A Comparison of Thermographic Imaging, Physical Examination and Modified Questionnaire to Assess Painful Conditions in Cats

Abstract: Pain recognition in cats is difficult and requires a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosis. A total of 103 client-owned cats were enrolled in this prospective, blinded clinical trial. Cats were invited to the clinic, or presented for annual rechecks/vaccinations, or gastrointestinal, dental or locomotor problemsThe cats were of different breeds; both shorthaired and longhaired cats were included. Those cats that tolerated it were palpated and all cats were examined with the non-invasive method of thermographic imaging.

Owners filled out a questionnaire about their cat's behaviour and estimated whether the cat was in any pain. The agreement between a questionnaire and thermographic imaging or palpation was low. Also, the agreement between the owner's estimation of pain and thermographic imaging or palpation was low. The agreement between palpation and thermographic imaging was moderate, suggesting that thermographic imaging is a potential tool in clinical practice for detecting and screening cats that are, potentially, in pain.

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Reference: Mari H Vainionpää , Marja R Raekallio, Jouni J T Junnila, Anna K Hielm-Björkman, Marjatta P M Snellman, Outi M Vainio (2013) J Feline Med Surg Feb;15(2):124-31


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