Originally Posted by Natalie_ca
For those who forgo pain medication for their animals, can I ask why you do that?
Animals feel pain just like we do. I know I sure wouldn't undergo surgery and then forgo pain medication. I had an ingrown toenail removed a month ago and I was in total agony for days after. And that's just a toenail. There was no way I'd have been able to go without pain medication.
For me personally my cats' comfort level is paramount and that means pain medication if they have what I deem would be a painful procedure if I had it done to myself.
As a human you understand that a necessary medical/surgical procedure has been done on some part of your body. You know what cutting open a part of yourself means, and also understand that the area should not be walked on, stretched, or over exerted. You know all about complications, infections, and the need to protect the damaged areas. You can be told that you need to take it easy, not lift things, or not go jogging.
An animal cannot.
Pain is natures way of limiting movement. Pain is a signal that says "don't do that".
Animals need such signals to tell them what they should and should not be doing. Feeling poorly causes an animal to "lay low", to hunker down and let a few days pass before they get back to their usual routine.
Pain tolerance among humans varies wildly and is often related to how you were treated as a child when you were hurt or sick. We learn
that pain is a terrible, horrible thing when our mothers fuss over every little thing.
Animals handle pain much differently than humans- they are able to compartmentalize it,and they do not lay there thinking "poor me, woe, woe, woe, I'm gonna die it hurts so bad". They don't have the language to think such things- their thoughts are more along the lines of "ouch- better not".
To compare a human reaction to an animals reaction to any given situation is a faulty premise from the get go. They are a different species, and perceive the world through a completely different set of standards. Completely.
Years of animal management has given us the tools and understanding to best manage situations involving pain in animals, and restriction of movement is key to a speedy and complete, uncomplicated recovery.
No one is advocating withholding pain medications in serious situations under veterinary supervision. But offering pain meds after simple outpatient procedures in the majority of animals is contrary to a speedy recovery, and when it is offered it is more to satisfy the owners needs as opposed to the animals.