Southern Hills Animal Hospital

3827 Hite Street
Roanoke, VA 24014


Pain Management and Mobility Rehabilitation

Chronic pain is cruel. It strikes pets of any breed, at any age. Some pain such as that from a wound will subside with medication and in time as the body heals, but chronic pain will never be cured. Our pets often suffer in silence only showing symptoms of "slowing down" which is often misunderstood for normal aging. Pets will endure more pain than humans can withstand. The most common chronic pain we see in practice is arthritic pain caused by degenerative changes in bones and joints.  As owners, we need to be closely monitoring our pets so that we can implement a pain management program quickly.

The most common sign of pain is behavior changes such as:

  • Inappropriate elimination
  • Inappropriate vocalization
  • Aggression
  • Decreased interaction with family
  • Change in facial expression
  • Restlessness
  • Hiding
  • Flinching even with a gentle touch
  • Inability or unwillingness to perform routine activity
  • Lethargy and decreased appetite
  • Decreased grooming in cats

During our comprehensive exams, we will assess your pet's pain by localizing the painful areas and use diagnostic labwork and imaging to develop a complete understanding of the pain. We will then work with you to develop a management program to improve your pet's quality of life. We will use a combination of treatments to give us long lasting, successful pain control. We most often include:

  • Natural supplements to help repair bones, joints, and other tissues
  • Medications such as anti-inflammatories to reduce pain and swelling  
  • Medications that decrease pain sensation or awareness
  • Specific mobility rehabilitation exercise programs designed for your pet
  • Massage therapy to improve circulation and decrease pain
  • Weight management and nutrition planning


Our goal is to keep your pet mobile as long as possible. Our Mobility Rehabilitation Programs allow you to leave your pet for a session several times a week so our staff can spend time helping your pet regain function through repetitive exercises using ball therapy, massage, ramp and stair exercises. Mobility Rehabilitation can also help with pets who have had recent injuries or surgery on their legs, hips and/or spine. We will improve healing with a program designed to improve muscle tone and joint strength at a faster rate.