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  • Author or Editor: Anthony J. Cambridge x
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Objective—To evaluate the ability of various subjective and objective measurements to determine the presence and degree of postoperative pain in cats.

Design—Randomized controlled prospective clinical study.

Animals—18 healthy client-owned cats.

Procedure—Cats were randomly assigned to 3 groups of 6: control, tenectomy, and onychectomy. Jugular catheters were placed the day prior to surgery. All surgeries were performed by the same surgeon, and all observations were made by the same blinded trained observer. One hour prior to surgery and at assigned intervals for 36 hours after surgery, heart rate, respiratory rate, and rectal temperature were measured. Scores were assigned for 3 interaction responses, including response to palpation, by use of simple descriptive scales, and to 2 pain assessments by use of visual analogue scales. Blood was collected to measure plasma β-endorphin and cortisol concentrations. Butorphanol was administered to all cats before surgery and to any cat subjectively assessed to be experiencing pain after surgery.

Results—Only visual analogue scale scores and response to palpation scores differed significantly between control and surgical groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Determination of the presence of pain in cats can be made on the basis of observation and interaction by a trained observer. Physiologic measurements, including plasma cortisol and β-endorphin concentrations, did not differentiate between control cats and cats that underwent surgery. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000; 217:685–690)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether hematologic and serum biochemical values for blood samples obtained from cats via vascular access ports (VAP) are comparable to those for samples obtained by direct venipuncture.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—14 healthy cats.

Procedure—A VAP was surgically implanted in a jugular vein in each cat. Blood samples were obtained from the VAP and by direct venipuncture of the contralateral jugular vein 10 weeks after VAP placement. Results of hematologic and serum biochemical analyses were compared by use of a paired t-test. The P value to reject the null hypothesis was adjusted to account for multiple comparisons by using the Bonferroni procedure in which the nominal P-to-reject value is divided by the number of comparisons (0.05/24 = 0.002).

Results—Paired samples (VAP and venipuncture) obtained 10 weeks after VAP placement were evaluated for each cat. Of the 24 measured analytes, only potassium, total protein, and albumin concentrations differed significantly (P < 0.001 for all 3) between VAP and venipuncture samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that samples obtained from VAP are suitable for routine hematologic monitoring of feline cancer patients. Sample hemolysis may account for a slight increase in potassium, total protein, and albumin concentrations obtained from VAP samples. However, the values of variables most critical for monitoring of patients receiving chemotherapy (ie, mature neutrophil and platelet counts) are comparable. If proper techniques are used, VAP may be used for administration of chemotherapy as well as for blood collection in cats undergoing cancer treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:482–485)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association