Pain rating scales and their importance

Vet Tech content is sponsored by Elanco for the month of October.

In this dvm360® interview at the Fetch Coastal Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Karen Roach, RVT, VTS (ECC), discusses various pain rating scales for dogs and cats that are validated. She then explains how using these tools can help improve patient outcomes.

The following is a transcript of the video.

Karen Roach, RVT, VTS (ECC): There are several (pain rating scales) to choose from. And the ones I like to see used are the ones that are actually validated. So like the Glasgow Composite Pain Scale because it has one for cats and dogs, the Feline Grimace Scale is also validated and that one is very, very useful because cats are different and can be a little harder to read. So this grimace scale is actually really, really awesome.

There is another one specifically for cats, called the UNESP-Botucatu Multidimensional Pain Scale. Say that 3 times quickly. This and the Glasgow composite also incorporate the Grimace scale. So this one is really good. And that’s just for acute pain. There are also chronic pain scales, but we don’t need to cover them all.

(Pain rating scales are important) because the more we can assess and recognize pain, then actually treat it. The first step toward truly treating pain is recognizing and assessing it. So having a real rating system that everyone in the hospital can use, it’s just going to lead to better patient care everywhere.


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