Karen Walsh BVetMed DVA DipECVAA MRCVS
European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia
Pain Management Clinics
Karen will provide an advice and referral service for those difficult to manage cases. Many of these cases may have multiple issues that makes it difficult to use veterinary licensed products alone for treatment of pain. The idea is to assess the patient as a whole and make a plan that is suitable for the pet and the owner. Conditions that may benefit from assessment from a pain specialist include osteoarthritis, spinal pain and cancer pain.
Treatments may involve drugs that are not licensed for use in pets, but have been used in humans. Karen also offers acupuncture for patients if appropriate and she is happy to work with physiotherapists and hydrotherapists as treatment for these pets is best approached as a team.
As with our ophthalmic patients, pets need to be referred by your vet, so a complete history can be obtained. A close working relationship is important between primary care vet, pain specialist and clients as many of these conditions are life long and occur in older patients which may have multiple medical issues.
What happens in a consult?
The initial consultation will be 45 - 60 minutes long as a detailed history will need to be taken with particular reference to the condition and the treatments the pet has received. At this point your pets's quality of life will be looked at and treatment goals set. It is important to remember that is unlikely that your pet will be cured of the underlying condition and our aim is to improve quality of life and minimal side effects.
If acupuncture is decided on as a treatment this will be started on the first consultation. Treatments will then usually take place weekly for another 3 appointments at which time reassessment will be carried out.
Treatment of chronic pain can have its ups and downs as the disease itself waxes and wanes. Clients are encouraged to contact their primary vet or Karen if they are worried about their pet's progress.