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Measurement of chronic pain in companion animals: Discussions from the Pain in Animals Workshop (PAW) 2017
- Lascelles, B.D.X., Brown, D.C., Conzemius, M.G., Gill, M., Oshinsky, M.L., Sharkey, M.
- The veterinary journal 2019 v.250 pp. 71-78
- cats, dogs, industry, musculoskeletal system, neoplasms, pain, pets, therapeutics
- In the face of increasing recognition and interest in treating chronic pain in companion animals, we struggle with a lack of therapeutic options. A significant barrier to the development of new therapeutics, or the critical evaluation of current therapies, is our inability to accurately measure chronic pain and its impact on companion animals. Over the last 20 years, much progress has been made in developing methods to measure chronic pain via subjective and objective methods — particularly in owner assessment tools and measurements of limb use and activity. Most work has been focused on chronic joint pain conditions, but there has been relatively little work in other areas of chronic pain, such as neuropathic and cancer pain. Although progress has been made, there is a considerable interest in improving our assessment of chronic pain, as evidenced by the multiple disciplines across industry, academia, and clinical practice from the veterinary and human medical fields that participated in the Pain in Animals Workshop held at the National Institutes of Health in 2017. This review is one product of that meeting and summarizes the current state of knowledge surrounding the measurement of chronic pain (musculoskeletal, cancer, neuropathic), and its impact, in cats and dogs.