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News Article

Pain assessment tool developed for cats


The Feline Grimace Score is a valid and reliable tool for acute pain assessment in cats, researchers say

The Feline Grimace Scale, a tool that uses changes in facial expressions to assess pain, has been published in Scientific Reports. A training manual is included in the supplementary material.

The tool was developed and validated at the laboratory of Dr Paulo Steagall, in collaboration with researchers at the Université de Montréal. Dr Steagall is an Associate Professor of Veterinary Anesthesia and Pain Management at the Université de Montréal, Co-Chair of the WSAVA Therapeutic Guidelines Group and a member of the WSAVA Global Pain Council and Global Dental Guidelines Committee.

The Feline Grimace Scale monitors five action units: ear position, orbital tightening, muzzle tension, whiskers change and head position.

Each action unit is scored by the veterinarian from 0 to 2, depending on whether it is present, partially present or present. Taken overall, the scores indicate whether or not the cat is in pain and whether the administration of analgesics is required.

Article: Evangelista, M. C., Watanabe, R., Leung, V. S. Y., Monteiro, B. P., O’Toole, E., Pang, D. S. J., Steagall, P. V. (2019). Facial expressions of pain in cats: the development and validation of a Feline Grimace Scale. Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 19128, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55693-8

Article details

  • Date
  • 10 January 2020
  • Source
  • WSAVA
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals