These protocols will often involve a multimodal approach, using both pharmacological treatments combined with acupuncture, laser therapy and other physical therapy modalities as appropriate for each case. With a multimodal approach the treatments work synergistically to give a potentiated effect, which is greater than any of the modalities used independently. This ensures we can provide our patients with the best possible levels of pain relief and we will improve their overall well being and prevent suffering.
Pain is a highly subjective phenomenon and the most recent definition of pain provided by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is as follows:
‘Pain is whatever the patient says it is’
Pain affects our patients in many ways. It is a stressor and, as such, will impact hugely, not only on their mobility but also on their general health and well being. It is important to classify accurately the type of pain that our patients are experiencing in order to treat it as effectively as possible to ensure that suffering is minimised.
Without the ability to speak directly to our patients it is important that we are sensitive to the more subtle cues that our patients provide us, particularly in the case of chronic pain. Using different examination techniques, gait analysis and taking the time to gather an in-depth history from the client about their pet’s behaviour at home, we are able to provide a pain management protocol based on each individual patient and the type of pain picture with which they are presenting.