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Skip Navigation LinksCVMBS Home > Veterinary Teaching Hospital > For Small Animals > Integrative Medicine > Center for Comparative and Integrative Pain Medicine
Center for Comparative and Integrative Pain Medicine

 Contact the CCIPM


​For questions about the Center, contact the Center Director, Dr. Narda Robinson.

The Center for Comparative and Integrative Pain Medicine aims to provide animals relief from pain and to optimize their quality of life. We do this through clinical service, humane research, advanced educational programs, and a dedication to elevating awareness of the imperative to recognize and effectively address pain and discomfort in animals.

Our pain medicine doctors draw from natural healing approaches such as acupuncture, gentle manual therapy, nutritional supplements, and more, along with conventional drug-based pain medicine treatments, to meld the best of both worlds for the benefit of our patients.

The mission of the Center for Comparative and Integrative Pain Medicine is to:

  • Provide compassionate, high-quality, patient care, putting patients’ interests first.
  • Promote scientific, evidence-based education to veterinarians-in-training as well as to clinicians in practice regarding the pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and successful alleviation of pain.
  • Facilitate ongoing collaboration, innovation, and inquiry, leading to advancements designed for the betterment of animal lives and translational benefits for humans in pain.
  • Develop learning programs that allow veterinarians to gain technical skill and confidence in the latest pain alleviation techniques.
  • Encourage humane research in the study of pain.

Center Overview

Drs. Peter Hellyer and William Horne founded the CSU Center for Comparative Pain Medicine in 2002. They also developed the first course in pain medicine at CSU and participated in the formulation of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Medicine (IVAPM), located within the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. CSU and the IVAPM share common goals of defining standards of expertise in pain medicine and pushing quality of care and pain relief for animals to new levels.


The Center will meet its goals through didactic instruction, clinical service, procedural intervention training, and encouraging student and clinician interaction in multidisciplinary rounds and ongoing research.

  • Didactic instruction in pain medicine techniques begins in the first year PVM curriculum, with lectures on the neurobiology of acupuncture and the activation of in-built pain control mechanisms in the brain. Professional veterinary medicine students receive exposure to the principles and practice of pain medicine through groups, such as the student chapter of the IVAPM and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
  • Clinical service offers consultations and ongoing care for animals with acute or chronic pain, tailored to meet the needs of the patient and goals of the caregiver. Pain medicine consultations are available for all animals in all specialties and are especially important for patients undergoing cancer treatment, animals with spinal pain or arthritis, post-surgical recovery, geriatric patients, and those suffering from neurologic impairment and spasticity.
  • Procedural intervention education includes training in epidural analgesic injection, epidural catheter placement, intra-operative nerve blocks, intravenous and oral analgesic regimens, as well as a variety of non-pharmacologic approaches, such as trigger point deactivation, acupuncture, non-invasive laser therapy, massage, manual therapy, nutraceuticals, and phytomedicinals.
  • Research involves exploring novel approaches to pain control and relief, including evaluation of the mechanisms of action and efficacy of anti-epileptic agents and non-traditional analgesic compounds, spinal application of C-fiber destructive compounds for terminal cancer pain, the neuroanatomy of acupuncture, the value of an herbal supplement for pain, and the effects of acupuncture on tumor physiology and pain mediators.

Values Statement

At the Center for Comparative and Integrative Pain Medicine, we strive to promote advances in multimodal, interdisciplinary pain medicine and quality of life through innovative, humane, and evidence-based approaches with a research focus on naturally occurring disease.

Vision Statement

We are dedicated to advancing interdisciplinary, integrative, and comprehensive approaches to pain medicine by promoting academic achievement, stron​g clinical service and teaching. We strive to lead the way in humane pain medicine research, examining methods of analgesia from naturally occurring disease rather than inducing pain in order to study pain.

The Next Generation

As the next generation of students, interns, residents, and fellows moves into private practice and academia, we look toward the day when ongoing pain assessment and management for animals is considered to be part and parcel of veterinary care.

Please Support Integrative Medicine
Contact Us:
Colorado State University
Veterinary Teaching Hospital
300 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523

​(970) 297-5000

(970) 297-1205