Content continues after advertisement

New Analgesic for Pain in Cats

Clinician's Brief

Sign in to Print/View PDF

There are no FDA-approved analgesics for treating chronic pain in cats. The disparity in treatment options between dogs and cats has led to the evaluation of novel therapies that have been described in humans, dogs, and rodents. 

There is a deficiency of evidence-based therapies for treating all forms of pain in cats.

Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a peptide hormone essential for the survival of sensory and sympathetic neurons during development, is expressed at the site of injury and inflammation in adults. NGF causes sprouting of nerve endings into the site of inflammation, has been detected in neuromas, and is a major factor promoting pain and hyperalgesia. Monoclonal antibodies that neutralize NGF have been found to be effective analgesics in rodent models, humans with osteoarthritis, and dogs with degenerative joint disease. 

This study used an experimental in vivo model for inflammation. Kaolin, which produces predictable swelling and lameness that resolves on its own in 7 to 14 days, was injected into the right rear foot pad of cats under sedation. 

Cats (n = 30; 1 died under sedation) were divided into 2 groups; 1 group received 2 mg/kg anti-NGF SC and the other group received phosphate-buffered solution. The data supported the hypothesis that neutralization of NGF in cats that received anti-NGF may provide analgesia, as it reduced lameness scores in the experimental group. However, it did not, as in other studies, reduce the inflammatory pyrexia and swelling secondary to the kaolin injection. The model did not allow for long-term evaluation of the injection as an analgesic. Studies of cats with degenerative joint disease will be important in determining the duration of efficacy of anti-NGF.

Commentary

This new class of analgesics has clinical importance in dogs and cats and potentially in horses and other domestic species with chronic inflammatory conditions. Unfortunately, there is a deficiency of evidence- based therapies for treating all forms of pain in cats and a lack of FDA-approved therapies. Future product development relies heavily on the recommendations of therapies by general practitioners. This highlights the importance of learning about and discussing these new potential options.—Heather Troyer, DVM, DABVP, CVA, CVPP

References

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

All Clinician's Brief content is reviewed for accuracy at the time of publication. Previously published content may not reflect recent developments in research and practice.

Material from Clinician's Brief may not be reproduced, distributed, or used in whole or in part without prior permission of Educational Concepts, LLC. For questions or inquiries please contact us.

Podcasts

Clinician's Brief:
The Podcast
Listen as host Alyssa Watson, DVM, talks with the authors of your favorite Clinician’s Brief articles. Dig deeper and explore the conversations behind the content here.
Clinician's Brief provides relevant diagnostic and treatment information for small animal practitioners. It has been ranked the #1 most essential publication by small animal veterinarians for 9 years.*

*2007-2017 PERQ and Essential Media Studies

© 2022 Educational Concepts, L.L.C. dba Brief Media ™ All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions | DMCA Copyright | Privacy Policy | Acceptable Use Policy