University of Liverpool study to eradicate chronic pain in cats

(17.01.2005) A University of Liverpool vet is leading an international study to investigate a possible treatment for cats with chronic pain.

Professor John Innes, from the Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, is part of a team of 21 researchers from the UK, France and Germany who will be assessing the long-term efficacy of the drug meloxicam to treat cats with chronic pain.

Meloxicam is currently prescribed to dogs with the same condition but there has been no equivalent medicine licensed for cats.

Cats can experience chronic pain due to a number of conditions including arthritis, joint malfunction and back pain. However, unlike dogs, cats do not often outwardly display major signs that they are suffering, and so the pain is not recognised.

Key symptoms indicating a cat is in pain to their owner are shown when the cat is less willing to jump, or has become less mobile around the house.

They may also be less eager to go outside, or pay less attention to their immaculate grooming. Only in extreme cases will the cat become lame but it may react if the affected area is touched.

Professor Innes said: "I'm really excited to be involved in this groundbreaking study that will ultimately benefit the understanding of vets throughout the world and help our feline friends.

It seems unfair that we are able to treat dogs immediately with this medication yet the options for cats are limited and many have to continue to suffer needlessly in pain."

"This study is all about ensuring that we have the best possible knowledge about these drugs to make sure we can all provide the most effective treatment for our feline patients.

Liverpool and its local cats will benefit hugely from playing such a vital role in the study and we'll be putting the University of Liverpool on the map as a centre of excellence in this clinical area."

www.liv.ac.uk

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