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Evaluation of single-dose effects of gabapentin in mg/kg, associated with cat-friendly handling, over stress, and sedation during pre-anesthetic assessment in cats

Grant number: 21/05640-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): April 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Clinics and Surgery
Principal researcher:Aline Magalhães Ambrósio
Grantee:Leonardo Vendramini D'Angelo
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Cats and their popularity are markedly increasing around the world, altogether with the advances of feline medicine. Although responsible ownership is growing exponentially, several guardians are reluctant in bringing their cat to the veterinary workspace because of the stress to their pet, related to both the transport and the clinical exam, where many may express turbulent behaviors towards the veterinary doctor and staff. Notwithstanding the difficulties, there is an ever-increasing demand for blood transfusions, laboratory and imaging exams, along emergencies and the need for pre-anesthetic evaluations. Given this background, we aim to prospect ways to ameliorate feline stress, safely and effectively, to make proceedings related to their health and well-being feasible, avoiding misinterpretation of clinical parameters during pre-anesthetic evaluations, as well as employing high doses of sedatives and anesthetics. For this purpose, we will be utilizing gabapentin, with the dosage of 30mg/kg, aiming at lowering the stress during the pre-anesthetic evaluation of cats, who will be submitted to orchiectomy and hysterectomy. Due to the shortage of data regarding single-dose gabapentin in mg/kg in cats, we will perform a pilot study with 8 felines, to determine the sample size. The animals will be randomly divided into 2 groups. The gabapentin group will receive 30mg/kg of gabapentin PO, which will be administered by the owner, in his own house, 2 hours before the cat is introduced into the carrier and taken to the veterinary hospital. The placebo group will receive water PO, according to what was established in the gabapentin group. The effects over stress will be evaluated according to the Feline Stress Score (KESSLER; TURNER, 1997), and the sedation effects of gabapentin will be evaluated using a modified Global Sedation Score (HOPFENSPERGER et al., 2013). Vital clinical parameters, side effects, as well as blood drawn ease, will be assessed. For the statistical analysis regarding the stress and sedation scores, on the group comparison, the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test will be applied, followed by Dunn's post hoc test. When it comes to the physiological variables, the two-way ANOVA test will be employed, followed by Sidak's post hoc test (between groups). The chosen significance level is p<0,05.(AU)

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