Exotic animal veterinarians have been prescribing analgesics for their patients for many years, but recently the recognition and alleviation of pain in these patients have become widely recognized as an essential component of clinical veterinary care. Misconceptions about the nature and significance of pain, difficulties in recognizing its severity, uncertainty as to the most appropriate therapies in clinical settings, and a fundamental lack of scientific data in exotic animals have hampered our understanding of pain management in these patients. To manage pain effectively in exotic animal patients, we must first be able to define and recognize pain in these animals. This article addresses some of these obstacles by discussing current knowledge concerning the recognition and management of pain in common pet exotic animal patients and by providing information regarding analgesic medications determined in other species, with the hopes of applying these fundamental understandings to our exotic animal patients.
- small mammal
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