Chronic pain is difficult to treat and quantify, even in people. However, this does not mean that it should not be considered when examining veterinary patients. As veterinary medicine progresses, chronic pain may become an increasingly common component of the clinical picture, mostly in elderly animals and those undergoing palliative treatment for incurable conditions. Documenting the clinical signs objectively is difficult and can often be the main problem with assessing progress; owner involvement is key to assessment and treatment. This article describes the different mechanisms involved in chronic pain and how it is diagnosed, and discusses various treatments.
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