CAM blogs

CAM Meets Simon Tappin


Simon graduated from the University of Cambridge and after two year in practice under took a residency at the University of Bristol in Small Animal Medicine and Intensive Care, where he gained his European Diploma in Small Animal Medicine. He is currently head of internal medicine and a director of the internship program at Dick White Referrals where he sees cases in all areas of internal medicine. Simon is also the editor of BSAVA Companion and an external advisor to the pet blood bank.


Simon kindly agreed to answer the following questions:

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

I think we can do better, although the recognition that slowing down as dogs get older is often the result chronic pain associated with arthritis is improving. I also realise that this is not easy. As the owner of 3 dogs aged between 14 and 16, I have learnt a lot about the best way of helping each of them and a flexible approach is definitely needed.


As an internal medicine specialist how does arthritis affect managing other conditions?

We often see older dogs with complex medical conditions and taking account of their arthritis is an important part their treatment, both from the point of view of pain management and not causing progression of clinical signs by exacerbating muscle loss and hindering mobility. Working as a team with the owner, nursing staff and physiotherapist, has improved these patients quality of life, giving a better outcome to all concerned.


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

At present the evidence base of lots of the nutritional supplements we use is limited, I think this will improve over the next 10 years. Awareness and strategies for treating arthritis are improving formalising these and integrating training during under graduate training will really help progress treatment and management of this condition.


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

Be proactive, there are lots of small and very practical things that can make a huge difference to your pets quality of life.


RCVS and ECVIM specialist in Internal medicine
EBVS® European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Medicine
Hon. Assoc. Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine, University of Nottingham
Head of Internal Medicine & Co-Director of the Internship Program
Dick White Referrals