Canine Arthritis Management

Canine Arthritis Management (CAM) was developed as a veterinary initiative aimed to bridge the gap between Vet and owner education

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible
  • Yes, I’m 18 years old or older

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Ms Hannah Capon MA Vet MB MRCVS

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • United Kingdom

Headquarters location: city

68 Middle Road Shoreham-by-Sea West Sussex BN43 6GA

Where are you making a difference?

UK based but making a difference in many different countries and growing: USA, France, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

Website or social media url(s) @canine_arthritis @camarthritis

Date Started

April 2017

Focus Areas

  • Fostering emotional intelligence and behavioural competences
  • Promote inclusivity
  • Enhance physical activity and wellness
  • Revolutionizing veterinary care for pets
  • Education based on the latest evidence to empower owners looking after their arthritic dogs

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €10k - €50k

Organisation Type

  • nonprofit/NGO: an organisation that uses its resources to achieve a purpose outside of creating profit
  • hybrid: a combination of different types of organisations, such as a social enterprise (an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being)

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

I founded Canine Arthritis Management (CAM) after I was obliged to euthanase two old dogs that were arthritic and off their back legs. I thought about those dogs and realized that in every other way they were fine, but their chronic pain, lameness and loss of muscle mass were the cause of their elective euthanasia and the two dogs must have been feeling like that for years. I couldn’t ignore it as there are a lot of gaps in canine arthritis understanding, identification and management and more can be done regarding awareness, education and management of chronic pain in our companion animals. A new, socially acceptable and collaborative approach was required.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Arthritis is a huge animal welfare concern and chronic pain due to arthritis is thought to affect over 80% of dogs over the age of 8 years, however not nearly enough of these dogs are receiving treatment for this painful and debilitating condition. Arthritis is an emotionally and physically consuming, debilitating disease for owner and dog, often demanding a targeted multi-modal approach in order to manage the condition.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

The CAM team has compiled useful materials with contributions from Key opinion Leaders in their field e.g. Vets, Pain Management Consultants, Behaviourists, Vet Physios which are based on the latest evidence and supported using resources such as RCVS knowledge as well as the latest CPD updates. These are available through their website, social media platforms, owner education talks, CPD events and a wonderful resource for owners on Holly’s Army, a social media platform to support owners of arthritic dogs. By developing these tools, CAM feels they are providing a huge educational platform that vets and owners use together, and develop a new and innovative method of managing chronic pain by implementing a multi-modal approach in conjunction with medication. Maximum achievable mobility is not gained through reducing pain alone and reliance on the unimodal strategy of NSAIDs alone is no longer considered an acceptable approach. CAM’s approach is based on the exact same treatment options provided to humans managing arthritis - pain relief, home adaptations, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and a free community of support, advice and guidance.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

Peer to peer review: As CAM has grown so too has the number of man hours monitoring and supporting its users. Cambassadors are all owners who have been helped by CAM, invested personally, and are now leading the way helping others - volunteering, passing on their expert experience and the high quality training and knowledge they get from bespoke training weekly. The training and development of #CAMbassador by CAM vets and advisory pain specialists continues to contribute to CAM’s valuable resource by teaching new members useful and reliable information about OA on the Holly's Army platform as well as being available to support and guide new members They are all continually moving forward as some have now joined the team in other roles.

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

Arthritis in dogs is a huge welfare concern and many owners do not know where to turn. They report that they struggle to gain a diagnosis and are then simply prescribed NSAID’s with little further support or information in managing such a long term chronic condition. This can result in their dog being left in pain, or in situations that only exacerbate their dogs’ diagnosis. An evidence based holistic multi-modal approach to management for the pain of arthritis in dogs and early identification is paramount to the dog and owner bond. If owners are more educated this will in turn enhance the vet and owner relationship and trust. Support and education from CAM encourages owners to deal with this debilitating condition which can make an immense improvement in the quality of life for both dogs and owners. Please see attachments regarding caregiver placebo and an example of a decision making process for one of Holly's Army dogs.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

The impact of CAM’s multi-modal educational management regarding chronic pain from arthritis is incredible and is not only growing as many more owners join; it has changed the perceptions of many dog owners, vets, vet nurses, and animal welfare professionals from different disciplines. There is a growing body of vets relying on CAM’s resources and in turn many are referring owners to CAM’s online resources and providing resources from CAM to help owners achieve a long term management plan, enhancing the vet and owner relationship. Up to date evidence based medicine ensures better educational understanding of chronic pain in dogs, ensuring owners know about reliable sources of online information such as this, will help them to think differently about how they would like to manage their dog’s condition and hopefully start to see themselves, their physical therapist and Vet as one team.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

The CAM team are already in great demand, Hannah and Danni are confirmed speakers on the Hills Osteoarthritis roadshow again this year and Hannah has also been invited to hold workshops in New Zealand. She lectured at a Russian Vet symposium last year. With more support and resources CAM hopes to continue their global reach as well as lecturing at events in the UK. Raising the prevalence of this chronic disease is essential to provide better lives for dogs with arthritis and increased awareness and understanding within first opinion practices across the UK and beyond.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

The support we already receive from professionals within this field has shown us that a service such as CAM is wanted and has the potential to bridge and unify many "splinter groups" which will enable safe, evidence based and appropriate access to multi-modal management for owners and dogs.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

CAM is currently applying for charitable status as it will enable us to access many more funding streams for planned projects. CAM hopes to apply for a funding stream to support the peer to peer review aspect of the #CAMbassadors to enable them to add to their current skill set. This year we are designing a new website with extra content available for a small joining fee. The new e-Learning platform itself will be advertised on CAM's website, social media pages, during local presentations, at veterinary conference booths, and at every other opportunity in appropriate forums. Dissemination will also be promoted in CPD learning events held by Canine Arthritis management. We will also be seeking further sponsorship from Industry.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

CAM’s empathetic, empowering and motivational work has led to more than 30 veterinary professionals enthusiastically volunteering their time to CAM in addition to taking on further education and learning to enhance their knowledge. CAM is itself a multidisciplinary team who learn from each member's experiences and knowledge. This allows the team to create quality resources for owners from all practice backgrounds. Hannah was awarded CEVA Vet of the year 2019 and also best webinar personality.

11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?

It would mean so much to me to be considered for this prestigious award. I am passionate about canine arthritis and hope to spread the message globally to enhance the quality of life for dogs and owners. An integrated multi-modal approach is required and more collaboration with our peers and Industry partners will help to move this movement forward. CAM aspires to provide a huge educational platform that vets, therapists and owners can use together to develop new and innovative methods of managing chronic pain from arthritis in conjunction with medication. This work is paramount to the owner and pet bond as it will enable dogs to lead a more comfortable life with more confident educated owners. #yourdogmoreyears Thank you

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others
  • Email

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation

Yes, absolutely! - 100%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 25%

Yes/maybe - 75%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 75%

Maybe - 25%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Does this entry have potential to GROW & demonstrate LEADERSHIP?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

5. Is this entry VIABLE?

Yes, absolutely! - 75%

Yes/maybe - 25%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%


Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

7. FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions or used an old model in a new way - 100%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 25%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 75%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 25%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 50%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 25%

Other option - 0%

8. FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 0%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 50%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 50%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: Your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 100%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon - 0%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 50%

Other option - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Donna Boddie

I met Hannah at the beginning of her CAM journey, I work for the animal therapy magazine and as a veterinary physiotherapist/ RVN.
I've seen 1st hand her hard work and how it has helped others. I have seen the struggles and triumphs. I refer my clients to her webpage and forums often.
Hannah has built a fantastic team of vets nurses and therapists to be able offer multimodal solutions to CAM's followers.
OA is a terrible disease and to find and discuss ways of reducing pain/suffering and supporting owners is paramount.
Pets are a family member to most and watching them suffer with OA is heart breaking, having practical solutions to reduce suffering and improve QOL is fantastic. During my career I've heard oh it's just a bit of arthritis so often as if it's normal to have constant pain, but CAM highlights it's not "normal " and we can do something even if we cant "cure" the issue.
A particular discussion that has helped me is the carer guilt, and discussions on when is the right time to say goodbye.

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