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The Pain Clinic at Davies Veterinary Specialists

What is the pain clinic?

This is a consulting and acupuncture service run by members of our anaesthesia team.


Who might come to the pain clinic? (photos of post-knee surgery clipped)

This clinic is available for patients with a diagnosed condition which is thought to be causing pain, particularly chronic pain, or reducing quality of life. For example, this may be after joint surgery, spinal surgery or other medical conditions causing pain.

Cases are usually internally referred by our specialists at Davies Veterinary Specialists following a specific diagnosis, but may be referred after discussion by other veterinary surgeons.

What is pain? How does it affect quality of life? 

Pain is an unpleasant sensation or perception which is unique to the individual. Pain can result from damage to tissues, such as injury (such as post-surgical or cancers), or can develop due to abnormalities in the nerves which send pain messages.

Pain can negatively affect emotional and behavioural responses to normal life. Pain can vary enormously in severity, quality and frequency, even for patients with the same disease. The pain we feel can change depending on many factors, including chronicity, age, emotional state, other diseases and activity levels. Chronic pain can be difficult to identify, often causing only subtle changes in behaviour rather than overt lameness.

This unpredictable, changing nature of pain in our pets makes it often very difficult to identify and measure its impact on their quality of life.

(picture of slipped disc MRI, or chemotherapy patients?)

What does the pain clinic at Davies Veterinary Specialists offer? 

We aim to improve the quality of life of an animal by:

  • Helping you to identify pain, in particular chronic pain, and other things which might affect quality of life
  • Integrating patient management, using various approaches including modifying lifestyle (link to, diet, reviewing medications, and physical therapies, including acupuncture and laser therapy
  • Consider other therapies where applicable by liaising with our other specialist services, including our colleagues in physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, neurology, medicine and orthopaedics.
  • Discussing more invasive treatment options where appropriate, including further diagnostic testing, surgery, and targeted therapies such as intra-articular medication.
  • Educating and support owners to understand their pet’s problems (links to other information pages on chronic pain, etc)

(picture of team in consult?)

Which common problems do you deal with?

We are happy to help any pet with painful conditions. We see many animals with osteoarthritis, which is a common condition as our pets get older.

Most of our owners concerns are regarding their pet’s limited mobility and activity levels, behavioural changes, willingness to interact and play, and degree of suffering. Many owners are also concerned about the safety of the treatments which have been offered.


What can owners expect?

The pain clinic consultation will start with a questionnaire to be filled in ahead of the appointment

Then, in an appointment with one of our team, we will discuss the following with you:

  • Your pet’s history
  • Their current limitations
  • Your current concerns
  • Physical examination of your pet
  • Management options available for both the disease, and the pain
  • Medication options, and any concerns regarding their side effects
  • Any diagnostic tests, and how often to perform them
  • Monitoring quality of life in your pet, including using the validated online VetMetrica quality of life assessment tool (
  • Your expectations for the future



We will suggest a tailored and flexible management plan which works for you and your pet. We will take into account the particular problems of your pet and concerns which you have, in order to maximise your pet’s quality of life. This is likely to be developed over time depending on your pet’s condition, response to treatment and your feedback. We will let you know what the likely response will be, and how long the courses of treatment will take.

Who are our team? (photo)

Our team are all veterinary surgeons in the anaesthesia and analgesia department at Davies who have an interest in the management of chronic pain in companion animals. Our head of department, Louise Clark, holds an MSc in the Clinical Management of Pain awarded by Edinburgh University. All of our clinicians have received post-graduate training in veterinary anaesthesia and acupuncture (links). We work closely with our physiotherapists (links) in the Fitness and Therapy Centre, and are all involved in acute pain management (links) at Davies Veterinary Specialists.

Pain team image

How can I book an appointment for my pet?

You will need to be referred by one of our clinicians at Davies Veterinary Specialists, or by your own vet after discussion with us.

You can contact our client care team on 01582 338950 to book appointment times once referral has been arranged.

Useful links

Davies Veterinary Specialists, Manor Farm Business Park, Higham Gobion, Herts SG5 3HR 01582 883950

©2018 Davies Veterinary Specialists Limited