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Menchetti, Marika; Della Rocca, Giorgia; Tartari, Ilaria; Gandini, Gualtiero; Di Salvo, Alessandra and Rosati, Marco (2022): Approaching phantom complex after limb amputation in cats. In: Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Vol. 50: pp. 23-29

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The aims of this study were to describe the presence, clinical manifestations, risk factors, quality of life and measurement of mechanical nociceptive threshold of phantom limb complex in a feline population that underwent amputation of a limb. A questionnaire was developed containing 3 sections with a total of 71 closed-end questions. Clinical cases were retrospectively reviewed. The evaluation of mechanical nociceptive threshold was conducted applying an algometer at the level of the stump of the amputated limb and exerting a gradually increasing pressure. Descriptive statistics and frequency distribution analyses were performed on the collected data. Chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test were used for assessment of the associations between categorical variables. A total of 27 amputee cats were included in the study. All owners answered the questionnaire, and the mechanical nociceptive threshold assessment was conducted in 44% (N = 12/27) patients. The most frequent reason for amputation was related to trauma. The presence of pain after limb amputation has been commonly described by owners. The time between diagnosis and amputation was found to be significantly associated with the presence of pain after amputation. The majority of owners described different manifestations of pain or discomfort both before and after amputation, with environmental and physical stress described as related to the onset of pain in some cases. Furthermore, a significant reduction of the nociceptive threshold in the amputated region was noted. This pilot study introduces previously unreported signs that may be interpreted as expressions of pain in amputee cats. (C) 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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