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Research Lab – Department of Clinical Sciences 

Comparative Pain Research

Contact us:    919.513.6854   | or    919.513.6680

The comparative pain research team’s mission is to improve the ability to manage pain in non-human species by:

  • Measurement of acute and chronic pain
  • Study of the neurobiological signature of pain in chronic disease
  • Evaluation of novel therapeutics for pain relief
  • Collaborative work to build on translational models of chronic pain

Striped with white a cat. Striped small cat.

The laboratory is part of integrated pain management programs at NC State Veterinary Medicine.

Ongoing Research

  • Chronic musculoskeletal pain in cats
    Our laboratory continues to work on understanding the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in cats, the radiographical features, and the etiology of the disease. We are developing valid subjective assessment tools for the assessment of chronic musculoskeletal pain in cats. We also have studies developing objective, non-invasive means of measuring mobility impairment in cats with chronic musculoskeletal pain. We use these tools to evaluate drug and non-drug treatments for musculoskeletal pain in cats. Other collaborative genomic and proteomic work involves elucidating the neurobiology of chronic pain in cats.
  • Canine osteoarthritis: a model of human osteoarthritis pain
    Canine osteoarthritis is very similar to human osteoarthritis in many respects. We study naturally occurring canine osteoarthritis as a model of the human condition, and also so that our work is directly and immediately relevant to canine clinical pain. We are evaluating aspects of the neurobiology of pain in naturally occurring canine osteoarthritis, as a way of understanding how to better target treatments. Our laboratory uses a variety of validated subjective and objective outcome measures to assess putative analgesic drugs that may be developed for use. We also use these outcome measures to assess and refine current treatments for canine osteoarthritis pain.
  • Gastrointestinal tract defense, the role of cyclooxygenase and the effects of combination analgesic regimens on this
    We are interested in learning more about the effects of analgesics on gut mucosal health in dogs. These laboratory studies help answer some fundamental and important clinical questions that will help develop safer regimens for analgesic use in dogs. These studies will also help elucidate some of the mechanisms underlying the gastrointestinal adverse effects of drugs and drug combinations in humans. Collaboration with the Gastrointestinal Physiology Lab at NCSU
  • Early response of cartilage to trauma
    The end result of trauma to joints is osteoarthritis, and this is associated with pain. Understanding the early changes in cartilage in response to trauma may help us prevent or limit cartilage degradation, which leads to progressive joint disease. Collaborative work with the Poultry Genomic Laboratory and Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at NCSU uses an ex vivo model of cartilage trauma to understand the early genetic changes involved.
  • Evaluation of activity in dogs with osteoarthritis

Clinical Metrology Instruments

One goal of the Comparative Pain Research Laboratory is to produce valid clinical metrology instruments for the assessment of pain, physical function and quality of life.  These tools are targeted at measuring one or more of the impacts of pain:

  • Pain (adverse sensory and emotional experience)
  • Mobility (the quality of moving freely)
  • Activity (the ability to perform specific activities)
  • Affective Effects (mood, feelings)


Peer-reviewed Research Publications

  • (2015) Criterion Validation Testing of Clinical Metrology Instruments for Measuring Degenerative Joint Disease Associated Mobility Impairment in Cats.Margaret E. Gruen, Emily H. Griffith, Andrea E. Thomson, Wendy Simpson, B. Duncan X. Lascelles | PLOS ONE 10 Jul 2015;10.1371/journal.pone.0131839
  • (2014) Detection of clinically relevant pain relief in cats with degenerative joint disease associated pain.Gruen ME, Griffith E, Thomson A, Simpson W, Lascelles BD. | J Vet Intern Med. 2014 Mar-Apr;28(2):346-50. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12312. Epub 2014 Feb 10. PubMed PMID: 24512390; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4064787.
  • (2013) Attitude of Brazilian veterinarians to the recognition and treatment of pain in horses and cattleLorena SERS, Luna SPL, Lascelles BDX, Corrente JE. | Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia 2013 Mar 6. doi: 10.1111/vaa.12025. [Epub ahead of print]
  • (2013) Assessment of Cord Dorsum Potentials From Caudal Nerves in Clinically Normal Adult Dogs. Campbell J, Olby NJ, Hash J, Lascelles BDX. | American Journal of Veterinary Research 2013 Apr;74(4):616-20. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.74.4.616.
  • (2013) Variability of performance of wound infusion catheters. Hansen B, Lascelles BDX, Thomson A, DePuy V. | Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, 2013 Feb 13. doi: 10.1111/vaa.12016. [Epub ahead of print].PMID:23406507.
  • (2013) Relationship between mechanical thresholds and limb use in dogs with coxofemoral joint OA-associated pain and the modulating effects of pain alleviation from total hip replacement on mechanical thresholdsTomas A, Marcellin-Little DJ, Roe SC, Motsinger-Reif A, Lascelles BDX | In Press, Veterinary Surgery
  • (2013) Ex vivo effect of gold nanoparticles on porcine synovial membrane.Labens R, Lascelles BD, Charlton AN, Ferrero NR, Van Wettere AJ, Xia XR, Blikslager AT. | Tissue Barriers April/May/June 2013. eLocation ID: e24314
  • (2013) Feline Musculoskeletal Pain Index (FMPI): Responsiveness and Criterion Validity TestingBenito J, Hansen B, DePuy V, Davidson G, Thomson A, Simpson W, Roe S, Hardie E, Lascelles BDX | Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2013 Apr 3. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12077. [Epub ahead of print]
  • (2013) Evaluation of construct and criterion validity for the ‘Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs’ (LOAD) clinical metrology instrument and comparison to two other instrumentsWalton MJ, Cowderoy E, Lascelles BDX, Innes JF. | PLoS One 07 Mar 2013. PLOS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0058125
  • (2013) Evaluation of the Clinical Use of Tepoxalin and Meloxicam in CatsCharlton AN, Benito J, Simpson W, Freire M, Lascelles BDX | J Feline Med Surg 2013 Jan 24. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23349526
  • (2012) Evaluation of the association of activity, lameness, and joint motion in Labrador Retrievers with hip dysplasia.Greene LM; Marcellin-Little DJ, Lascelles BDX. | Accepted for publication, American Journal of Veterinary Research
  • (2012) Reliability and discriminatory testing of a client-based metrology instrument, Feline Musculoskeletal Pain Index - FMPI, for the evaluation of degenerative joint disease associated pain in catsBenito J, Hardie E, Zamprogno H, Thomson A, Simpson W, Roe S, Hansen B, Lascelles BDX | The Veterinary Journal Jan 28. doi:pii: S1090-0233(12)00542-4. 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.12.015. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23369382
  • (2012) Feline Degenerative Joint Disease: a Genomic and Proteomic ApproachGao X, Lee J, Malladi S, Melendez L, Lascelles BDX, Al-Murrani S | Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Jan 7. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23295270
  • (2012) Owner-assessed indices of quality of life in cats and the relationship to the presence of degenerative joint diseaseBenito J, Gruen ME, Thomson A, Simpson W, Lascelles BDX | Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2012 14(12):863-70. doi: 10.1177/1098612X12453904. Epub 2012 Oct 1. PMID: 23027832
  • (2012) Evaluation of cyclooxygenase protein expression in inflamed versus normal tissues from eastern box turtles (terrapene carolina carolina)Royal LW, Lascelles BDX, Lewbart GA, Correa MT, Jones SL | J Zoo Wildl Med 2012 Jun;43(2):289-95. PMID: 22779232
  • (2012) Functional outcomes in a hip arthritis modelLittle D, Johnson S, Hash J, Olson SA, Lascelles BDX, Guilack F | Oral communication, ACVS Scientific Symposium Washington, 1-3 November 2012 (Accepted? not presented due to Hurricane Sandy and ACVS being cancelled)
  • (2012) Comparison of bodyweight distribution, peak vertical force and vertical impulse as measures of hip joint pain and efficacy of total hip replacement.Siebert R, Marcellin-Little D, Roe SC, DePuy V, Lascelles BDX. | Veterinary Surgery 2012 May; 41(4):443-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2012.00957.x. Epub 2012 Apr 30 PMID: 22548436
  • (2012) Comparison of the effect of intratesticular lidocaine/bupivacaine  vs. saline placebo on pain scores and incision site reactions in dogs undergoing routine castration.Stevens BJ, Posner LP,  Jones CA, Lascelles BDX. |  The Veterinary Journal, Feb 1. doi:pii: S1090-0233(12)00523-0. 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.11.019. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23375345
  • (2012) Relationship of orthopedic examination, goniometric measurements, and radiographic signs of degenerative joint disease in cats.Lascelles BDX, Dong G, Marcellin-Little DJ, Thomson A, Wheeler S, Correa M. | BMC Vet Res. 2012 Jan 27;8(1):10
  • (2011) Dose Reduction of Meloxicam in Dogs with Osteoarthritis-Associated Pain and Impaired Mobility.Wernham BGJ, Trumpatori B, Hash J, Lipsett J, Davidson G, Wackerow P, Thomson A, Lascelles BDX. |  Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2011 Nov;25(6):1298-305.
  • (2011) Evaluation of intermittent infusion of bupivacaine into surgical wounds of dogs postoperatively. Hardie EM, Lascelles BDX, Meuten T, Davidson GS, Papich MG, Hansen BD. | Veterinary Journal 2011 Nov;190(2):287-9
  • (2011) Elbow Denervation in Dogs: Development of a surgical procedure and pilot testing in vivoZamprogno H, Hash J, Hulse D, Lascelles BDX | Veterinary Journal 2011 190(2) 220-224. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Ketamine and Remifentanil Interactions on the Sevoflurane Minimum Alveolar Concentration and Acute Opioid Tolerance in the Rat.Aguado D, Abreu MB, Benito J, García-Fernández J, Gómez de Segura IA. | Anesth Analg. 2011 Jul 21.
  • (2011) Radiographic evaluation of feline appendicular degenerative joint disease versus macroscopic appearance of articular cartilage.Freire M, Robertson I, Bondell HD, Brown J, Hash J, Pease AP, Lascelles BDX. | Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound 2011 52(3):239-47
  • (2010) Item generation and design testing of a questionnaire to assess degenerative joint disease-associated pain in cats. Zamprogno H, Hansen BD, Bondell HD, Thomson Sumrell A, Simpson W, Robertson I, Brown J, Pease A, Roe SC, Hardie E, Lascelles BDX. | American Journal of Veterinary Research 2010 Dec;71(12):1417-24.
  • Remifentanil and Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors Interactions in the Minimum Alveolar Concentration of Sevoflurane in the Rat. Benito J, Aguado D, Abreu MB, García-Fernández J, Gómez de Segura IA. | Br J Anaesth.  2010 Dec;105(6):810-7. Epub 2010 Sep 22.
  • (2010) Evaluation of a mid-humeral block of the radial, ulnar, musculocutaneous and median nerves for analgesia of the distal forelimb in the dog.Trumpatori B, Carter JE, Hash J, Davidson GS, Mathews KG, Roe SC, Lascelles BDX. | Veterinary Surgery 2010;39: 785–796 [July 29, Epub ahead of print]
  • Reduction of the minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane in dogs using a constant rate of infusion of lidocaine-ketamine in combination with either morphine or fentanylAguado D, Benito J, Gómez de Segura IA. | Vet J. 2011 Jul;189(1):63-6. Epub 2010 Jul 1
  • (2010) Cross-sectional study evaluating the prevalence of radiographic degenerative joint disease in domesticated catsLascelles BDX, Thomson Sumrell A, Henry III JB, Brown J, Simpson W, Wheeler S, Hansen BD, Robertson I, Zamprogno H, Freire M, Pease A. | Veterinary Surgery 2010;39: 535-44
  • (2010) Evaluation of the Relationship between Gastrointestinal Injury and Cyclooxygenase (COX) Expression in Clinically Normal DogsWooten J, Lascelles BDX, Cook V, Law M, Blikslager AT. | American Journal of Veterinary Research 2010;71(6):630-635
  • (2010) Meniscal mineralization in domestic catsFreire M, Brown J, Robertson I, Pease A, Hash J, Hunter S, Thomson Sumrell A, Simpson W, Lascelles BDX. | Veterinary Surgery 2010;39(5):545-552
  • (2010) Pain relieving and activity-enhancing properties of a putative therapeutic diet for feline degenerative joint disease associated painLascelles BDX, DePuy V, Thomson Sumrell A, Hansen B, Marcellin-Little D, Bauer JE. | Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2010; 24(3):487-95
  • (2010) Evaluation of functional outcome following BFX total hip replacement system using a pressure sensitive walkwayLascelles BDX, Friere M, DePuy V, Roe S, Smith E, Marcellin-Little D | Veterinary Surgery 2010;39:71-77
  • (2010) Sex, body weight and body condition affect serum fructosamine concentrations in non-diabetic catsGilor C, Graves TK, Lascelles BDX, Thomson AE, Simpson W, Halpern DS | Vet Clin Pathol. 2010 Apr 14. [Epub ahead of print]
  • (2009) Expression and activity of COX-1 and 2 and 5-LOX in joint tissues from dogs with naturally occurring coxofemoral joint osteoarthritisLascelles BDX, King S, Roe S, Marcellin-Little DJ, Jones S | Journal of Orthopedic Research 2009;27:1204-1208
  • (2009) Effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with varying cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 selectivity on COX protein and prostanoid concentrations in canine pyloric and duodenal mucosaWooten J, Blikslager AT, Marks S, Law M, Graeber E, Lascelles BDX | American Journal of Veterinary Research 2009;70:1243-1249
  • (2009) Antinociceptive and side-effects of hydromorphone after subcutaneous administration in catsRobertson SA, Wegner K, Lascelles BDX. | Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2009;11:76-81 [Jul 31, Epub ahead of print]
  • (2008) Evaluation of a digitally integrated accelerometer-based activity monitor for the measurement of activityLascelles BDX, Hansen BD, Thomson A, Pierce CC, Rowinski E, Smith ES | Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia (2008) 35(2):173-183. Epub 2007 Oct 10
  • (2008) Efficacy of tolfenamic acid and meloxicam in the control of postoperative pain following ovariohysterectomy in the catBenito-de-la-Víbora J, Lascelles BDX, García-Fernández P, Friere M, Gómez de Segura IA. | Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 2008;35:501-510
  • (2008) Evaluation of distal leg wraps for the prevention of bacterial strike-through in an ex vivo canine modelVince KJ, Lascelles BDX, Mathews KG, Altier C, Roe SC | Veterinary Surgery 2008;37:406-411
  • (2008) Cyclooxygenase expression and prostanoid production in pyloric and duodenal mucosae in dogs after administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugsWooten JG, Blikslager AT, Ryan KA, Marks SL, Law M, Lascelles BDX | American Journal of Veterinary Research 2008;69(4):457-464
  • (2008) Evaluation of amantadine as part of a multimodal analgesic regimen for the alleviation of refractory osteoarthritis painLascelles BDX, Gaynor J, Smith ES, Roe SC, Marcellin-Little DJ, Davidson G, Carr J | Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2008;22(1):53-59
  • (2007) Validity of Goniometric Measurements in CatsJaeger GH, Marcellin-Little DJ, DePuy V, Lascelles BDX. | American Journal of Veterinary Research (2007) 68:822-826.
  • (2007) Evaluation of an accelerometer for at-home monitoring of spontaneous activity in dogsHansen B, Lascelles BDX, Keene BW, Adams A, Thomson A | American Journal of Veterinary Research (2007) 68(5):468-475
  • (2007) Evaluation of client specific outcome measures and activity monitoring to measure pain relief in cats with osteoarthritisB. Duncan X. Lascelles, Bernie D. Hansen, Simon Roe, Venita DePuy, Andrea Thomson, Courtney C. Pierce, Eric S. Smith, Elizabeth Rowinski | Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2007) 21(3):410-416
  • (2007) Kinetic evaluation in normal cats using a pressure sensing walkwayLascelles BDX, Findley K, Correa M, Roe S | Veterinary Record (2007) 160(15):512-516
  • (2007) Development of the short-form Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale (CMPS-SF) and derivation of an analgesic intervention scoreReid J, Nolan AM, Hughes JML, Lascelles BDX, Pawson P, Scott EM | Animal Welfare 2007 16(S): 97-104
  • (2006) Comparison of measurements obtained by use of an electrogoniometer and a universal plastic goniometer for the assessment of joint motion in dogsThomas TM, Marcellin-Little DJ, Roe SC, Lascelles BDX, Brosey BP | American Journal of Veterinary Research (2006) 67(12):1974-9
  • (2006) Evaluation of a pressure walkway system for measurement of vertical limb forces in clinically normal dogsLascelles BDX, Roe SC, Smith E, Reynolds BS, Markham J, Bergh MS, Marcellin D, Budsberg SC | American Journal of Veterinary Research (2006) 67(2):277-82
  • (2006) Financial and welfare implications of immediate euthanasia of casualty nursery pigsMorrow WE, Meyer RE, Roberts J and Lascelles BDX | Journal of Swine Health Production (2006) 14(1):25-34
  • (2005) Pharmacokinetics of morphine and plasma concentrations of morphine-6-glucuronide following morphine administration to dogsKuKanich B, Lascelles BD, & Papich MG. | Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics Aug;28(4):371-376, 2005.
  • (2005) Improved Survival Associated with Postoperative Wound Infection in Dogs Treated with Limb-salvage Surgery for OsteosarcomaLascelles BDX, Dernell W, Correa MT, Lafferty M, Devitt C, Kuntz C, Straw R and Withrow S | Annals of Surgical Oncology (2005) 12:1-11
  • (2005) Use of a von Frey device for evaluation of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of morphine after intravenous administration as an infusion or multiple doses in dogsKuKanich B, Lascelles BDX, Aman A, Mealey AL and Papich MG | American Journal of Veterinary Research (2005) 66:1968-1974
  • (2005) PK-PD modeling of buprenorphine in cats: intravenous and oral transmucosal administrationRobertson SA, Lascelles BDX, Taylor PM and Sear JW | Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2005) 28:453-460
  • (2005) Evaluation of 29 cases of duodenal perforation in dogs receiving a selective COX-2 inhibitorLascelles BDX, Blikslager A, Fox S and Reece D | Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association (2005) 227:1112-1117
  • (2005) Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Morphine in Dogs following Intravenous Infusion and Multiple Intravenous DosesKukanich B, Lascelles BDX, Papich M | American Journal of Veterinary Research (2005) 28:371-376
  • (2005) Evaluation of a von Frey Device for Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Morphine in DogsKuKanich B, Lascelles BDX and Papich MG | American Journal of Veterinary Research (2005) 66: 1616-1622
  • (2005) Hinged Transarticular External Fixation for Joint Stabilization in DogsJaeger GH, Wosar MA, Marcellin-Little DJ and Lascelles BDX | Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2005) 227:586-91
  • (2005) Current attitudes to, and use of, perioperative analgesia in dogs and cats by New Zealand veterinariansWilliams VM, Lascelles BDX and Robson MC | New Zealand Veterinary Journal (2005) 53(3), 193-202
  • (2005) Validation of a high pressure liquid chromatography and florescence polarization immunoassay for the determination of methadone in canine plasmaKukanich B, Lascelles BDX and Papich M | Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (2005) 27: 389-392
  • Radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease in 100 geriatric cats (1994-1997)Hardie EM, Roe SC, Martin FR | JAVMA 2002; 220:628-632
  • (2000) A comparison of intravenous and transdermal fentanyl pharmacokinetics in cats.Lee DD, Papich MG, Hardie EM | American Journal of Veterinary Research 2000:61, 672-677
  • (1998) Comparison of transdermal fentanyl and intramuscular oxymorphone on post-operative behaviour after ovariohysterectomy in dogs.Kyles, A. E., Hardie, E.M., Hansen, B.D., and Papich, M.G. | Research in Veterinary Science 1998; 65:245–251.
  • Behavior after ovariohysterectomy in the dog: what's normal?Hardie EM, Hansen BD, Carroll GS | Applied Animal Behavioral Science 1997; 51:111–128
  • Physiology after ovariohysterectomy in the dog: what's normal?Hansen B, Hardie EM, Carroll GS | Applied Animal Behavioral Science 1997; 51:101–109

The important work that has been performed in this laboratory has been made possible by generous donations and research grants awarded. These donations and grants allow us to continue our work improve veterinarians’ ability to alleviate pain in animals, and to use this knowledge in human translational research to assist in the alleviation of pain in humans.

You can support the work of the Comparative Pain Research Laboratory with a tax-deductible donation (please indicate the name of the lab in your gift).

Support Our Research 

We are very grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their financial support:

  • American College of Veterinary Surgeons Foundation for the evaluation of a novel method to repair feline pelvic fractures
  • Boehringher Ingelheim (competitive grant) to study pain relief in refractory canine osteoarthritis.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim to study safer dosing regimens for NSAIDs in dogs.
  • Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research to understand the role of monocytes in canine and human osteosarcoma
  • Elanco
  • Jane T. Gaede
  • Mike and Leigh Ann Gallucci 
  • Morris Animal Foundation (competitive grant) to study the clinical measurement of post-operative pain.
  • Morris Animal Foundation to develop a valid chronic pain assessment systems in cats.
  • NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine (Firestone Grant) to develop effective nerve blocks for use in dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery.
  • NextVet
  • Novartis Animal Health to understand feline degenerative joint disease and its aetiology
  • Nutramax to evaluate the efficacy of a nutritional supplement for feline degenerative joint disease pain
  • Mary Jo Pringle
  • Pfizer Animal Health (unrestricted gift) to advance companion animal pain relief by research.
  • Royal Canin to evaluate the efficacy of a formulated diet for feline degenerative joint disease pain
  • Savannah and Barry French Poodle Memorial Fund
  • Schering-Plough (competitive grant) to study canine osteoarthritis neurobiology.
  • Schering-Plough (unrestricted gift) to advance understanding drug safety in companion animal pain relief.