SYSTOLIC HYPERTENSION AS AN INDICATOR
It is worth mentioning that systolic hypertension in cats may be the only physiologic parameter shown to correlate with postoperative
pain in animals. In one study, cats receiving no (or inadequate) dosages of butorphanol (0.1 mg/kg) after ovariohysterectomy
often had increased systolic blood pressure and serum cortisol concentrations when compared with cats receiving adequate pain
The cats with increased systolic blood pressure also demonstrated behavioral changes associated with pain (withdrawal, remaining
still, and vocalizing when moved), while cats that had lower blood pressure were willing to move and returned to a normal
personality sooner. However, stress in addition to pain may also lead to systemic hypertension, and the practicality of using
systolic blood pressure as a gauge of pain has not been determined.
By using a standardized proposed pain scale and attempting to eliminate score variations, we can strive to alleviate suffering
in our feline patients by quickly recognizing clinical signs of pain and taking appropriate pain control measures.
Mark E. Epstein, DVM, DABVP (canine and feline), DAAPM
Carolinas Animal Pain Management
TotalBond Veterinary Hospital Forestbrook
3200 Union Road
Gastonia, NC 28056
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