Flow Diagram for Acute and Chronic Pain Assessment in Cats

Figure 1

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Flow Diagram Outlining Acute and Chronic Pain Assessment in Cats. This flow diagram outlines a basic approach to the assessment of pain in cats. For assessment of both acute and chronic pain, the core elements are physical examination/palpation and the use of Clinical Metrology Instruments (CMIs) (see Table 1). CMIs that are specific for particular circumstances (e.g., for specific types of surgery or for specific chronic diseases) are being developed, tested, and validated. Future assessment tools in the cat are likely to leverage automated analysis of facial expression and movement, and these may well become core elements assisting with the everyday assessment of pain. At the moment, for chronic pain, all the CMIs designed to assess the impact of pain have been developed for osteoarthritis. Importantly, this flow diagram illustrates two important points: (1) involvement of the owner and (2) follow-up and reassessment.