About Pet Pain-Away
Pet Pain-Away is an all-natural, clinically proven homeopathic formulation that promises to provide relief from moderate to severe chronic pain in dogs and cats.
Specifically, the website tells us that Pet Pain-Away can help your best friend find relief from pain caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis, joint discomfort, and general pain, regardless of their age, size, and breed.
Just give them the formulation one to two times per day, and the non-toxic, non-narcotic chicken-flavored gel will build up in their system and provide relief.
Some research shows that when we look at our dogs and cats, it activates the same area of our brain as if we were looking at human family members. Given our close relationship, it’s no surprise that we want to alleviate our pets’ pain, especially as they grow older.
But you’re here because you’d like to learn more about whether or not your pet will experience meaningful relief with Pet Pain-Away’s ingredients, and whether or not it’s a good use of your money.
Let’s start by taking a look at pet pain in general.
What Are Common Causes of Chronic Pain In Cats & Dogs?
Just like in humans, pain in animals simply signals that something isn’t right, but doesn’t indicate exactly what’s going on. Which is why it’s important to visit the vet if you think your furry friend is in pain.
With this in mind, common causes of pain in our companion animals include tissue damage, injury, age-related degeneration (arthritis, hip dysplasia, etc.), and surgery or other medical treatments.
Unlike humans, though, cats and dogs might not express their pain (however severe) in immediately recognizable ways, like whimpering. They may simply vocalize more (in whatever form), excessively groom one area, change their sleeping, eating, and drinking habits, as well as their breathing; and even increase aggressiveness.
Regardless of its cause or form of expression, how does Pet Pain-Away promise to relieve your pet’s pain?
How Does Pet Pain-Away Work?
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter (the first one to be discovered, in fact) that’s responsible for muscle contraction (movement), initiating REM sleep, memory, cognition, motor control, and even parasympathetic nervous system function. It’s also thought to regulate pain perception, although its mechanism of action isn’t fully understood.
As a result, Pet Pain-Away tells us their all-natural, anti-inflammatory analgesic pain reliever contains a unique ingredient that blocks acetylcholine from transmitting pain to the brain.
In fat, the manufacturer tells us that Pet Pain-Away’s ingredient is so effective that it “gave equivalent analgesic effects with doses 300 times less than aspirin and 30 times less than morphine.” However, they note it may take a few days for your pet to feel the full effects.
The reality is that there are many different substances that can block acetylcholine from doing its different jobs, including atropine, some snake neurotoxins, beauty treatments like Botox, and prescription medications like ipratropium bromide and tiotropium.
Exactly what does this pet formulation use to accomplish these pain-blocking benefits?
How Effective Are Pet Pain-Away’s Ingredients?
While we didn’t find any ingredients mentioned or a label listed on the Pet Pain-Away website, we did find the product’s Drug Facts listing on the National Institutes of Health website. Here’s what it showed:
- Active ingredients: Naja Naja venom paste (strength: 70 ug in 1 mL)
- Inactive ingredients: Purified Water, Sorbitol USP, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Natural Flavoring Agents
Depending on your pet’s weight, you’ll give them 1/8 to ¼ tsp of Pet Pain-Away one to two times per day.
Remember the snakes we just talked about? Naja Naja, also known as the Indian Cobra, injects a powerful neurotoxin into its victims that paralyze muscles—not to mention causing other less-than-savory side effects—by inhibiting acetylcholine.
According to Wikipedia, the lethal dose for naja naja venom is 0.45 mg/kg – 0.75 mg/kg in rats. This means that, at 70 ug (micrograms) per1 mL of Pain-Away, even if they accidentally consumed the whole thing, it probably wouldn’t cause any severe ill effects in your cat or dog. But will it work to reduce pain?
According to WebMD, there is some preliminary research that black mamba venom might help relieve pain (as effectively as morphine, in some instances) in mice. There are also several dozen studies listed on NIH's PubMed.
However, nothing was referenced in these PubMed trials related to humans (or cats or dogs), or specifically related to Indian cobra venom.
Pet Pain-Away’s website doesn’t deliver any evidence back up the company’s “clinically proven” claim, either.
What about potential side effects?
Will Pet Pain-Away Cause Any Side Effects In Your Cat or Dog?
Pet Pain-Away’s FAQ indicates “there are very few side effects. If they occur, the side effects of oral administration are usually nausea and upset stomach.”
We’re even told that “High doses of Pet Pain-Away are not toxic nor life threatening. However, excessive use of the formulation may induce nausea or upset stomach.”
Finally, while there aren’t any opiates contained in Pet Pain-Away, the manufacturer tells us that it might enhance their effects, so it’s best if opiate use is reduced when administering the formulation.
According to the label listed on NIH’s website linked above, additional possible side effects include itchiness or mild rash.
If these are the only side effects, what’s up with the “this drug has not been found by the FDA to be safe and effective, and this labeling has not been approved by FDA” disclaimer at the top of the NIH page?
We’ll dive into these details in a second, but let’s quickly cover price first.
How Much Does Pet Pain-Away Cost?
A two-ounce bottle (30-day supply, if you use two drops per day) of Pet Pain-Away is priced at $19.95, plus $4.95 S&H.
All orders come with a 30-day return policy, less S&H. In order to request one, you’ll need to contact customer support at 888-503-9838.
Now, back to that FDA disclaimer.
Are Homeopathic Remedies Like Pet Pain-Away Clinically Proven?
Cutting right to the chase, in An Open-Minded Discussion, we took a look at the three foundational premises behind homeopathy, including with the help of professionals, and found that the clinical evidence supporting their efficacy in humans is largely lacking.
“Whether you want to attribute a patient’s results to the placebo effect or something else, though, the reality is that you have to ignore reams of scientific evidence if you’re going to put any stock in homeopathy,” we concluded.
This is perhaps why Pet Pain-Away’s NIH page categorizes it as an “unapproved homeopathic” remedy. What’s this mean? According to the FDA:
“The FD&C Act defines “new animal drug” as a drug intended for use in animals that is not Generally Recognized As Safe and Effective (GRASE) by qualified experts for the uses listed on the label. For an animal drug to be GRASE, the experts must generally agree that, based on published studies, the drug is safe and effective for its intended uses.”
Despite this, are Pet Pain-Away’s customers singing its praises?
Are There Any Pet Pain-Away Reviews or Other Products Like It?
This formulation was too new at the time of our research to have garnered any online customer feedback, although we learned that the supplement is manufactured by Nutra Pharma, a biotechnology company based out of Coral Springs, FL.
According to their website, they specialize “in the acquisition, licensing, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of neurological disorders, cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases.” They had an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and no closed complaints as of 5/4/17.
In the world of natural and homeopathic pain relievers for pets, Pet Pain-Away seemed to be up against a meaningful amount of competition, which you could see for yourself by typing the phrase into your nearest search engine.
While none of these pet formulations contained naja naja (we found more than one topical analgesic for humans that contained the ingredient, though), popular competitors included:
|Cosequin DS||$20||Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCl), Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Methylsulfonylmethane|
|Vet’s Best Aches Chewables||$8||Glucosamine HCl, Bromelain, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), White Willow Bark, Yucca|
|NaturVet Senior Care Tablets||$10||Glucosamine HCl, Yucca Schidigera, White Willow Bark, Boswellia Serrata, L-Tryptophan, Superoxide Dismutase (S.O.D.)|
How can you compare? While none of these formulations specifically claimed to be homeopathic, you’ll find that most are preventative in nature. For example, Denosyl is intended to prevent poor liver function, Cosequin DS less-than-stellar joint health, Welactin for overall wellness, and so forth.
In other words, these aren’t reactive (intended to address an immediate condition) like pain and discomfort. How can you choose the best option for your four-legged friend, then?
WebMD tells us that when it comes to effectively addressing your dog or cat’s pain, often times, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl), deracoxib, firocoxib (Previcox), and meloxicam could be your best options, although these will likely require a visit to your veterinarian.
If your vet approves, you might also be able to give them aspirin for a limited amount of time until your appointment rolls around.
Let’s carry this thought over to the final section as we wrap things up.
The Bottom Line About Pet Pain-Away
Here at HighYa, we’re not here to tell you how to spend your hard-earned money. However, we are here to provide you with the unbiased facts that can empower you to make the most informed decision possible, before handing over your credit card details.
With this in mind, we didn’t encounter any clinical evidence—whether from the company or third-party sites like WebMD or the NIH—than the ultra-diluted Indian cobra venom contained in Pet Pain-Away will deliver meaningful pain relief for your dog or cat.
Yes, in sufficient quantities, this venom has been shown to inhibit acetylcholine function in the body, resulting in reduced motor and central nervous system function (which is physically how these snakes kill their prey), but nothing specifically related to pain relief in humans, cats, or dogs.
In our minds (as consumers ourselves), even the FDA’s classification of Pet Pain-Away as an “unapproved homeopathic” remedy speaks volumes about the level of efficacy you might realistically expect.
With this said, the manufacturer provides a 30-day refund policy on all Pet Pain-Away purchases, although you’ll lose some of this in return shipping charges to the company if you end up dissatisfied.
In the end, though, your pet’s comfort is what matters the most. So, if they seem like they’re in pain, the first person you should reach out to is your veterinarian, who can run tests and prescribe the appropriate medication to provide the most immediate relief, based on your pet’s specific diagnosis.
And at that time, you can speak directly with them about Pet Pain-Away (or any other homeopathic remedy, for that matter), and whether or not it might represent an effective solution for your dog or cat.
What did you think about Pet Pain-Away? Give us all the details in your original review below.