Willows to open chronic pain clinic

A West Midlands animal hospital is set to add to its wide range of services with the launch of a chronic pain clinic this June.

Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, based in Solihull, is introducing the new clinic to provide a bespoke pain management plan for pets referred both by external first opinion practices or internally by colleagues in other disciplines such as soft tissue and orthopaedics.

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Led by Jacques Ferreira, RCVS and European specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, the service is set to launch on 17 June and will offer different techniques and treatments, including the use of acupuncture and physiotherapy.

Ferreira, who joined Willows in 2018 having previously lectured in veterinary anaesthesia at the University of Liverpool after specialising in the same subject in his native South Africa, said: “Just as with humans, our pets are living longer and, with that, there is an increased risk of developing chronic pain conditions.

A one-year-old Daschund with hip dysplasia undergoing acupuncture

“Traditionally, the most common patients are cats and dogs with chronic joint disease such as osteoarthritis but patients with a history of back problems and trapped nerves, cats with chronic cystitis and even those with some forms of cancer may benefit.”

He added: “We will work with first opinion vets who refer their patients to us, as well as internal referrals. The management of chronic pain is obviously ongoing but the aim for us would be to get to a stage where pain is effectively managed through the most appropriate avenue and check-ups are only needed every few months.

“We have our own primary team at Willows, while both our orthopaedic and soft tissue specialists have already identified patients who would benefit from the pain clinic.”

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