In Short - March 1, 2022

FDA approves drugs for pain in cats from osteoarthritis, surgery

A novel treatment approved in January uses monoclonal antibodies to target nerve growth factor for pain control in cats with osteoarthritis. Also approved in January, a long-acting opioid drug could reduce the need for cat owners to administer pain medication to their pets at home following surgery.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Jan. 13 that the agency had approved frunevetmab injection, sold under the trade name Solensia, the first treatment for pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats and the first monoclonal antibody approved by the FDA for use in animals other than humans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved other monoclonal antibodies for use in animals.

An orange tabby cat on a couch

Frunevetmab is designed to recognize and attach to nerve growth factor, which is involved in the regulation of pain. By binding to nerve growth factor, frunevetmab prevents the pain signal from reaching the brain. Solensia is administered through subcutaneous injection once a month.

The FDA announced Jan. 20 that it had approved a topical buprenorphine solution, sold under the trade name Zorbium, for use in controlling post-surgical pain. The drug provides pain relief for four days after a single application to the skin at the base of a cat’s neck.

In July 2014, the FDA approved another buprenorphine drug, Simbadol, also for control of postoperative pain in cats. That drug is administered daily by subcutaneous injection for up to three days, starting with a dose one hour prior to surgery. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Onsior, is also available in tablet and injectable forms for managing feline postoperative pain.

Maddie’s pet challenge awarded $7.4M grant

The Maddie’s Million Pet Challenge, launched Jan. 25, has been awarded a five-year, $7.4 million grant from Maddie’s Fund, a foundation established to improve the status and well-being of companion animals.

The challenge is a collaboration among the University of California-Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida, Open Door Veterinary Collective, and Team Shelter USA.

Veterinary and animal welfare experts from these groups will deploy to communities nationwide to offer free consultations to shelters and veterinary clinics on how to keep pets with their families and out of shelters, as well as teaching veterinary clinics a financially sustainable model that removes cost as a barrier to providing pets with needed veterinary care.

“Our goal is for every animal in every community to be assured what we call the Four Rights,” said Dr. Kate Hurley, director of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program, in a statement. “That means providing every animal with the Right Care in the Right Place, at the Right Time, and with the Right Outcome.”

“This is the new normal communities deserve, and we want to help them get and stay there,” Dr. Hurley said.

Auxiliary celebrates National Pet Week 2022

The Auxiliary to the AVMA will be celebrating National Pet Week 2022, May 1-7, with the theme “Love is a 4-Legged Word.”

The AVMA and the AVMA Auxiliary, an association founded in 1917 and primarily made up of spouses of AVMA members, created National Pet Week in 1981 to foster responsible pet ownership, recognize the human-animal bond, and increase public awareness of veterinary medicine.

The Auxiliary is selling a poster to promote National Pet Week 2022. The order form is at the Auxiliary website.

Details about the Auxiliary’s poster and writing contests for National Pet Week 2023 are available on the same webpage. The theme will be “People, Pets & Vets a Perfect Team.” June 15 is the postmark deadline. The contests are open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Please send comments and story ideas to AVMANewsatavma [dot] org (AVMANews[at]avma[dot]org).

A version of this article appears in the March 1, 2022, print issue of JAVMA.