The incidence of chronic pain in cats is not well documented but is associated with many conditions including osteoarthritis, cancer, interstitial cystitis, dental and gum disease and long-standing dermatitis and wounds.
While this review will focus on postoperative pain management, it is important that we acknowledge the critical perioperative elements that lay the foundation for ideal patient pain management. Pain control needs to be in place before the surgeon's blade contacts skin in order to minimize central and peripheral sensitization. Without adequate pre-emptive analgesia, the nociceptive process ramps up unabated by general anesthesia. Receptor sensitivity increases and structural rewiring can occur.
Amputation is a painful procedure, so aggressive, multimodal analgesia is necessary. The patient should receive a premedication that includes a pure mu agonist opioid such as morphine, fentanyl, oxymorphone or hydromorphone.
A new study examines how an accelerometer-based activity monitor may help researchers objectively measure a cat's mobility. This type of monitoring has potential in assessing the effectiveness of pain-relieving therapies for conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Osteosarcoma is a common cancer to see in larger, middle-aged to older dogs. One of the challenges in treating these patients is pain management. Amputation effectively relieves bone pain and is the standard of care for patients, but may not be an option for all dogs.