Options to treat pain in cats include the use of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, local anesthetics, and agonists (chemicals which cause activation) of the alpha-2 adrenergic receptors.
The effects of the latter drugs on pain have not been well characterized in cats. This study proposes to determine the effects of an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist, dexmedetomidine, on pain in cats.
Researchers will study the relationship between plasma concentration and analgesic effect, at the same time as they will determine the disposition of the drug by the body. Knowledge of this disposition and of the concentration-effect relationship will allow the researchers to determine optimal dosage of dexmedetomidine for the treatment of pain in clinical feline patients.