Sydney Animal Pain Clinic at VSOS

On the first Monday of each month, you will find the Sydney Animal Pain Clinic (SAPC) in residence at the VSOS advanced treatment centre.

This collaboration gives us the capability to help any patients whose pain management needs extend beyond standard pain management care, or those patients that may benefit from pain management procedures to help reduce their oral medication requirements.

It is just another element of the exceptional level of care we seek to provide our patients.

Just like a human pain clinic


Specialist Anaesthetist Dr Fernando Martinez-Taboada founded SAPC along with Dr Donna White, to provide Interventional Pain Management Procedures, just like a human pain clinic.

“We consult on animals to a level beyond that which a regular vet could handle,” says Fernando. “This is really for animals outside their comfort zone.

Animals don’t age in the same way that humans do. If an animal is sleeping more or slowing down, it’s because their body isn’t coping, but they don’t age in the mind. When we provide pain relief, you see them start to get back some of that kitten or puppy behaviour again.”

The treatment and procedures that SAPC offer include:

  • Long-acting nerve blocks
  • Intra-articular treatments (PRP, hyaluronic acid, stem cells, Botox)
  • Nerve ablations.
Legs of a Brown dog wrapped with bandage

Holistic treatment


The work Fernando and Donna do is highly specialised. Often, the therapies they use to treat their patients involve new drugs or procedures. As Fernando explains:

“Where a vet has been managing a case and they hit a wall where they are no longer able to provide sufficient pain relief to the animal, that’s where we can help.

Fairly often, we do analgesic procedures. We use our ultrasound machine and try to target specific nerves or joints that are causing pain to the animal. We are able to give them long-lasting drugs that can offer two, three or even six months’ pain relief.

We are very honest. If we can help, we will. If we cannot, it’s usually because there is an underlying disorder that needs a different treatment, so we will refer the patient to another vet. We are team players and take a very holistic approach.”

Uniformed team having a pictorial at the beach

Collaboration is key


The opportunity for collaboration and providing holistic treatment to patients at VSOS is what it’s all about.

SAPC operates all over Sydney, but what they enjoy most about VSOS is how the hospital structure offers the potential to bring so many specialist minds together to diagnose and treat our patients.

“We recently had a very interesting case at VSOS that really shows how well we all work together,” explains Fernando.Dr Andrew Levien referred a patient to us after surgery. The animal was in extreme pain but we couldn’t pinpoint a single area of pain.

We scheduled a CT scan which showed bone lysis, or basically the destruction of the bone, in multiple parts of the body.

From there we referred the patient to Dr Karina Graham who took biopsies and was then able to treat the animal. Though a highly unusual case, we managed to find an answer by working through the multiple departments in VSOS.”

State-of-the-art animal hospital


SAPC is just one of the specialty services we offer at the VSOS state-of-the-art animal hospital. As Southern Sydney’s only 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital and advanced treatment centre, we provide expert specialist, emergency and critical care to pets.

Find us at 106 Parraweena Road, Miranda or contact us for more information.

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