4 updates that could transform veterinary pain management


Pain specialist offers her take on emerging modalities, including one that could 'revolutionize' pain medicine.

Janice Huntingford, DVM, DACVSMR, CVA, CVPP, CCRT, CAVCA, president of Essex Animal Hospital in Essex, Ontario, recently spoke with dvm360 about four updates that could make it easier to manage pain in veterinary patients.

Janice Huntingford, DVM, DACVSMR, CVA, CVPP, CCRT, CAVCA1. Revised guidelines. For the first time since 2007, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recently issued new guidelines for treating cats' and dogs' pain. The revisions include new research and insight on integrated pain management that doesn't depend on just analgesic drugs.

2. Alternative treatments. Laser therapy is increasing in popularity as a way to manage pain associated with osteoarthritis and wounds, Huntingford says. Acupuncture and rehabilitation therapy are also increasingly gathering steam as effective strategies.

3. New drugs. Aratana is planning to release a drug called Grapiprant in 2016, and Huntingford says this agent will “probably revolutionize pain medicine for arthritis as we know it.” The molecule, AT-001, is an EP4 blocker targeted at osteoarthritis pain that produces few side effects, according to Huntingford.

4. Nutritional options. A nutraceutical for humans, Theracurmin, is being reformulated for canines. It's a derivative of curcumin, which has a bioavailability of less than 1 percent in dogs, but Theracurmin may be up to 10 percent bioavailable, “which is a great thing for our patients,” Huntingford says. It is not available yet.

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