Pet Pain Management


Pet pain management is a must at your Virginia Beach animal hospital. At our animal hospital, we find that when the pain is properly controlled we can maximize quality of life, response to therapy and survival time, and shortening healing time. Pain control starts with the careful nursing care and gentle handling of the pet, thereby providing as a stress-free environment as possible.

Surgical Pain

Surgical pain is best controlled if an analgesic (pain control medication) is started prior to the surgery. This is accomplished by administering mild sedatives and narcotics before the surgical procedure. Depending on the type of surgery being done, these may be administered from twenty minutes to twenty-four hours or more before the procedure. They may be administered as a patch on the skin, oral medications, or injections. Local anesthetics are also often administered prior to or during some procedures. Upon closure of the surgical site, we can bathe the region with light from a therapeutic laser. This treatment decreases surgical pain and promotes healing. After surgery, all our patients go home with analgesics. These are usually oral medications. Because our pets are masters of hiding pain, it is always important to follow the doctor's instructions and give the medication until it is gone. This helps shorten the pet's healing time.

Chronic Pain

Treatment of chronic pain requires chronic treatment. Many pets with painful conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia and cancer require medication to be administered from one to four times daily. The frequency of administration will depend upon the type of medication being used and the degree of pain the pet is experiencing. We find that even when these pets have a "good day", it is still important to give them their medications. This is another example of where medicating prior to the occurrence of the pain lessens the overall pain when it does occur.

Pain Treatments

Our Therapeutic Laser can dramatically reduce pain, as well as the amount of medication needed to control it. These soothing, pain-free treatments send light deep beneath the surface to affect damaged cells. This therapy reduces the pain associated with numerous conditions including arthritis, hip dysplasia, back problems, ear infections, fractures and wounds. It also reduces inflammation and promotes faster healing.

Other forms of pain treatment include supplements that can improve the quality of the fluid inside the joints, thereby reducing painful friction between bones. We also have a type of medication which is given as an injection. This medication relieves pain by helping to heal certain types of joint damage and reduce inflammation in the joints.

The future is here. The next phase of pain control for pets is the use of stem cells. This treatment entails the surgical removal of a section of the pet's fat, from which stem cells are harvested. These stem cells are then mixed in a fluid derived from the patient's blood. This mixture is injected into the damaged joint space just a few hours after the initial surgery. The stem cells are attracted to the inflamed and damaged tissue. They aid in the healing process and reverse some of the degenerative changes, thereby substantially reducing pain. This is not a cure of the condition but appears to be an excellent way to give the average patient a year or more of pain relief. We should be discovering soon whether this mode of treatment is financially feasible for the average veterinarian to offer, or if it will be found primarily at referral hospitals.

Virginia Beach Veterinarian | Birdneck Animal Hospital
508 North Birdneck Rd Suite C
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Phone: (757) 355-5694


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Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.