Kansas State University Veterinarian Contributes to Groundbreaking Initiative for Feline Pain Management

By Trish Svoboda

A veterinarian from Kansas State University is involved in a new initiative aimed at alleviating pain for cats.

Kate KuKanich, an expert in small animal internal medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine, along with a team of seven other specialists in feline pain management, have recently released new guidelines on the application of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain control in cats.

In the field of veterinary medicine, NSAIDs are the most commonly utilized pain relievers. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), collaborated to develop revised guidelines. Their joint effort resulted in the publication of the “2024 ISFM and AAFP Consensus Guidelines on the Long-term Use of NSAIDs in Cats” in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery’s April 2024 edition.

The guidelines provide veterinarians with tools to make informed decisions about prescribing NSAIDs for chronic pain management in cats, with the aim of reducing side effects and enhancing pain relief. KuKanich was asked to contribute to the project due to her involvement in research at K-State on the use of meloxicam, an NSAID, in the treatment of chronic kidney disease in cats.

Alongside the guidelines for veterinary professionals, the ISFM has also developed resources for cat owners. These resources offer readily available information on crucial subjects such as the use of NSAIDs for pain management, home adjustments to assist cats with arthritis, and methods to increase water intake for cats. This information is particularly beneficial for cats on NSAID treatment or those suffering from chronic kidney disease. The AAFP has also produced a client pamphlet on managing chronic pain in cats using NSAIDs.

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