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Integrated Pain Management

Contact Information

Phone:  919.513.6588
Fax:      919.513.6715
Hours:   Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM by referral only. Phone consult requests available.

General Information

The Terry Center

red Cross Cadeceus

Emergency Service

Main Number: 919.513.6500
Small Animal Emergency: 919.513.6911
Large Animal Emergency: 919.513.6630
Monday-Thursday 5PM-8AM
Friday 5PM-Monday 8AM

Open 24 hours on legal holidays.
No appointment needed.

Integrated Pain Management

working with a dog

The Integrated Pain Management Service (IPMS) at NC State Veterinary Hospital offers a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic services to clients whose animals are suffering from pain such as cancer pain and osteoarthritis.

For ongoing clinical research studies, go to Clinical Studies.

What is the Integrated Pain Management service?

The Integrated Pain Management Service (IPMS) is a comprehensive approach to pain management for cats and dogs. The IPMS operates on a referral basis run by Drs. Duncan Lascelles, Elizabeth Hardie, and Bernie Hansen, with animals being admitted through the Small Animal Surgery service.

The goal of the IPMS is to improve the welfare and quality of life of the individual pet by controlling pain. This is achieved by evaluating the pet concerned and tailoring a regimen to that individual pet. Following initiation of treatment, the efficacy of the treatment is constantly re-evaluated, and changes made as appropriate. The NCSU-IPMS works closely with the pet's referring veterinarian and owner.

The IPMS also offers consults for veterinarians on the management of pain. Veterinarians seeking advice on cases can contact the service at 919.513.6588.

Are the veterinarians board-certified in Pain Management?

As of yet, there is no formal training or board certification program in Veterinary Pain Management. It is likely that this will be established over the next few years under the guidance of the International Academy of Animal Pain Management. The IPMS at NCSU has been set up by board-certified specialists in surgery, intensive care and anesthesiology. These individuals have considerable experience in clinical pain management, research in clinical pain management and teaching pain management to students and qualified veterinarians. They are also playing a key role in the establishment of specialist training programs and certification in Animal Pain Management and have authored almost 100 papers together on pain management.

cat mat

Advanced pressure mat diagnostics allow us to determine the distribution of pressure going through each cat or dog's paws, and help us to quantify certain types of pain, such as pain-causing lameness.

What therapies are used by the IPMS?

Chronic pain management is a rapidly expanding field of study in veterinary medicine. Pets, like people, are living longer due to advances in veterinary care, but with this longevity, these pets have to confront chronic pain associated with disease such as osteoarthritis and cancer. In line with the greater interest in treating pain, several pharmaceutical companies have produced new drugs in recent years, giving veterinarians more options in treating pain. These new drugs, as well as procedures and drug combinations evaluated at NCSU, will be utilized where appropriate. However, the IPMS will employ as many non-drug treatments as appropriate for the individual. Such treatments include physical therapy, radiation, neurosurgical procedures, acupuncture and massage, depending on each animal's needs. The CVM will be working closely with practitioners to provide services such as physical therapy, massage and acupuncture at a convenient location for owners.

What will happen during an appointment?

The IPMS formulates therapy plans tailored to the individual patient, usually involving a number of different treatments such as surgery, drug therapy, rehabilitation therapy, acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy, and radiation therapy. Often the therapy involves working with specialty veterinarians and therapists outside the hospital. The IPMS monitors and adapts the therapy to ensure optimum outcome.

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