UC San Diego School of Medicine, Continuing Medical Education
(858) 534-3940 | ocme@ucsd.edu | cme.ucsd.edu


These courses were not designed as discussions of specific therapies or diagnoses, but rather to address fundamental issues in the pathophysiology of pain and the mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of pain therapeutics. The first two courses, held in 2007 and 2010, were devoted to a detailed review and discussion of pain mechanisms. The 2012 course reviewed mechanisms underlying pain processing in a variety of clinically-defined pain states (cancer, visceral inflammation, post-tissue injury and post-nerve injury) and mechanistic review of pain therapeutics. In 2014 the course focused on complex systems and addressed issues such as the development of facilitated pain states and the role of validated veterinary pain models. The focus for 2016 was on the mechanisms of actions of analgesics, with a novel focus on  development of new therapeutics and use of veterinary clinical pain models as well as validated inventories in the development of veterinary analgesics.

In 2018, there are four components to this three-day conference:

  1. Review our current core knowledge related to the physiologic basis of pain associated with acute, post- inflammation/tissue injury, post nerve injury and the evolution of the chronic pain state. This three-hour session will consider in depth and detail the current thinking as to the systems that process pain information. It will emphasize acute, tissue injury and nerve injury mechanisms, and, of particular importance, the current thinking related to the “acute to chronic pain” translation.
  2. Review basic mechanisms involved in pain states arising from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, osteosarcoma, visceral pain and pruritus (itch). Here the aim is to provide an in-depth review of the pathophysiology underlying these specific pain conditions.
  3. Evolution of consciousness and pain processing with detailed consideration of neurobiology and associated pain behavior in insects and worms, invertebrates (mollusks-octopods), reptiles, birds and marine mammals (dolphins). The overall goal is to review the evolution of pain behavior and neuroanatomic substrates. While higher species (birds and dolphins) are of interest to the practicing veterinarian, work with worms, flies and mollusks has had an exciting impact as models for assessing biology underlying pain states. Worms and flies (drosophila) enjoy a broad use in understanding novel signaling systems underlying the response to an aversive stimulus. 
  4. Critically review pathophysiology of the pain state that is arguably most paramount in each of the three major species seen by the veterinarian: dogs: OA, cats: interstitial cystitis, and horses: laminitis. In this vein we will have focused reviews of the status of current therapeutic targets in the development as veterinary analgesics.

Invited speakers have been selected from academia, private veterinary practice and companies with analgesics in clinical development for veterinary use. In each case, speakers will present a detailed and critical review of the approaches employed to evaluate efficacy and target engagement.

We intend this to be a very high level meeting with significant content relevant to basic mechanisms involved in the practice of veterinary pain management and the development of novel therapeutics. Each lecture will be followed by time for Q&A.

As a follow-up, we are pursuing the participation of a high profile veterinary journal (such as JAVMA) in which to publish an overview of the symposium viz pain management in veterinary medicine and the road map for the development of veterinary analgesics.