Osteoarthritis, a leading cause of chronic pain in horses, is often not recognized by owners and so goes undertreated.
Dr. de Grauw and Dr. Howard also discussed how they developed their pain assessment tool and how they hope this will help thousands of horses suffering from chronic pain.
Under Dr. de Grauw’s supervision, Howard developed a 15-item questionnaire based on changes in horse behaviour through interviews with owners of horses diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The questions cover posture, facial expressions, movement and behaviour.
“As veterinarians, we want to treat horses with painful and debilitating conditions like OA as effectively as possible,” said de Grauw. “How well we can manage their condition critically relies on recognition of subtle signs of (worsening) pain by owners and caregivers, who can then seek help.”
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