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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
BDXL has received consulting and speaking honoraria from Boehringer Ingelheim, Zoetis, Elanco and Nexvet. BDXL is the Chair of the IASP Non-Human Pain Special Interest Group. DCB has been employed by Eli Lilly and Elanco Animal Health since March 2017. None of the authors has any other financial or personal relationships that could inappropriately influence or bias the content of the paper. The PAW2017 meeting was able to be held at the NIH, with no-cost to delegates, through the generous support of industry and not-for-profit organizations: Gold: Boehringer Ingelheim, IASP Non-Human Pain Special Interest Group, Zoetis; Silver: Elanco, Vetoquinol; Bronze: IITC, Nexvet. We are grateful for the considerable on-site support of the team at the NIH, and to North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine's Continuing Education Office for logistical organization of the event.
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