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Managing chronic pain in cats

Thank you for noticing my pain
Karla Kirby

Some pain medicines will never be effectual or even safe because cats are rather unique creations. Their liver lacks an entirely functioning enzyme pathway--one that both canines and humans have. It is a low efficiency of this glucuronidation pathway that leads to their comparative intolerance of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) class of pain killer medications. Aspirin, acetaminophen, and carprofen are toxic to cats because of this species-specific deficiency.

The painkiller drugs in the opioid group, such as morphine, oxymorphone, and hydromorphone, must be administered in apposite doses or behavioral and physical side effects can crop up. Now that we know what doses are most favorable, these drugs are being used with great self-assurance by veterinarians for pain control in hospital, with outstanding results.

It is much more effective to prevent pain, than take care of it once it has set in after the Another chief clinical finding is that by merging medications, lower doses of pain medication can be used without losing usefulness, and this approach also reduces side effects.

Untreated pain will decrease healing, lead to weight loss and weakness, and amplified risk of infections due to vacillating immune system protection, and other negative effects. It is vital to control pain in the cat. Mysterious changes in cat behavior should not be overlooked, since they can be a warning sign of pain.

Pain management alternatives in cats take in proper medication, high-quality nursing, and acupuncture. In localized sharp pain, injections of local anesthetic parallel to your dentist’s needle for pain can be used for a small period of time. Certain behavior modification drugs may help with specific types of chronic pain. The use of nutritional supplements for chronic arthritis-type pain is still the topic of study in cats; therefore apparent effectiveness has not yet been completely proven. Since this kind of supplement is useful in some other species, it may be proven advantageous in cats too.

Research focusing on both the recognition and treatment of cat pain and continuous improvement of pain management is still going on and new discoveries are constantly being made.

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