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Preliminary Validation and Reliability Testing of the Montreal Instrument for Cat Arthritis Testing, for Use by Veterinarians, in a Colony of Laboratory Cats

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Québec Animal Pharmacology Research Group (GREPAQ), Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, 1500 des vétérinaires, Saint Hyacinthe, QC J2S 7C6, Canada
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Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, 1500 des vétérinaires, Saint Hyacinthe, QC J2S 7C6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lee Niel
Animals 2015, 5(4), 1252-1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani5040410
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
Feline osteoarthritis (OA) is challenging to diagnose. A pain scale was developed for use by veterinarians, in association with their physical examination, and tested for reliability and validity. The scale items were: Interaction with the examiner, Exploration of the room, Body Posture, Gait, Body Condition, condition of Coat and Claws, and abnormal Findings or Cat Reaction upon joint Palpation. Expert review supported the scale content. Two studies using laboratory-housed cats found the most promising results for Gait and Body Posture, in terms of distinguishing between OA and non-OA cats, repeatability of results, and correlations with objectively measured kinetics (weight-bearing).
Subtle signs and conflicting physical and radiographic findings make feline osteoarthritis (OA) challenging to diagnose. A physical examination-based assessment was developed, consisting of eight items: Interaction, Exploration, Posture, Gait, Body Condition, Coat and Claws, (joint) Palpation–Findings, and Palpation–Cat Reaction. Content (experts) and face (veterinary students) validity were excellent. Construct validity, internal consistency, and intra- and inter-rater reliability were assessed via a pilot and main study, using laboratory-housed cats with and without OA. Gait distinguished OA status in the pilot ( p = 0.05) study. In the main study, no scale item achieved statistically significant OA detection. Forelimb peak vertical ground reaction force (PVF) correlated inversely with Gait (Rho s = −0.38 ( p = 0.03) to −0.41 ( p = 0.02)). Body Posture correlated with Gait, and inversely with forelimb PVF at two of three time points (Rho s = −0.38 ( p = 0.03) to −0.43 ( p = 0.01)). Palpation (Findings, Cat Reaction) did not distinguish OA from non-OA cats. Palpation—Cat Reaction (Forelimbs) correlated inversely with forelimb PVF at two time points (Rho s = −0.41 ( p = 0.02) to −0.41 ( p = 0.01)), but scores were highly variable, and poorly reliable. Gait and Posture require improved sensitivity, and Palpation should be interpreted cautiously, in diagnosing feline OA. View Full-Text
Keywords: metrology; degenerative joint disease; psychometric; pain measurement; behavior; osteoarthritis metrology; degenerative joint disease; psychometric; pain measurement; behavior; osteoarthritis
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Klinck, M.P.; Rialland, P.; Guillot, M.; Moreau, M.; Frank, D.; Troncy, E. Preliminary Validation and Reliability Testing of the Montreal Instrument for Cat Arthritis Testing, for Use by Veterinarians, in a Colony of Laboratory Cats. Animals 2015, 5, 1252-1267.

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