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J Feline Med Surg. 2013 Jun;15(6):507-12. doi: 10.1177/1098612X12470828. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Long-term use of gabapentin for musculoskeletal disease and trauma in three cats.

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Small Animal Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Neston, Wirral, UK.


Gabapentin has been widely used in human medicine to control acute and chronic pain. Although the exact mechanism of action has yet to be determined, its use in veterinary medicine is increasing. The clinical use of gabapentin for analgesia in cats has been reported in review articles and one case report. Managing chronic pain, particularly in the feline patient, poses a challenge to veterinary surgeons. This report details the long-term use of gabapentin for musculoskeletal pain or head trauma in three cats. All cats received gabapentin for several months at an average dose of 6.5 mg/kg q12h. Clinical signs suggestive of pain, such as aggression, avoiding human interaction and loss of appetite, were observed to decrease with the administration of gabapentin, used as part of an analgesia regime or as sole medication. Long-term follow-up with the owners of all cats indicated that satisfactory pain management was achieved, administration was easy and no obvious side effects during the period of administration occurred. We conclude that long-term treatment with gabapentin is of potential benefit in controlling pain in cases of head trauma, as well as musculoskeletal disease. It may provide a valuable adjunct for the management of chronic pain in cats and should be investigated further for its clinical use and safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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