American Veterinarian Debuts First Peer Exchange

August 22, 2017
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Veterinary expert panelists engaged in a thought-provoking discussion about managing pain in pets at our first ever Peer Exchange.

American Veterinarian®, the premier multimedia provider of cutting-edge news, research, and conference coverage in veterinary medicine, has launched its first Peer Exchange®, a lively conversation between leading veterinarians to share ideas and evidence to propel the veterinary field.

The Peer Exchange®, “Advances in Companion Animal Pain Management,” is an eight-segment program in which the panelists review pain assessment methods as well as existing and emerging therapies for treating pain in companion animals, including pain related to osteoarthritis. Top veterinary medicine experts joined the panel:

  • Duncan X. Lascelles, BSc, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, CertVA, DSAS(ST), DECVS, DACVS, professor of surgery and pain management and director of the Comparative Pain Research and Education Center at North Carolina State University (panel moderator)
  • Mark Epstein, DVM, DABVP, CVPP, senior partner and medical director of TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals and Carolinas Animal Pain Management in Gastonia, North Carolina
  • Margaret Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD, DACVB, researcher at Duke University’s Canine Cognition Center and adjunct professor at North Carolina State University
  • Bryan T. Torres, DVM, PhD, DACVS-SA, DACVSMR, assistant professor of small animal orthopedic surgery and director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory at the University of Missouri
  • Sheilah Robertson, BVMS, PhD, DACVAA, DECVAA, DACAW, DECAWBM (WSEL), CVA, MRCVS, senior medical director at Lap of Love, which provides in-home, end-of-life-care for small animals, in Gainesville, Florida

During the first segment, the panelists discussed the challenges veterinarians face in developing new therapies for better pain management in pets. According to Dr. Gruen, veterinarians have difficulties identifying pain in their patients. Also, they experience significant challenges in educating clients about factors related to their pets’ pain, which makes it difficult to assess new therapies.

Additionally, the panel focused on pet owners’ assessments and ways they can affect a companion animal’s quality of life. According to Dr. Robertson, it’s better to assess pain using available technology than by an owner’s assessment. “If we actually look at the data, well over 70% of cats with osteoarthritis are likely to have chronic kidney disease as well. And so, there could be days where their chronic kidney disease is actually what’s impacting on their quality of life more than the pain from their joints,” Dr. Robertson said.

To view the current and upcoming segments of the Peer Exchange® series, visit


American Veterinarian® press:

Theresa Burek, 609-716-7777 ext. 811,

Surabhi Verma, 609-716-7777 ext. 851,