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Pain in Dogs

By: Dr. Rhea Morgan

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An important part of evaluating pain is to localize the pain, which involves determining what part of the body is painful. A thorough history and physical examination are performed. These must be done with care in order not to worsen the animal's pain and to avoid injury to the veterinarian and the veterinary assistants. Depending upon the outcome of the examination, further diagnostic tests may include the following:

  • Complete eye examination
  • Complete neurologic examination
  • Complete orthopedic examination
  • Thorough oral examination
  • Thorough examination of the ears
  • Thorough examination of the external genitalia
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis and urine culture
  • X-rays of the chest, abdomen, spine or any area identified as painful
  • An ultrasound of the abdomen or heart

  • Cytology and/or biopsy of tissue or fluid
  • Serologic tests for certain infectious diseases
  • Bacterial culture of any infected tissues
  • Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) tap
  • Computed tomography (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

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