Practical Implementation of Assessment Tools
Successful pain management requires veterinarians gaining skills in observation and hands-on pain assessment, involving owners and veterinarians in pain assessment and management, and using all available assessment tools. Veterinary technicians and nurses must be trained and empowered to use the Glasgow or Colorado scales and to palpate painful regions. Pain scores should be recorded and communicated with veterinarians. Rounds are used to ensure continuity of care and to update pain management. Over the long term, owners can be provided screening checklists such as CBPI or LOAD before or during visits. Survey results are recorded in the medical record and are reviewed at each visit. Palpation of limbs and the spine should be routinely done. Changes over time provide the impetus for changes in pain management.