Guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats have been published to help veterinary practitioners make sensible and rational choices regarding this class of drugs.
Guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats have been published to help veterinary practitioners make sensible and rational choices regarding this class of drugs, and to ensure much-needed therapy is not needlessly withheld from patients.
Until recently, NSAIDs were only licensed for short-term use in cats. However, with changing licensing indications and recommendations, they are now also increasingly used for the long-term treatment of cats, for example, in the management of osteoarthritis.
Unfortunately, in most cases where long-term use of pain relief in cats is required, there are concomitant problems with other diseases or other drugs that are being given. Perhaps the most common concern is: “Can I use NSAIDs to treat arthritis in older cats with kidney disease?”.
Because of such concerns over therapy and the potential for adverse effects, many cats receive no treatment at all and as a result their quality of life can be severely compromised.
For this reason, the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) set up an international expert panel to develop practical and rational guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats, enabling vets to make sensible and rational choices, and ensure much-needed therapy is not needlessly withheld from their patients. The panel included Andrew Sparkes, Duncan Lascelles, Richard Malik, Sheilah Robertson, Margie Scherk, Polly Taylor, Llibertat Real Sampietro and Reidun Heiene.
The result is the publication of the first joint ISFM and AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners) consensus guidelines on the Long-term use of NSAIDs in Cats”, which appeared in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
The consensus guidelines provide highly practical information on the use of NSAIDs in a wide variety of situations and address common concerns raised by practitioners.
Additionally, the panel has developed a brief client-facing leaflet that can be given to owners when NSAIDs are prescribed for their cats. This leaflet provides simple, clear advice on why NSAIDs are used, why they are important, but also what simple precautions avoid adverse effects, with further advice on when to seek veterinary advice to reinforce the safety message.
Both publications are available to download from the ISFM website.