CAM blogs

CAM Meets Professor Michael Conzemius

Prof Michael Conzemius, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS
Dr. Conzemius received his DVM and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Iowa State University. He completed his surgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and Iowa State University and is currently an Endowed Professor of Surgery at the University of Minnesota.


Cecilia kindly agree to answer the following questions:
What are your feelings on how we currently manage this common debilitating condition in dogs?

My feeling is that “we” are inconsistent. At times I’m disappointed in the treatment plans that have taken place. For example, dogs that come to see me for referral treatment when historically they were treated with glucosamine/chondrotin-like products and tramadol.


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

We need to continue to inform veterinarians and owners that peer-reviewed scientific evidence is needed before their resources should be invested into a new treatment regimen. Regarding current treatments I think weight management, COX-II selective NSAIDs, Omega-3 FA diets and regular controlled activity are essential. I’d love to add a great analgesic but no oral analgesics for OA have consistently been both safe and effective (there is a regulatory path for this type of intervention).


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

We will continue to learn new things. For example, we recently shared data at a meeting demonstrating that the cause of OA and duration of OA influences inflammatory mediators in the joint. Thus, how a patient responds to a treatment likely depends upon cause and duration – not all cases are the same. I’m also excited about new medical treatments that have become available or will soon. These have alternative approaches to controlling pain and inflammation.


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?

This is not an emergency – read, review, get opinions and use your resources carefully so you can best treat your pet.


A Facebook live with Dr Conzemius  on –  Caregiver placebo effect, what is it and why is it a HUGE problem! Can be found on the CAM Facebook page, November 23rd 2020
Mike Conzemius, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS
Endowed Professor of Surgery
College of Veterinary Medicine
1365 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108