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      Feasibility and reliability of electrical, mechanical and thermal nociceptive testing and assessment of diffuse noxious inhibitory control in dogs

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          Quantitative sensory testing has been used to assess the somatosensory system. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and reliability of electrical (ENT), mechanical (MNT) and thermal (TNT) nociceptive testing and the effect of a conditioning stimulus on MNT.

          Patients and methods

          Sixteen healthy client-owned dogs were included in this study. Stimulation was applied bilaterally to the dorsal and plantar aspect of the metacarpus and metatarsus respectively, using transcutaneous electrical stimulator, algometry and a cold nociceptive device in a randomized order until a behavior response was observed or a cut-off reached. Tests were performed twice (60 seconds apart) by two observers. Retesting was performed 5 hours later. The diffuse noxious inhibitory control was tested by comparing MNT pre- and post-conditioning stimuli. Sham-testing was performed for ENT and TNT. Statistical analysis included linear model and intra-class correlation coefficient ( P<0.05).


          Feasibility was 99% (ENT), 93.5% (MNT) and 93.6% (TNT). Data for TNT were not analyzed due to inconsistent results. Mean ± SD were 48±22.6 mA (ENT) and 11.9±3.5 N (MNT). MNT was higher for thoracic than for pelvic limbs ( P=0.002). Conditioning stimulus increased MNT ( P=0.049). Inter-observer reliability was 91.4% (ENT) and 60.9% (MNT). False-positive responses were 15% (ENT) and 35.7% (TNT).


          ENT was feasible, repeatable and superior to MNT and TNT. The assessment of the diffuse noxious inhibitory control with a conditioning stimulus showed promising results in dogs. These tools could be used in naturally-occurring disease to provide insight on their underlying mechanisms and therapeutics.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC). I. Effects on dorsal horn convergent neurones in the rat.

          (1) Sixty-eight convergent dorsal horn neurones have been recorded at the lumbar level in anaesthetized intact rats. All cells received prominent A alpha and C fibre afferents and correspondingly could be activated by high and low threshold stimuli applied to the peripheral excitatory receptive field. (2) The activity of 67/68 of these neurones was powerfully inhibited by noxious stimuli applied to various parts of the body. Since non-noxious stimuli were ineffective in this respect, the term "diffuse noxious inhibitory controls" (DNIC) is proposed. (3) DNIC could be evoked by noxious pinch applied to the tail, the contralateral hind paw, the forepaws, the ears and the muzzle; the most effective areas were the tail and muzzle. Noxious heat applied to and transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the tail were extemely effective in eliciting DNIC as was the intraperitoneal injection of bradykinin. (4) DNIC strongly depressed by 60-100% both the C fibre response following suprathreshold transcutaneous electrical stimulation and the responses to noxious radiant heat. (5) The spontaneous activity and the responses to low threshold afferents induced either by A alpha threshold electrical or natural stimulation were also powerfully inhibited. (6) In the majority of cases, long lasting post-effects directly related to the duration of conditioning painful stimulus were observed.
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            Pain modulation profile and pain therapy: between pro- and antinociception.

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              Development and psychometric testing of an instrument designed to measure chronic pain in dogs with osteoarthritis.

              To develop and psychometrically test an owner self-administered questionnaire designed to assess severity and impact of chronic pain in dogs with osteoarthritis. 70 owners of dogs with osteoarthritis and 50 owners of clinically normal dogs. Standard methods for the stepwise development and testing of instruments designed to assess subjective states were used. Items were generated through focus groups and an expert panel. Items were tested for readability and ambiguity, and poorly performing items were removed. The reduced set of items was subjected to factor analysis, reliability testing, and validity testing. Severity of pain and interference with function were 2 factors identified and named on the basis of the items contained in them. Cronbach's alpha was 0.93 and 0.89, respectively, suggesting that the items in each factor could be assessed as a group to compute factor scores (ie, severity score and interference score). The test-retest analysis revealed kappa values of 0.75 for the severity score and 0.81 for the interference score. Scores correlated moderately well (r = 0.51 and 0.50, respectively) with the overall quality-of-life (QOL) question, such that as severity and interference scores increased, QOL decreased. Clinically normal dogs had significantly lower severity and interference scores than dogs with osteoarthritis. A psychometrically sound instrument was developed. Responsiveness testing must be conducted to determine whether the questionnaire will be useful in reliably obtaining quantifiable assessments from owners regarding the severity and impact of chronic pain and its treatment on dogs with osteoarthritis.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                23 October 2018
                : 11
                : 2491-2496
                [1 ]Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada, helene.ruel.2@ 123456umontreal.ca
                [2 ]Quebec Animal Pharmacology Research Group, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada, helene.ruel.2@ 123456umontreal.ca
                [3 ]Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hélène LM Ruel, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 2M2, Canada, Tel +1 450 778 8111 ext86550, Email helene.ruel.2@ 123456umontreal.ca
                © 2018 Ruel et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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