Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.
For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even the morning of surgery.
Cats must be handled differently. Many standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol are toxic to cats. We administer injectable pain medication prior to surgery. During and after surgery, we monitor carefully and administer additional pain medication on a case by case basis. In some cases oral pain meds will be given to you to administer at home.
Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.