Knapp Veterinary Hospital, Inc.

596 Oakland Park Avenue
Columbus, OH 43214


Pain Management

Please do NOT give any human medications (over the counter or prescription) to your pets unless directed by a veterinarian. These medications are metabolized differently between humans, dogs, cats, etc. While one medication is safe for us, it may cause damage to (or even kill) your pet. Even when the same medication is appropriate, the dose can vary greatly between species.

From routine procedures such as spaying and declawing, to more advanced procedures like orthopedic (bone) or foreign body surgery, and even including chronic, painful conditions such as arthritis or back pain - we are dedicated to providing safe and effective pain management to every patient. We will help you to recognize the signs of pain so that we can modify your pet's pain management as necessary.

Pain can not only affect your pet's appearance, but their body's physical function and state of mind. Pain can make your pet depressed, causing them to hide or not eat properly. It is very important that we take care of our patients on every level possible and that's why we want to use proper pain control when needed. Your pet may act like nothing is wrong because it's their instinct not to appear weak. Even little things, such as increased heart rate or a change in breathing patterns, can possibly be due to pain.

Causes of Pain

Pain can be caused by many things and will present itself in many different ways. Acute pain starts suddenly, but doesn't normally last very long. That kind of pain should subside once everything is healed . Chronic pain, however, can go on for weeks or even years and may need life long treatment. It tends to be more of a dull, lingering pain.

By knowing the cause of pain, the doctor is better able to prescribe the correct medication and/or other treatments needed.

  • Pets undergoing routine procedures (such as spaying, castrating, and dental extractions) are treated for pain because we know it's coming - we don't wait for it to start. This is usually treated over 3-5 days post-op and if pain persists your pet will need to be seen to make sure nothing serious is going on.
  • Conditions such as arthritis or back pain must present signs before we are able to treat the pain properly. With these issues, sometimes a simple supplement, such as glucosamine, is enough, but it is often used along with other pain management.
  • Other causes of pain, such as broken limbs or wounds, will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Signs of Pain

Recognizing and alleviating pain in our patients is our goal and we will do all we can to ensure your pet's comfort, well being, and recovery. We have various types of medications and supplements as well as a therapy laser that we can use to help your pet remain comfortable.

If you notice any of these signs you should contact us for an exam. Unfortunately, we won't be able to tell you what's wrong without seeing your pet first.

Discernable Behavior

  • Protecting painful areas
  • Limping
  • Vocalizing - especially when moving/touching a specific area
  • Licking, biting, scratching, or shaking affected area
  • Hiding or reluctance to move
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Pacing
  • Dull eyes
  • Increased heart rate or respiration
  • Lethargy
  • Just "not themselves"

Therapy Laser

Therapy Laser

Laser therapy is a surgery free, drug free, non-invasive treatment used to reduce pain and inflammation as well as increase the speed of healing. We use a class IV laser (different than the carbon dioxide laser used in surgeries) that is delivered through a non-invasive hand piece to the affected area without harming any deep tissues.

Many of our patients receive therapy for arthritis, but we also use the laser for other things such as faster healing of wounds and post-surgical sites. Your pet will feel a gentle, soothing warmth and be treated in a matter of minutes. The treatment may be done alone or along with other treatments to meet your pet's needs. Treatment protocols are unique to each patient and condition so time and cost will vary.

Benefits of Laser Therapy

  • Accelerated Tissue Repair and Cell Growth
    • The laser penetrates deeply into the tissue to accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. This works because the laser increases energy available to cells so they can obtain nutrients and eliminate waste faster.
  • Faster Wound Healing
    • The light from the laser stimulates fibroblast development in damaged tissues. Fibroblasts are the building blocks of collagen, which is an essential protein required to replace old tissue or to repair tissue injuries. This is why the laser therapy is effective on open wounds.
  • Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation
    • The laser functions to reduce the formation of scar tissue caused by cuts, scratches, burns and surgery.
  • Anti-Inflammation
    • The therapy laser has a highly beneficial effect on nerve cells that block pain transmitted to the brain, which decreases nerve sensitivity. There is also less pain because there will be less inflammation and, thereby, less edema (swelling). The laser also produces high levels of pain killing chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins from the brain and adrenal glands.
  • Improved Vascular Activity
    • The laser light will greatly increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue that speeds up the healing process, closes wounds quickly, and reduces scar tissue. Additionally, this will increase the formation of new blood vessels, which causes temporary vasodilation.


  • Increased Metabolic Activity
    • Laser therapy creates higher outputs of specific enzymes as well as greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells to thrive on.
  • Improved Nerve Function
    • Slow recovery of nerve functions in damaged tissue can result in numbness and impaired limbs. The laser light will speed up the process of nerve cell reconnection to counteract this.
  • Immunoregulation
    • The laser has a direct effect on immunity by stimulating immunoglobulins and lymphocytes. The laser is absorbed by enzymes that react to light, which activates the production of ATP (adenosine-tri-phosphate), the major carrier of cell energy and the energy source for all chemical reactions in the cell.
  • Trigger Points and Acupuncture Points
    • Laser therapy stimulates muscle trigger points as well as acupuncture points non-invasively, which provides musculoskeletal pain relief.

Hours of Operation

Monday:    7am - 7pm
Tuesday:   7am - 7pm
Wednesday: 7am - 7pm
Thursday:  7am - 7pm
Friday:    7am - 7pm
Saturday:  7am - 4pm 
Sunday:    Closed

Appointments begin at 8 am

Phone: 614-267-3124

Fax: 614-267-0049

596 Oakland Park Ave.
Columbus, OH 43214