Cats are not good at letting us know when they are in pain.
As cats get older, many develop joint pain as a result of osteoarthritis. But it can often be labelled as them ‘just getting older’. They lie around more, become more decorative than active, and it is easy to think they are fine.
But the reality is that studies suggest that as many as ninety percent of cats over twelve years of age are suffering from painful degenerative joint disease.
But now I have a new medication that will hopefully make a huge difference to this silent suffering.
It is the next of the ‘silver bullet’ monoclonal antibody therapies.
It is injected into the patient under the skin like a vaccine, once a month. No remembering any tablets or medicine every day.
It targets nerve growth factor (NGF), which is central in the pain cascade. By switching off NGF’s activity, a huge proportion of the painful sensations and inflammatory damage can be prevented.
Cats in pain show reduced activity, and mobility; they groom themselves less, are less playful, go out less, and can become more grumpy and irritable. They become less sociable, and it can adversely affect their quality of life.
In trials of the new long acting injectable pain-killer, seventy-six percent of cat owners reported sustained improvement in signs of pain. It helped to generally improve physical activity level, sociability and quality of life for cats with osteoarthritis.
Better still, due to the extremely specific nature of the medication, it comes with virtually no side effects, risk or drug interactions. It is safe to use with other pain-killers, anti-inflammatories, or vaccines. And I can prescribe it safely, even for cats that are currently experiencing other medical problems, including kidney and thyroid disease.
I am super-excited about this development, following on from a similar launch of an NGF monoclonal antibody for dogs last autumn, and one for itchy skin problems in dogs three years ago.
If you would like to check out your cat or dog’s mobility, to see if they might be suffering in silence, please email us on email@example.com , and we will forward you a mobility score sheet.