September is proclaimed as Animal Pain Awareness Month by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). Keeping with our theme of pain awareness, we would like to introduce you to veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner, Dr. Douglas Stramel of Advanced Care Veterinary Services in Carrollton, Texas. Dr Stramel is the first and only Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and is also the President-Elect of IVAPM.
As the President of IVAPM, Dr. Stramel takes pain management very seriously and has made it a primary focus of his veterinary practice. He employs advanced multi-modal pain management protocols including physical therapy, acupuncture, shock wave, laser therapy, and, you guessed it, regenerative medicine.
Dr. Stramel has been credentialed to perform VetStem Cell Therapy since 2007. He is also an experienced user of Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy (V-PET™). One of his patients, a Great Dane named Pinky, received V-PET™ for a ruptured cruciate ligament last Summer. After treatment, she was able to resume her daily walks and normal activities. You can read Pinky’s story here.
We recently caught up with Dr. Stramel to ask him a few questions about his practice and pain awareness. See his answers below.
What does it mean to be a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner?
This certification indicates that someone successfully completed advanced training in pain management. Certification holders demonstrate an advanced knowledge in assessing, diagnosing and treating painful conditions in animals. The certificate is made possible through the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) to both doctors and technicians.
How do you incorporate the use of regenerative medicine (stem cells and/or platelet therapy) into your pain practice?
In my practice, we have used regenerative medicine in many different cases, such as cruciate ligament injuries, arthritic joints, inflamed tendons and spinal injuries. The most common use at this point in time is part of a treatment plan for cruciate ligament injuries. We have even used Stem Cell Therapy to help reduce skin allergies.
Why is pet pain awareness so important?
Today’s pet owner is looking for alternatives to “just giving a pill” or to “surgery”. Veterinary medicine has made some great advancements in the last 10 years and we now have the ability to help many different painful conditions that we struggled with in the past. Client’s pets are living longer and are part of the family, they want their pets to live pain-free lives as they are living longer. Our clients are realizing that “acting old” is not a real diagnosis and that a pet that “acts old” is really painful and they want more than just a pill to help their furry family member out. This goes beyond the “typical” pet and includes horses, exotics, pocket pets and farm animals as well. Through IVAPM we are advocating for best practices in the treatment of animals in pain and have selected September as Animal Pain Awareness month to correspond with Human Pain Awareness Month.
If you’re looking for a veterinary pain specialist and are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, check out Dr. Stramel. And thank you, Dr. Stramel, for taking the time to answer our questions!
Tune in next week as we continue our pain awareness theme to learn some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate your pet is in pain.