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Treatment of Musculoskeletal Disease in Cats

Bennett D, Morton C: A study of owner observed behavioural and lifestyle changes in cats with musculoskeletal disease before and after analgesic therapy, J Feline Med Surg 11:997-1004, 2009.

A questionnaire-based tool was used in this study to identify behavioral and lifestyle changes that are associated with chronic pain in the cat. The changes were grouped into four behavior domains (mobility, activity, grooming and temperament). Twenty-three cats with chronic musculoskeletal pain determined by physical examination were included. Subsequently, owners of these cats were asked to complete a questionnaire before and 28 days after the start of analgesic treatment (meloxicam). A veterinary surgeon was asked to provide an independent global score before and after treatment. In this study, the baseline global scores for the veterinary assessments were very close to the owners’ scores, suggesting that owners were providing a useful clinical history that correlated well with the veterinary surgeon’s physical examination. Both owners and veterinary surgeons reported significant changes in behavior and lifestyle after analgesic therapy. The authors conclude that the changes in behavior that occurred following analgesic intervention were the consequence of treatment of pain, though they could not exclude the possibility of a placebo effect. All four domains showed a reduction in scores, while the greatest reduction in owners’ scores for each of the four domains was in the activity category. [VT]

Related articles:
Gunew MN, Menrath VH, Marshall RD: Long-term safety, efficacy and palatability of oral meloxicam at 0.01-0.03 mg/kg for treatment of osteoarthritic pain in cats, Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 10:235-41, 2008.

Lascelles BD, Hansen BD, Roe S et al: Evaluation of client-specific outcome measures and activity monitoring to measure pain relief in cats with osteoarthritis, J Vet Intern Med 21:410-16, 2007.