Pain should be assessed in cats as a part of triage and a validated pain scoring system should be used. A good understanding of pain physiology and pharmacology of analgesic agents is essential for choosing the most appropriate analgesic drug combination and reducing the risk of side effects. With diligent acute pain management, the risk of chronic pain development is reduced. This article summarises the physiology of adaptive and maladaptive pain, and provides an overview of currently available techniques and therapeutics used to assess and treat acute perioperative and chronic pain in cats.
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