Mark Farnworth

Doctor of Philosophy, (Veterinary science)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Pain assessment and alleviation in the domestic cat (Felis catus)

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Domestic cat population management using gonadectomy (castration and spaying procedures) is important for New Zealand, as the cat population may place substantial predation pressure on other species. Thus, tools that measure and alleviate pain in cats need to be refined. Mr Farnworth found that New Zealand and Australian practitioners are more likely to provide post-operative pain relief to cats following gonadectomy. However, contemporary use of pain relief for cats undergoing surgery has substantially increased in all countries surveyed. Mr Farnworth used a thermal carbon dioxide laser (a novel tool in this species) to determine response thresholds. He found that at low levels of thermal stimulation the cats’ responses were repeatable and of minimal impact in terms of cat welfare. This provides a novel route by which pain assessment and management in cats can be further explored.

Supervisors
Professor Kevin Stafford
Professor Natalie Waran
Associate Professor Ngaio Beausoleil

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