Arthritis Assessment & Management

Expert in Pain Management and Treatment

When your pet is in pain, whether from an acute or chronic condition, it’s critical to manage it properly. If pain isn’t managed, your pet may try to avoid it by scrunching up, limping, or something else that could cause further damage and prevent total healing. Often, though, you may not realize your pet is in pain because they don’t show it in the same way we humans do. In fact, their instinct is to hide their pain to keep prospective predators at bay.

If you suspect your pet is hurting, call Nature Coast Animal Wellness & Surgical Center.  We have a safe and effective protocol for alleviating your pet’s pain and making him or her more comfortable whether it’s a case of osteoarthritis, pain from an injury or surgery, or disease such as cancer. Proper pain management can not only help your dog find relief, but also help him to live longer

Acute vs Chronic Pain

It’s important to understand the difference between acute and chronic pain. Acute pain comes on suddenly and fiercely and usually occurs after surgery, injury or infection. Acute pain can be extremely excruciating and causes a reluctance to move the affected areas. The good news is that prompt and effective treatment alleviates type of pain quickly. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is more insidious. It comes on slowly and is initially hard to detect. Arthritis is the most common cause, though other conditions, such as cancer, can also cause it. Chronic pain can never be completely cured, but it can be managed through the protocols used by Dr. Stocker

Signs That Your Cat or Dog May be in Pain

If you think your pet may be in pain, observe him carefully. The signs may be subtle, but with careful monitoring, you will notice some changes in behavior. Here are some of the signs you should watch for:

  • Uncharacteristic quiet and lethargic behavior
  • Whimpering or crying
  • Aggressive behavior: biting, growling or snapping
  • Relentless licking, typically of one area of the body
  • Significant behavior changes
  • Ears held flat against the head
  • No appetite or trouble eating
  • Limps or staggers
  • Avoids active behaviors


Maintaining proper body weight and exercise many times is the single most effective part of any treatment. We will consult with you as to the best plan for your pet.

Your pet’s pain is a serious issue and if you suspect there is an issue, contact us right away. We can isolate where the pain is coming from and provide the medication or therapy that will soothe him or her. 

Veterinary laser therapy is an innovative treatment that has gained popularity in recent years as veterinarians discover its benefits for pets. Used similarly to acupuncture, massage therapy, and other alternative therapies, laser treatment can be used in conjunction with or in place of medication to manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing.

Some of the medications we use include the following:

  • NSAIDS – These medications, generally used for milder pain, help to control inflammatory processes such as swelling and its associated pain. However, careful monitoring is necessary because of potential adverse effects on the liver, kidney or stomach.
  • Opioids – These drugs help alleviate more severe pain and include morphine, codeine, fentanyl, among others.
  • Corticosteroids – Cortisone and prednisone are two examples in this class. These drugs are effective in controlling inflammation but can have serious side effects and need to be monitored closely.
  • Joint Supplements  There are many different supplements that can be beneficial to help control chronic arthritic pain.

Office Hours

We do not see appointments between 12 & 2pm

Monday - Friday:

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday, Sunday:


After Hours Emergency

Animal Emergency of Hernando
8101 Forest Oaks Blvd. Spring Hill FL  34606