simulate.

Do you know how to tell if your dog is in pain? If not, check out the article on pain for the 21 most common signs of pain.

What can be done if the dog has developed a pain memory?

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to erase a pain memory. It’s not like you just give a pain pill and then the pain is “eliminated.” As a rule, a lot of patience is required here, since the function of the receptors must be normalized step by step. It makes sense to address pain memory with thoughtful pain management that addresses pain in a variety of ways. Example of a useful multimodal therapy would be a combination of canine physical therapy, osteopathy, conventional pain medication, and natural analgesics. The advantage of herbal pain relief is that, like physiotherapeutic and osteopathic treatment, it is also free of side effects in the long term. Pain memory in dogs

Nevertheless, one should not reject conventional painkillers in principle that a pain memory means a strong restriction for the dog in his everyday life and affect him physically, but also socially and burden. It is not possible to give a general “treatment prescription” for this, as the perception of pain is individual and the intensity of the pain also varies. Therefore, for each dog should be looked individually, which measures are suitable for him.

How to prevent the development of pain memory? Pain memory in dogs

Basically, if your dog is in pain, I urge you to treat it and do something about the pain. There are many different options for this from physiotherapy or naturopathy, for example. If necessary, also with a painkiller. Still far too often, the treatment of a pain is refused, because it is believed that the dog would not be spared or that it could not be handled. In addition, people often refer to the side effects of conventional painkillers and therefore reject them. Pain memory in dogs

However, you should weigh things up well here. In many cases, short-term administration of a pain medication is not harmful to the organs. However, treating an evolved pain memory from an untreated pain symptom often makes the use of conventional pain medications unavoidable for an extended period of time. In addition, the suffering path to freedom from pain is often incomparably longer for the dog and has a significant impact on the quality of life.

Therefore, do not let your dog suffer pain. It simulates are and a treatment of the same appropriate to the pain is indispensable for health and quality of life.

PS: You can find out more about the dog’s perception of pain in the corresponding article on this topic.

All the love, your Tina

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