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Pain from the Nervous System in Cats




Analgesic medications (those that relieve pain) are used as the initial treatment for neuropathic pain. The amount given may need to be changed until the best effect is achieved. Other types of pain relievers may be tried until the one that works best for your cat is found. Some veterinarians may choose to use several pain medications at one time and then taper off until only one is being given.


One medication that is has been used with success for long-term pain is gabapentin. This anti-seizure drug has analgesic properties that are particularly effective for reducing neuropathic pain in cats. Gabapentin is given once daily for pain control and can be given with or without food. The particular side effects of this drug include sedation, weight gain, and stumbling (ataxia). Diarrhea may also be seen in some animals.


Dosages of gabapentin may be too small for cats. If this is the case, your veterinarian may need to have the drug specially made at a compounding pharmacy. 


Living and Management


If your cat is in chronic pain it may gain considerable relief from analgesic medications. The quality of life for these animals can be much improved, as long as the underlying condition causing the pain is under control.


In cats with kidney problems, the dosage of gabapentin may be reduced, as the drug is processed through the kidneys and they must be functioning properly for the drug to be removed from the body. Animals that are pregnant should not be treated with gabapentin. When discontinuing the medication, gabapentin should be slowly tapered off to prevent seizures from occurring after long-term use.




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