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      Preliminary evaluation of a behaviour-based system for assessment of post-operative pain in horses following arthroscopic surgery.

      Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia

      methods, Animals, Arthroscopy, adverse effects, veterinary, Behavior, Animal, Female, Heart Rate, Horse Diseases, diagnosis, physiopathology, Horses, Male, Motor Activity, Pain Measurement, Pain, Postoperative, Posture, Respiration, Video Recording

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          Abstract

          To develop a method for objective assessment of equine post-operative pain. Prospective nonblinded clinical study. Twelve adult horses: Group 1 (G1, n = 6), admitted for arthroscopy (under general anaesthesia, with multimodal analgesia); Group 2 (G2, n = 6), 'pain free' controls. Horses were filmed continuously (CVI, time-lapse video recorder) over 72 hours, from 24 hours pre-surgery (PS) to 48 hours post-recovery (PR) (G1), and over 24 hours (G2). Activity budgets were determined from 24 to 0 hours PS, 0-24 and 24-48 hours PR (G1) and for 24 hours (G2). Using direct observation (DO), active behaviours and postures were recorded at set time points PS and PR (G1) and at two time points (morning/evening) (G2). Heart rate (HR) and respiration rate (RR) were recorded simultaneously. Statistical analysis investigated within-group and between-group time-related changes in behaviour, HR and RR. There was no difference in HR or RR between G1 and G2 at any time point. Anaesthetic 'hangover' and hunger-related activity modulated behaviour from 0 to 6 hours PR, when abnormal postures and locomotion occurred in all G1 horses, but no G2 horses. Compared with G1 (0-24 hours PR), G2 spent more time eating (t = -3.34, p < 0.01), more time at the front of the stable (t = -2.42, p < 0.05), and less time exhibiting 'abnormal' behaviour (U = 56, p < 0.01). Comparing PS and PR behaviour, G1 spent less time exploring from 24 to 48 hours PR (t = 3.49, p < 0.05), less time in sternal recumbency (t = -3.8, p < 0.05) and less time moving (t = 3.19, p < 0.05). Horses tended (p < 0.07) to spend less time positioned in the front of the stable PR (less from 24 to 48 hours PR than from 0 to 24 hours PR). Comparing PR (evening) behaviour, G2 spent more time with head above withers (U = 21.5, p < 0.01), and ears forwards (U = 22, p < 0.01). G1 showed time-related changes (all p < 0.05) in time with lower lip tense (S = 15.8), eating (S = 17.08) and with head positioned above withers (S = 18.04). No differences in event behaviours were observed between G1 and G2. Within G1, only olfactory behaviour varied significantly with time (S = 14.52, p < 0.05). Changes in equine behaviour suggestive of post-operative discomfort were identified using both DO and CVI. Analysis of activity budgets may be a more sensitive method of identifying behavioural changes indicative of equine discomfort than repeated DO of specific events and postures.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Behavioural effects of laparotomy and analgesic effects of ketoprofen and carprofen in rats.

          Rat behaviour was studied to develop a reliable method of determining the severity and duration of post-laparotomy pain, and to assess analgesic effects of ketoprofen or carprofen. Behaviour was studied in groups of ten animals 1 h following subcutaneous (s/c) saline (0.2 ml/100 g), ketoprofen or carprofen (5, 10 or 15 mg/kg) given either alone, or prior to surgery. The frequency of over 150 individual behavioural acts was calculated during the first post-treatment hour, the hour immediately prior to darkness, and the first 15 min of each of 5 subsequent hours. Discriminant analysis and analysis of variance isolated several easily recognizable behaviours which were markedly altered in frequency by surgery. These were unaffected by drug administration alone and were mainly transient, easily quantifiable activities; 'cat-like' back arching, horizontal stretching followed by abdominal writhing and twitching while inactive. Reductions in the frequency of these behaviours following surgery with analgesic treatment supported the hypothesis that they reflected post-operative pain. Ketoprofen and carprofen were equipotent and no dose related effects were apparent. Analgesic activity lasted between 4 and 5 h with the 5 mg/kg dosage, this being estimated from the duration of overall and specific behaviour differences between saline and drug treated animals. The data provided substantial evidence as to the usefulness of behavioural criteria for estimating pain severity, and for the first time, the basis of a system for routine pain assessment and management in rats subjected to abdominal surgery.
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            The formalin test: scoring properties of the first and second phases of the pain response in rats

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              Behavioural responses of lambs of three ages in the first three hours after three methods of castration and tail docking.

              The behavioural responses of groups of seven lambs were compared with control groups after castration and tail docking by rubber rings, application of a Burdizzo clamp in addition to a rubber ring and after surgical castration at five, 21 and 42 days. All methods at all ages produced changes in behaviour which were interpreted as indicative of considerable pain. The rubber ring groups showed most changes in behaviour at all ages. The rubber ring with Burdizzo groups showed least changes and some lambs in these groups showed much less response than others. The surgical groups showed some behavioural responses which were different, both qualitatively and quantitatively to those in other groups. It is concluded that indices used for recognition and assessment of acute pain received conditional support, that modification of the rubber ring with Burdizzo may provide the least painful method without local anaesthesia and that age had little effect on the responses.
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