Repeatability of quantitative sensory testing in healthy cats in a clinical setting with comparison to cats with osteoarthritis.J Feline Med Surg 2017; 19(12):1274-1282JF
Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the repeatability of quantitative sensory tests (QSTs) in a group of healthy untrained cats (n = 14) and to compare the results with those from cats with osteoarthritis (n = 7). Methods Peak vertical force (PVF) and vertical impulse were measured on a pressure plate system. Thermal sensitivity was assessed using a temperature-controlled plate at 7°C and 40°C. Individual paw lifts and overall duration of paw lifts were counted and measured for each limb. Paw withdrawal thresholds were measured using manual and electronic von Frey monofilaments (MVF and EVF, respectively) applied to the metacarpal or metatarsal pads. All measurements were repeated twice to assess repeatability of the tests. Results In healthy cats all tests were moderately repeatable. When compared with cats with osteoarthritis the PVF was significantly higher in healthy hindlimbs in repeat 1 but not in repeat 2. Cats with osteoarthritis of the forelimbs showed a decrease in the frequency of paw lifts on the 7°C plate compared with cats with healthy forelimbs, and the duration of paw lifts was significantly less than healthy forelimbs in the first repeat but not in the second repeat. Osteoarthritic limbs had significantly lower paw withdrawal thresholds with both MVF and EVF than healthy limbs. Conclusions and relevance QSTs are moderately repeatable in untrained cats. Kinetic gait analysis did not permit differentiation between healthy limbs and those with osteoarthritis, but thermal sensitivity testing (cold) does. Sensory threshold testing can differentiate osteoarthritic and healthy limbs, and may be useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of this condition in cats in the clinical setting.