CAM blogs

CAM Meets Esme Howells

Esme  graduated from the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science, with a strong interest in the management of arthritis and conditions affecting mobility. She has been running her own pain clinics within practice for 3 years, but last year started an acupuncture and pain management clinic of her own; ‘Esme Veterinary Acupuncturist’. Esme has a certificate in safety and competency in Veterinary Acupuncture and (ECAS) Western Veterinary Acupuncture and Chronic Pain Management Certificate. Esme has  been volunteering for CAM for a while now and you may recognise her from some of the Facebook live sessions.

“CAM provides so much fantastic information, it has improved the way I manage my own patients and is truly unique in the wonderful support network it provides for owners coping with caring for an arthritic pet.”


Esme kindly agreed to answer the following questions:

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

In general, I think osteoarthritis is one of the most neglected conditions dealt with in vet practice, too often the phrase “he’s getting old” or “she’s slowing down” is accepted as normal. When in reality that pet is in pain and it’s not being addressed in the same way as we would any other condition. If a dog came in scratching, clearly itchy (pruritic), no vet would accept that and leave it til the skin was chronically damaged and raw; it’d be investigated and medicated. Osteoarthritis should be tackled in the same way; early interventions and lifelong monitoring. Pain is serious and debilitating and it’s our job as vets to minimise suffering as much as we can.


As a veterinarian what do you feel is essential for managing canine arthritis effectively?

Multimodal management, looking at the patient as a whole and using every available, appropriate and affordable tool to tackle arthritis from all angles.


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

With CAMs help, awareness for options is becoming better and better, no longer is it seen as the boring hopeless area of vet medicine, which means more options are becoming available. The dream would be to have more preventative options, but we’re a way off of that at the moment.


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?

Work with your vet, explore CAM and Holly’s Army and be open, willing to learn and put your time into investigating what options there are available for your pets.