Assessment of immediate and long-term changes in pain sensitivity following tail-docking in pigs
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Tail docking in pigs as a preventive measure for tail biting is a common husbandry practice that has been associated with immediate behavioural changes indicative of pain (Sutherland & Tucker, 2011) . It is not known whether such an early peripheral nerve damage in the docked tail tip may lead to altered pain sensitivity later in life. In humans and rodents, the formation of neuromas in as result of nerve injury has been indicated as the source of spontaneous nerve activity and decreased nociceptive thresholds (Devor et al., 1992). Despite the increasing evidence suggesting that pain experienced as juveniles may modulate pain processing in mammals at later stages of their life (Beggs et al., 2012)as yet, there has been no attempt to investigate the possible long-term effects of pain sensitivity in pigs.
Other Titles/Title of Conference
RSPCA/AHVLA meeting on the welfare of agricultural animals in research, Weybridge, UK