The main objective of this study was to compare the postoperative analgesic effects of grapiprant with those of robenacoxib in cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy (OVH). In total, 37 female cats (age range 4 months-10 years, weighing ⩾2.5 kg) were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, masked, non-inferiority (NI) clinical trial. Cats received oral robenacoxib (1 mg/kg) or grapiprant (2 mg/kg) 2 h before OVH. Analgesia was assessed via the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS), the Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale-Feline (CMPS-F), von Frey monofilaments (vFFs) and pressure algometry (ALG) 2 h before treatment administration, at extubation, and 2, 4, 6, 8, 18 and 24 hours after extubation. Hydromorphone (<8 h postoperatively) or buprenorphine (>18 h postoperatively) were administered to cats with scores of ⩾5/20 on CMPS-F and/or ⩾4/10 on FGS. NI margins for CMPS-F and vFFs were set at 3 and -0.2, respectively. A mixed-effect ANOVA was used for FGS scores (P <0.05). Data are reported as mean ± SEM. The data from 33 cats were analyzed. The upper limit of the 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.35) was less than the NI margin of 3 for CMPS-F, and the lower limit of the 95% CI (0.055) was greater than the NI margin of -0.2 for vFFs, indicating NI of grapiprant. The FGS scores were greater than baseline at extubation for both treatments (1.65 ± 0.63; P = 0.001); however, there was no difference between treatments. There was no difference between treatments, nor treatment by time interaction, for vFFs (P <0.001). The CMPS-F scores for both treatments were higher at extubation but returned to baseline after 4 h (P <0.001). For ALG, there was no difference in treatment or treatment by time interaction. The robenacoxib group had lower pressure readings at extubation and 6 h compared with baseline. These results indicate that grapiprant was non-inferior to robenacoxib for mitigating postsurgical pain in cats after OVH performed via ventral celiotomy. The impact of grapiprant for analgesia in OVH via the flank is unknown.

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