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Committee Focus

Published: 2/14/2017

In this issue, we bring you up to date with the work of Global Pain Council (GPC)

The GPC aims to improve the quality of pain management given to small animals around the world by:

  • engaging veterinarians worldwide to recognize, anticipate, alleviate and terminate pain in cats and dogs

  • developing a collaborative network of like-minded colleagues and associations to help accomplish shared educational goals

  • creating resources to enable veterinary professionals to evaluate each patient for the presence of pain, regardless of the initiating reason for the consultation

Its key initiatives are the Global Pain Treatise and the subsequent Global Pain Guidelines. Launched in 2015, the Global Pain Guidelines - covering the recognition, assessment and management of pain - have been endorsed by 64 of our member associations and are one of the most frequently downloaded resources on our website.

The GPC is now actively lobbying to achieve better access to pain management medication for the professional globally and is running a campaign to secure the future of ketamine against a backdrop of attempts by some countries to have it internationally scheduled:

Take a look at other GPC resources available online

During 2017, the GPC will focus on:

  • Updating the Pain Guidelines

  • Extending their scope to include more species

  • Providing CE at WSAVA 2017 and developing an educational program, including web-based resources, for 2018 and 2019

Meet the new GPC Committee Chair!

Dr Duncan Lascelles was appointed chair of the GPC in the fall of 2016. He is currently Professor in Small Animal Surgery and Pain Management at North Carolina State University. Duncan is board-certified in small animal surgery by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

He says: “In veterinary medicine, we lack proven therapies to control persistent pain and a roadblock to understanding what therapies work is our inability to measure or detect persistent pain. Surgical procedures are performed every day, all over the world, and while our ability to measure acute pain associated with surgery or clinical conditions has improved dramatically, these tools are not widely known about, and in some regions of the world, there are few therapeutic options available.

“Companion animals are under the care of guardians, their owners. We need to engage and educate these guardians, and empower them as members of the team in the fight to control or limit pain in companion animals – whether acute or chronic. The WSAVA’s Global Pain Council aims to help veterinarians to do this and I ask all members of our global veterinary community to join us in:

Research: Please support the development of improved ways to measure and alleviate pain

Dissemination: Please be proactive in disseminating the knowledge we have using the portals available

Education: Educate each other. Educate our veterinary students. And, importantly, educate and engage owners on this important topic!”

We thank our sponsors, Boehringer Ingelheim, Elanco, Novartis Animal Health, Vetoquinol and Zoetis, for making the opportunities happen and the challenges easier to overcome.