Tag Archives: pain management

What I Learned This Week

Here’s a sampling of what I learned this week:

  • Chameleons can’t convert beta-carotene to vitamin A
  • There’s some kind of freeze-dried diet of cactus fruit for tortoises–cool!
  • Necropsy on a 5-year old guinea pig revealed a large tumor inside her uterus–never seen something quite like that before
  • Necropsy on a 3-year old budgie revealed one of the largest renal adenocarcinomas I’ve seen. The bird had demonstrated the predictable loss of use of its leg, mimicking a broken leg in the owner’s eyes.
  • Over the past several weeks, I’ve had a crash-course in Mycoplasma infections in rats. Usually, when I see respiratory problems in rats, they’re on an individual case-by-case basis. A rat-owning client of mine recently acquired two female rats, not knowing they were pregnant, until they delivered 20 babies (between the two of them) three weeks later. All of them have been plagued with respiratory difficulties since then, and two have died. This week, I came across this article, which helped shed some much-needed light on the subject for me: “Mycoplasma pulmonis in Rats,” by Drs. Jennifer Graham and Trenton Schoeb, Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Volume 20, Issue 4 , Pages 270-276, October 2011.
  • Palpated my first trigger point (see videos in my previous post)–wow, was it painful for the poor dog!!
  • Evaluated behavior of a young but socially mature English bulldog with unusual, but severe aggression. He was adopted from an area shelter last November. He doesn’t seem anxious or fearful like most of my aggressive patients, but we’re pretty sure he has hearing loss. His behavior seems totally appropriate, and he’s very social. But if he becomes over-stimulated, it’s like a switch goes off and he gets a “crazed look” in his eyes. He has attacked the owner herself and the owner’s mother, sending the mother to the ER with serious injuries of her arm. The owner realizes that euthanasia is appropriate, and may ultimately be necessary. We are going to try an 8-week course of fluoxetine to see if that helps even out his excitability (in addition to strict environmental management). If it does, he will need to stay on it for life. I’ve never encountered a dog with aggression quite like this before–it will be an interesting road that we walk together.

It was a pretty good week, one in which I was able to help people and beloved animals. I don’t feel like I had any “do-overs” this week.


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Videos related to pain management

When I come across an online resource of veterinary information that I find interesting and think others would find useful, I like to share it here! This week, I came across some videos on Vimeo that demonstrate some important concepts in veterinary pain management. Here they are:

1. From Dr. Rick Wall: m. psoas major examination & treatment – As the veterinarian palpates the affected muscle belly (psoas major), you can clearly see from the dog’s reaction that the area is painful and needs treatment. Two patients are demonstrated in this video, a black dog and a boxer with short haircoat/lean figure. Dry-needling is also demonstrated, both with and without sedation. Be sure to watch the whole thing!

2. From Dr. Rick Wall: Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome – This cat is extremely agitated and uncomfortable due to fleas. You can see by the convulsing that his response is far more intense than one would expect in a typical cat. The veterinarian gave him gabapentin, which modifies how the central nervous system perceives the pain signal, and you can see in the video that his agitation is less severe after receiving it.¬† [I had trouble embedding the video–click this link to see the video on vimeo.]

3. From Dr. Mark Hocking: Canine pelvic quadrant trigger point examination – Helpful narration explains what is being done and you can clearly see the dog’s response where he’s painful.

If you’re interested in learning more about trigger point examination and pain management in general, I highly recommend you join the IVAPM (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management)–you will learn so much!!

Another resource I found recently (and it’s free!) is the Yahoo! group: triggerpointvet – you must be a veterinary professional to join, as membership/access is limited.

Do you know of other valuable pain management-related resources others might find helpful? Share them in comments below!

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