Pain assessment tools have changed veterinary and pharmaceutical practice 

Image of pet animals - a cat and a dog

The assessment of pain and quality of life for companion animals is highly subjective, and there has been a long-recognised need for psychometrically valid and robust statistically designed tools. From the early 2000s, Professors Andrea Nolan and Jacky Reid (School of Veterinary Medicine) worked in an interdisciplinary research programme (supported by Pfizer and the BBSRC) with Professor Marian Scott (School of Mathematics & Statistics) producing world-leading studies and statistically-validated tools that allow veterinarians to assess and manage acute and chronic pain in dogs and cats — essential to the formulation of pain management strategies to improve animal welfare. Animal healthcare companies use the tools to support regulatory approvals for new products and markets. The tools have changed veterinary practice, supporting veterinarians and pet owners in their decision-making. The Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale is recommended in World Small Animal Veterinary Association pain guidelines and is considered the gold standard for clinical assessment of acute pain in dogs. Newmetrica Ltd was formed in November 2013 to commercialise the UofG tools.