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Improving treatment of chronic pain in cats

Winn grant W12-027
Development of outcome assessment instruments for chronic pain in cats
Investigator: Dorothy Cimino Brown; University of Pennsylvania

Cats are unique. They cannot benefit from the same pain fighting medications used in dogs, because they can cause serious side-effects in cats. It is crucially important that we identify pain fighting medications that are safe and effective in cats, so that we can relieve them from pain caused by such conditions as arthritis or cancer. Once a treatment option for pain is identified that might be useful in cats, studies must be carefully designed in order to prove that the potential new treatment option is effective. The greatest obstacle to designing such studies is the fact that we have not developed reliable ways to measure pain in cats. If we can not measure the pain, we can not prove that we are appropriately treating it. 

An.Old.CatThe goal of this study is to develop tools that can measure pain in cats and therefore appropriately design studies that will identify new treatments. The first tool is the Feline Brief Pain Inventory, which will be an owner completed questionnaire that will allow them to identify and report on how their cat behaves at home, focusing on the behaviors that are related to pain. The second tool is an activity monitor that can be worn on the cat’s collar while it progresses through its normal activities at home. We plan to identify how many days the monitor needs to be worn to collect data reliably. Ultimately the monitor might identify the improved activity that can be related to adequate pain control.

This project is available for sponsorship. When you sponsor a project, your name will be added to the list of the project’s supporters on our website and in any publications we produce about the project. You will receive exclusive pre-publication reports on the progress of your chosen project as they become available, and a final report at its conclusion.