Nov
30
2011

What do you know about animal pain?

One of the most important things veterinary staff can do is to help animals in pain.

Technicians and assistants can help the veterinarian assess and alleviate pain in an animal that is suffering. They can also teach pet owners how to recognize when their pet has pain, so owners can manage the pain at home.

Recognizing and managing pain enhances the patient’s quality of life, improves the human–animal bond, and benefits the practice and its team.

Are you up to date in your understanding of pain management? Take the following quiz to find out!

1. Pain after surgery or injury is an evolutionary device that is beneficial to animals because it limits their movement and prevents more injury and pain.

A. True
B. False

2. What is considered the fourth vital sign?

A. Pain
B. Pulse
C. Respiration
D. Temperature

3. What is the most common sign of pain in an animal?

A. Being more friendly
B. Changes in behavior
C. Vigorous grooming
D. None of the above

4. Who benefits when a practice incorporates pain management into the veterinary practice?

A. The pharmaceutical company that sells pain medications
B. The pet and its owner
C. The veterinary staff
D. None of the above

5. What is the difference between adaptive and maladaptive pain?

A. Adaptive pain is acute pain, and maladaptive pain is chronic.
B. Adaptive pain is a normal response to tissue damage or noxious stimulus, and maladaptive pain is unhelpful pain that tends to be out of proportion to the actual tissue damage.
C. Adaptive pain occurs after a surgical intervention, and maladaptive pain occurs after an accident.
D. All of the above.

6. What is wind-up pain?

A. Heightened sensitivity that results in altered pain thresholds, both peripherally and centrally
B. Painful stimulation that results from the administration of a procedure, such as a blood draw
C. Pain initiated or caused by a primary lesion in the peripheral nervous system
D. Pain caused by a stimulus that does not normally cause pain

7. The use of pharmacological interventions for pain should:

A. Always include ketamine
B. Always include low doses to prevent side effects
C. Be based on a physical examination, history, co-existing conditions, presenting complaint and laboratory results
D. Be based on pulse, respiration and temperature

8. Name a nonpharmacological intervention for pain relief:

A. Ketamine, amantadine, alpha-2 agonists, opiods, local anesthetics
B. Basic lifestyle changes, complementary and alternative medicine, nutrition, nutraceuticals, rehabilitation therapy
C. Providing lifelong dental care
D. There are no nonpharmacological interventions that help relieve pain

9. What body system mediates the body’s stress responses to pain?

A. Cardiovascular system
B. Respiratory system
C. Endocrine system
D. Integumentary system

10. What is dysphoria?

A. A state of anxiety or restlessness, often accompanied by vocalization
B. Acute anxiety or pain felt by an animal
C. Pain caused by a stimulus that does not normally result in pain
D. All of the above

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