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Title: Clinical pain assessment in the horse
Author: Eager, Rachel A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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Male thoroughbred horses (n=10/group) underwent castration or sham castration (control) performed under either standing surgical sedation (SS) or general anaesthesia (GA). Undisturbed behaviour was monitored for 24 hours pre-operatively and 48 hours post-operatively. Additionally, seven acute laminitic horses and paired age, sex and breed-matched controls were monitored for up to five days. Assessments were made using time-lapse video recording/direct observation of undisturbed spontaneous behaviour and video recording of evoked behaviour during a standardised human interaction test. Data were acquired using The Observer and analysed using generalised mixed effects (GME) and discriminant analysis (DA). GA and SS castrates spent more time with their ears back and displayed a higher frequency of stepping away than controls in interactive tests (P<0.017, GME). Head level with withers increased post-operatively in SS castrate, but not control horses (P<0.001, GME). Additionally, sham GA resulted in increased inattentive behaviour and hindlimb resting and reduced ‘head up’ and recumbency (P<0.039, GME). Laminitic horses showed reduced hindlimb resting and walking with increased lying, ‘head level’ and forelimb lifting compared to controls (P<0.046, GME). Accuracy of discrimination (DA) between ‘painful’ and ‘pain-free’ horses was >78.6% in acute and chronic pain. This study identified behavioural parameters indicative of pain and discomfort in acute and chronic pain states. Acute pain may be most accurately identified through the examination of evoked behaviour, whilst changes in spontaneous behaviour appear more altered in chronic pain. Behavioural changes general to both acute and chronic pain were also identified.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available