Despite recent advances, chronic pain is one of the most poorly understood, under diagnosed, and under treated medical problems facing veterinary medicine today. One of the most frustrating parts of chronic pain therapeutic development in veterinary medicine is the lack of validated methods to measure chronic pain in different species and diseases.

In parallel, translational success has come under the spotlight. Numerous reviews have highlighted a lack of translation of basic research into new approved therapeutics for treatment of persistent pain in humans. The use of spontaneous painful disease in companion animals has been highlighted as one of the changes that could be made to help improve translation of basic science to new therapeutics, acting as a bridge between preclinical and clinical studies, with the goal of reducing the failure rates of human clinical trials, thus accelerating the approval of new therapeutics. Aspects that will undermine the utility of the ‘spontaneous disease pain’ model are the lack of valid outcome measures and the lack of knowledge of opportunities.

The proposed meeting will involve National Institutes of Health pain researchers, Industry, Food and Drug Administration and Academic researchers. We propose to bring the strengths of all these partners together to discuss the current state of pain measurement in animals, and to formulate a roadmap of research and development priorities for the future. The primary goals of the meeting will be:

  1. Discussing the current status (recent advances and current roadblocks) of long-standing (chronic) pain measurement in companion animals from the perspective of veterinary therapeutic development and also translational research
  2. Defining a consensus list of priorities for future research (roadmap).

From this meeting, a white paper will be produced that will outline a consensus list of priorities for future research. Secondary goals will be to outline collaborative mechanisms for achieving the prioritized research and development of tools.