CAM blogs

CAM MEETS Carla Finzel

Carla Finzel  RVN

Carla qualified in 2001 as a veterinary nurse, then worked in general practice for 5 years. She then progressed onto emergency and critical care full time on night shifts for 9 years at a referral vet hospital.

In 2015 she founded the DVN District Veterinary Nurse role and DVN Development Group. In 2018 she campaigned on  raising standards of veterinary nursing care, home-based nursing clinics, client concordance and embracing the human-animal bond within the veterinary profession.

She is a campaigner for One Welfare-One Health, so that veterinary practice and care becomes inclusive to all members of society, making veterinary practice compliant with the Equality Act 2010.

Carla is an active volunteer for StreetVet, advocate of the Deaf community. She is a Dementia Friend Champion and a supporter of ‘Say Aphasia’.


Carla Kindly agreed to answer the following questions:

What are your feelings on how we currently manage this common debilitating condition in dogs?

It is a condition that cannot be reversed so it is fundamental that it is managed not just with medication but environmentally, holistic to the stage eg early or advanced, to each patient, to ensure the quality of the dog’s life.  Before Canine Arthritis Management was founded by Hannah it was just about medicating the patient and not so much looking at the whole picture, and how it is much more effective to make environmental changes together with physical treatment – myotherapy massage, acupuncture, laser therapy… we can make a phenomenally positive change to the welfare of dogs and aid them in living well with canine arthritis.


As a Registered Veterinary Nurse what do you feel is essential for managing canine arthritis effectively?

Optimal weight, environmental changes – eg no slippery floors, use a ramp, provide comfortable bedding in a draft free position – keeping them dry after they have been for a walk outdoors, not making them chase balls, observing how the dog feels – no two days may be the same – so adapted activities to how they feel that day eg do not be strict “at 3pm we always go for a walk to the park and we do 3 laps”… well perhaps the dog does not feel like it today… listen to the patient, listen to your beloved animal companion speaking to you in the best way that it can.


How do you see treatment options for arthritis progressing over the next ten years? 

I feel so optimistic about how much awareness there is now thanks to Canine Arthritis Management not just within the veterinary industry but also throughout the animal loving worldwide community that we are going to see fantastic adaptations in the way we ensure the quality of life of dogs with arthritis.  We cannot reverse this condition but we can stop it from being a welfare issue. Thanks to you wonderful CAM team! Thank you for all you teach us, I am extremely grateful that you have made me become a better nurse for the patients in my care.


If you could have the opportunity to give one tip/ piece of advice to an owner with a dog suffering from arthritis what would it be? 

If they have internet facility visit the CAM website, follow on social media.  If they are somehow unable to do so, as a district veterinary nurse who has attended the CAM CPD training, draw on my knowledge and resources and make adaptations with them in the dogs environment, refer to the vet to advise on suitable therapies and pain relief protocols. Weight loss.