Body weight affects behavioural indication of thermal nociceptive threshold in adult domestic cats (Felis catus)

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Authors
Farnworth, Mark
Barrett, Lorelle
Adams, Nigel
Beausoleil, N.J.
Hekman, M.
Thomas, D.G.
Waran, N.K.
Stafford, K.J.
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
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Grantor
Date
2013-10-04
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Type
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
body condition
cats (Felis catus)
CO2 lasers
nociception
pain assessment
thermal threshold
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Citation
Farnworth, M.J., Barrett, L.A., Adams, N.J., Beausoleil, N.J., Hekman, M., Thomas, D.G., Waran, N.K., and Stafford, K.J. (2013). Body weight affects behavioural indication of thermal nociceptive threshold in adult domestic cats (Felis catus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 149 : 30-35.
Abstract
Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) thermal lasers have previously been validated for the assessment of nociception in cats. This experiment sought to assess the potential impact of factors associated with age, sex, body weight and sterilisation upon nociceptive threshold as measured by latency to display a behavioural response. Cats (N = 113) were exposed to a CO2 thermal laser three times during a 45–60 min test period depending upon the interval between tests. A minimum of 15 min elapsed between consecutive tests on any one individual. Time to display either a skin twitch or withdrawal was measured. Intra-class correlations showed the three measurements to be repeatable across tests for any given cat (ICC = 0.482; P < 0.001). Males had a significantly longer mean latency to respond than females (14.83 s and 12.59 s respectively; P = 0.028). Analyses of co-variance established that the body weight of females significantly affected response threshold (P = 0.013) but for males this effect was marginal (P = 0.058). All other factors included in the analyses were non-significant. A post hoc test for males and females with overlapping body weights found no significant differences between the sexes (P = 0.721). The precise reason for the effect of body weight on latency to respond is unknown and further exploration is needed particularly as it relates to sub-cutaneous fat deposition and skin temperature. It is concluded that, for cats, the body weight of the subject should be standardised or included in any analyses for assessment of nociception. Inclusion of body weight data in analyses may also prove useful when using a CO2 laser protocol in other species.
Publisher
Elsevier BV
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DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2013.09.010
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Elsevier BV
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Provided for non-commercial research and education use. Not for reproduction, distribution or commercial use. This article appeared in a journal published by Elsevier. The attached copy is furnished to the author for internal non-commercial research and education use, including for instruction at the authors institution and sharing with colleagues. Other uses, including reproduction and distribution, or selling or licensing copies, or posting to personal, institutional or third party websites are prohibited. In most cases authors are permitted to post their version of the article (e.g. in Word or Tex form) to their personal website or institutional repository.
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