Teaching owners to recognise pain?

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This session considers how we can help owners to recognise acute and chronic pain. Both chronic and acute pain recognition are enormous topics in themselves so the session will focus on ‘how, what and how’ and cover key points relating to each of these areas. Assessing a subjective, multi-dimensional experience such as pain in non-verbal species is a challenge yet there are inextricable links between pain – a negative affective state, welfare and quality of life. Recently, research has resulted in us having a range of pain scoring tools that can be applied to assess both acute and chronic pain in dogs and cats, as well as quality of life. Owners are uniquely placed to observe dogs and cats in their home environment where animal behaviour can be observed in wider contexts and over time, enabling the dynamic nature of pain to be tracked. A combination of Client Specific Outcome Measures and pain assessments can be used to evaluate the animal and assess response to interventions; these can be incredibly useful tools for working in partnership with owners, motivating and actively engaging them in the management of their animal’s pain.

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