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Veterinarians' attitudes towards chronic pain
  1. Jackie Brearley, MA, VetMB, PhD, DipECVAA, DVA, MRCVS
  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK
  1. e-mail: jcb78{at}

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A PAPER summarised on p 428 of this issue of Veterinary Record on the attitudes of veterinary surgeons to chronic pain in dogs (Bell and others 2014) poses some interesting questions when viewed in the light of other research. In this paper and others (for example, Yeates and Main 2011), it is apparent that veterinarians in practice perceive that chronic pain is a welfare issue that requires the attention of the profession.

Bell and colleagues' paper reports the results of a survey of general veterinary practitioners and veterinary anaesthesia and oncology specialists who, it was felt, dealt with patients suffering from chronic pain conditions. Included in the survey was a list of conditions which, according to the literature and in the authors' opinions, were associated with chronic pain. These were remarkably similar to model conditions used to study sustained pain states in experimental animals with a view to understanding chronic pain in people and animals in more depth. These models and, more importantly, the behaviours that they trigger, have been described by the US National Research Council Committee on the Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals (2009.)

In the paper by Bell and others, the assessment of chronic pain is reported to be a significant barrier to …

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