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Hannah Capon, osteoarthritis expert and founder of Canine Arthritis Management, joins us to discuss the multimodal management of arthritis. How to implement this and how to discuss it with and engage our clients in their own dog’s arthritis journey.
Arthritis is now classified as a welfare concern due to the longevity and severity of clinical symptoms. Research by Vet Compass showed that musculoskeletal disease is the second biggest reason for elective euthanasia—second only to cancer.
Multimodal management in your clinic enables the concurrent use of multiple interventions to manage the pain and function loss associated with osteoarthritis. This may include pharmaceutical pain management, physical therapies, weight management, diet and supplements, and lifestyle modification.
Getting clients engaged in the process is difficult. Multimodal management can seem complicated, confusing and, to owners, feels like a huge change to their lifestyle and routine.
So how do we lead our clients along this clinical pathway? These are the steps we need to take to educate and guide clients to deliver the best outcomes for their dogs. Watch the video for a detailed explanation.
- Teach your clients the signs and symptoms of OA and chronic pain expression in dogs.
- Combine owner observations with your own assessment and, ideally, diagnostic imaging to rule out other differentials.
- Manage expectations
- Ensure your clients understand the chronic pain their dog is experiencing and the progression of the disease. Introduce the importance of a multimodal approach, and educate them on the latest interventions available for their dog.
- Monitor progress with the owners, as well as all other professionals involved in their case, including physical and alternative therapists.
- Pain control
- Not just tackled with pharmaceuticals—explaining all the other ways we can manage pain, such as weight control, lifestyle changes, surgery, integrative therapies and nutraceuticals.
- Weight management
- Often an overlooked intervention due to the taboo nature of weight conversations, but it’s clinically proven to have a huge impact on OA and pain management.
- Prevent further injury
- Explain that OA puts the dog at greater risk of further injury and that adjustments to their lifestyle can impact their dog’s outcome.
- Diet and supplements
- Clients love to spend money on supplements, but the market is unregulated. Educate your owners on supplements that you know and trust, with controlled trials and statistically significant results.
- Physical Therapies
- Explain, recommend and collaborate with well-respected and well-educated therapists—supporting joint function and pain control and acting holistically to treat the dog as a whole.
- Focus on and influence disease progression with early action.
Understanding the “expectation pyramid” gives you the tools and guidance to introduce owners to multimodal management. Learn more by watching the full video above.