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Assessing chronic pain in osteoarthritic cats to improve treatments

Humans and dogs with osteoarthritis often experience central sensitization, a state of increased and enhanced pain central to driving chronic pain. Quantifying various aspects of the pain state helps clinicians and veterinarians gauge treatment successes and failures. Unlike in dogs, no approved therapies for effectively treating chronic pain exist for cats, due in part to the difficulty in measuring pain in these often stoic animals. Researchers will investigate the use of two new methods, successfully used in other species, to objectively detect and measure central sensitization associated with degenerative joint disease in cats. Being able to measure central sensitization opens up tremendous opportunities for developing better treatment strategies, ultimately improving the quality of life for thousands of cats suffering with chronic joint pain.


INVESTIGATOR: B. Duncan X. Lascelles, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, North Carolina State University