As part of our ongoing efforts to provide our members with resources that enhance your ability to better serve your clients, we’re happy to share with you the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Guidelines for Recognition, Assessment and Treatment of Pain.
As a member of WSAVA, the AVMA works to protect, promote and advance the activities and interests of our members in public, private and corporate practice on an international level. Having access to the WSAVA guidelines and being able to share them with you is reflective of those efforts.
Dr. Laurel Kaddatz, a small-animal practitioner and practice owner from Pound Ridge, N.Y., is the AVMA liaison to the WSAVA. As liaison, Dr. Kaddatz provides an AVMA perspective to WSAVA on a variety of today’s topical issues, including international scheduling of ketamine, availability of good, quality medicines for veterinary use, and continuing education needs. In return, he provides the AVMA with information from WSAVA; specifically, Dr. Kaddatz brings attention to WSAVA resources of potential benefit to our members.
To ensure integration with other AVMA international activities, our WSAVA liaison also serves on the AVMA’s Committee on International Veterinary Affairs (CIVA) and is provided staff support from our associate director for international and diversity initiatives.
“Pain is a welfare issue,” Dr. Kaddatz shared. “As explained in the guidelines, a gap exists between recognition and assessment of pain in our animal patients and its effective treatment. First introduced in 2013 and recently published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice, the guidelines serve to bridge that gap and to increase the confidence and competency in pain treatments, while taking into account regional differences in drug availability and resources.”
The CIVA asked our Animal Welfare Division to review the guidelines before we made them available to our members. That review supported the CIVA’s belief that the AVMA should provide the guidelines to you as a valuable tool and practical resource, particularly for those in companion animal practice. You can find a link to the guidelines on the AVMA’s online Animal Welfare Hub as a complement to existing AVMA resources.
One final note: Although we are sure our members will find the WSAVA guidelines a useful resource, we remind all U.S. veterinarians to be aware of regional differences in approved drugs and dosages. Always adhere to the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act and applicable federal and state regulations when implementing treatment protocols in your practice.