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Kate Thompson
The Veterinary Nurse, Vol. 2, Iss. 10, 16 Dec 2011, pp 582 - 592

The appropriate provision of analgesia is essential in all species. Pain causes intensification of the stress response, activates the sympathetic nervous system, affects food intake and metabolism, modifies behaviour and can adversely affect the immune response. If excessive pain is improperly managed, the sequelae can contribute to morbidity and mortality, particularly in already debilitated patients. In order to effectively manage pain, it is important to be able to recognize pain, utilize a multimodal approach and select appropriate analgesic drugs. Detection of pain, particularly chronic pain, can be difficult in cats and there are relatively few analgesic products licensed for long-term use in this species. Provision of effective analgesia in the geriatric cat can be challenging. This review aims to summarize how to first recognize the presence of pain in older cats and consider the pharmacological effects of ageing, and second how to adopt a multifaceted approach using the different classes of analgesics available.

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