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  • Author or Editor: Lathrop Taylor x
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Objective—To develop a visual analogue scale (VAS) questionnaire that is repeatable and valid for use in assessing pain and lameness in dogs.

Sample Population—48 client-owned dogs with mild to moderate lameness.

Procedure—The dogs were from 3 studies conducted during a 3-year period. Of the 48 dogs, 19 were used in repeatability assessment, 48 were used in principal component analysis, and 44 were used in model selection procedures and validity testing. A test-retest measure of repeatability was conducted on dogs with a change of < 10% in vertical peak force. A force platform was used as the criterion-referenced standard for detecting lameness. Principal component analysis was used to describe dimensionality of the data. Repeatable questions were used as explanatory variables in multiple regression models to predict force plate measurements. Peak vertical, craniocaudal, and associated impulses were the forces used to quantify lameness. The regression models were used to test the criterion validity of the questionnaire.

Results—19 of 39 questions were found to be repeatable on the basis of a Spearman rank-correlation cut point of > 0.6. Model selection procedures resulted in 3 overlapping subsets of questions that were considered valid representations of the forces measured (vertical peak, vertical impulse, and propulsion peak). Each reduced model fit the data as well as the full model.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The VAS questionnaire was repeatable and valid for use in assessing the degree of mild to moderate lameness in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1634–1643)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate efficacy and safety of using transdermal fentanyl patches (TFP) for analgesia in cats undergoing onychectomy.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—45 client-owned cats weighing ≥ 2.7 kg (5.9 lb) undergoing onychectomy, onychectomy and ovariohysterectomy, or onychectomy and castration.

Procedure—Cats were randomly assigned to be treated with a TFP (25 µg/h) or butorphanol; TFP were applied a minimum of 4 hours before surgery (approx 8 hours prior to extubation). Rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, force applied by the forelimbs, and serum fentanyl concentration were measured, and temperament, recovery, degree of sedation, severity of pain, severity of lameness, and appetite were scored before and periodically for up to 40 hours after surgery.

Results—Cats treated with a TFP had better recovery scores at 2 of 4 evaluation times, lower sedation scores at 2 of 8 evaluation times, and lower pain scores at 6 of 8 evaluation times, compared with cats treated with butorphanol. Use of a pressure-sensitive mat to evaluate force applied by the forelimbs did not reveal any differences between groups but did reveal a significant difference between preoperative and postoperative values. Mean ± SD serum fentanyl concentrations were 1.56 ± 1.08, 4.85 ± 2.38, 4.87 ± 1.56, and 4.35 ± 2.97 ng/ml approximately 8, 24, 32, and 48 hours, respectively, after TFP placement.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that use of a TFP (25 µg/h) for postoperative analgesia in cats undergoing onychectomy with or without surgical sterilization is safe and effective. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1013–1020)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association