Different methods to identify pain after routine surgical castration of equine stallions: composite pain scale, facial expressions, faecal glucocorticoid metabolites and plasma cytokines
Reasons for performing study: Lack of ‘gold standard’ for pain assessment in horses. Objectives: To assess different approaches of quantifying pain in horses. Castration was chosen as a pain model because of its wide clinical relevance. Study design: Exploratory study. Methods: 51 equine stallions undergoing castration under general anaesthesia were divided in 3 pain-relieving treatment groups: A) single perioperative administration of flunixin (n = 19), B) additional subsequent flunixin administrations (n = 21), D) like A but with intra-operative mepivacaine injections into the spermatic cord (n = 11). All horses were assessed before and 5 times after surgery (up to 44 h) by means of a modified composite pain scale (CPS), a newly developed facial expression pain scale (FEPS), faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (GCMs) and plasma cytokine profiles. The same parameters were measured in a control group C, undergoing general anaesthesia for different nonpainful procedures (n = 6). Data were analysed with nonparametric statistical tests (Wilcoxon, Mann Whitney U).
Other Titles/Title of Conference
British Equine Veterinary Association Congress 2014, Birmingham, UK
British Equine Veterinary Association
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
Equine Veterinary Journal Clinical Research Abstracts
46, Supp. 47