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New Insights into Canine and Feline OA Pain

New scientific knowledge has revealed the important role of nerve growth factor (NGF) as a powerful mediator of OA pain. The ability to target this key component of the pain pathway using monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy will give veterinarians a novel option for providing long-lasting control of OA pain to dogs and cats.

Learn about the clinical impact of NGF on OA Pain
Duncan Lascelles, BSc, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, CertVA, CertSAS, discusses the effect of NGF on OA pain.

Anti-NGF mAb Offers Promising Novel Therapy

As our understanding of the biochemistry [of OA] becomes more and more vivid, we’re now being able to see targets of opportunity that we can attack, and NGF is a classic example of that. It’s released from a variety of places, and it has detrimental effects, [so we looked into]: Can we either stop its release or sequester it? Dr. Steve Budsberg, DVM, MS, DACVS

A panel of experts was convened to provide practitioners with an updated understanding of the mechanisms of OA pain, the value of proven effective analgesia in OA pain management, and a look ahead at a potential future treatment.

Anti-NGF mAb Offers Promising Novel Therapy

Pain has a body-wide impact. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s not just ‘ouch.’ There are numerous negative consequences of painDr. Tamara Grubb, DVM, PhD, DACVAA

Paradoxically, current treatments for OA pain in the dog and cat require daily oral dosing, which can lead to owner aversion and damage the human-animal bond.

Hear Dr. Tamara Grubb and Dr. Sheilah Robertson explaining pain from a pet’s perspective.

How does OA pain affect the emotional state of the pet?

Dr. Tamara Grubb, DVM, PhD, DACVAA

How would pets measure the impact of pain on their lives?


Lack of Pain Recognition by Pet Owners

Many owners fail to recognize the problem, even when their pets have reduced mobility, often chalking it up to the pet “slowing down with age.” However, there are consequences to delayed OA pain management.

Watch Dr. Margaret E. Gruen explains the importance of OA pain checklists

How can checklists help to identify OA in cats?

Dr. Margaret E. Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD, DACVB

The Next Breakthrough in OA Pain Relief: Anti NGF-mAb

The experts agree that pain relief is foundational to OA management, but we don’t currently have a therapeutic option that provides consistent, profound pain relief. Therapy that targets NGF could lead to a long-lasting treatment for companion animals suffering with OA pain.

We know that NGF causes actual changes to the nerves themselves and how they function,” says Dr. Steven Budsberg. “If we can prevent or mute that, that’s very important. And if we can prevent those changes from occurring in other nerves and lessen the response in those that have been affected, then it’s a benefit.

Watch Dr. Tamara Grubb and Dr. Steven Budsberg explain the impact of good treatment.

Can successful treatment of chronic pain impact comorbidities?

Dr. Tamara Grubb, DVM, PhD, DACVAA

What is important for veterinarians to know about the sources of pain in OA?

Dr. Steven Budsberg, DVM, MS, DACVS

Enhancing quality of life for pets is the uppermost end-benefit of effective OA pain management because lasting pain relief helps pets to return to doing the things they want to do.

The main goal is to enhance quality of life for the animal—so that means [managing] their pain [and giving them back] their ability to do what they like to do, to spend time doing the things that they want to doDr. Sheilah Robertson BVMS (Hons), PhD, DACVAA, DECVAA, DACAW, DECAWBM (WSEL), MRCVS

Explore the Science Behind Anti-NGF Monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs)

Role of NGF in OA Pain

Studies have identified a new key player in the transmission of pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) in people, dogs and cats.1,2 In adults, Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) plays a significant role in pain signaling. Watch the video below to watch the newly identified mechanism of action of Nerve Growth Factor in OA pain.

NGF in Osteoarthritis Pain
Duncan Lascelles, BSc, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, CertVA, CertSAS, discusses the clinical implications of NGF for osteoarthritis pain.

NGF in Central Sensitization
Duncan Lascelles, BSc, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, CertVA, CertSAS, discusses the clinical implications of NGF for central sensitization.

The Experience of Osteoarthritis Pain
If you can get to the understanding that chronic pain takes on a life of its own regardless of the initiator, then they can understand that you have to manage it. Dr. Steve Budsberg, DVM, MS, DACVS

A panel of experts convened to discuss the latest science describing the progression, clinical implications, and treatment options for chronic osteoarthritis pain in cats and dogs. These proceedings capture their thoughts and insights about what we know and how they communicate this knowledge to pet owners. Also included is a Chronic Pain Pet Owner Teaching Tool.


Pain Progression Pet Owner Teaching Tool

Hear panel members’ reflections after their meeting.

How would you describe the pain experience?

What is the central sensitization?

How What makes osteoarthritis pain complex?

How do you explain the complexity of the clinical pain response?

References: 1. Chang DS, et al, Anti-nerve growth factor in pain management: current evidence. J Pain Res. 2016;9:373‐383 (AR-10511). 2. Enomoto, M., Mantyh, PW., Murrell, J., Innes, JF., Lascelles, BDX. (2019) Anti-nerve growth factor monoclonal antibodies for the control of pain in dogs and cats. Veterinary Record 184, 23 (AR-08011).



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Other Resources

Anti-NGF monoclonal antibodies as a prospective new therapy for feline and canine osteoarthritis

Read a paper published in Veterinary Record (January 5, 2019) that reviews the science behind NGF and the potential veterinary treatments based on this novel pathway by Masataka Enomoto, DVM.

Explore the science behind anti-NGF monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)

Download feline and canine OA checklists for your practice

Take action to help cats with OA Pain



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