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suki
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PostSubject: Pain   Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:02 am

What is Animal Pain?
PAIN is a word used by humans to represent one of their experiences. They know what it is without needing to define it.

Animal pain should not be confused with human pain. However, it is helpful to use definitions of human pain to understand animal pain. Animal pain probably serves the same purposes as human pain and is as important to the animal as pain is to humans. However, animal and human experiences of pain, in response to the same stimulus, may not be identical.

(Human) pain is:
ďAn unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damageĒ (IASP, 1979).

Two definitions of animal pain are:

Pain in animals is an aversive sensory experience that elicits protective motor actions, results in learned avoidance and may modify species specific traits of behaviour, including social behaviour

Animal pain is an aversive, sensory experience representing awareness by the animal of damage or threat to the integrity of its tissues; (note that there might not be any damage). It changes the animalís physiology and behaviour to reduce or avoid the damage, to reduce the likelihood of its recurrence and to promote recovery. Non-functional (non-useful) pain occurs when the intensity or duration of the experience is not appropriate for damage sustained (especially if none exists) and when physiological and behavioural responses are unsuccessful in alleviating it (Molony, 1997)

Sites of Origin of Pain:
Somatic pain originates from the body including skin, bone, muscles, tendons and other tissues.


Visceral pain originates from the internal organs e.g. heart, lungs, alimentary canal and reproductive organs.

Neuropathic pain originates from nerves, the spinal cord and brain because of abnormal processing of nervous activity.

The pain from internal organs can be localised to superficial sites (Referred pain)

Duration of Pain:
Acute pain immediately follows injury and disappears when the injury heals. It is usually associated with quantifiable changes to processes providing the body with protection from damage (defensive body processes).

Chronic pain is prolonged, however, there is little agreement as to when recurring bouts of acute pain become chronic pain or for how long pain must persist to be considered chronic. Quantifiable changes to the functioning of defensive body processes may NOT be seen.

Chronic inflammatory pain: occurs when healing persists beyond the expected time, due to infection or other inflammatory processors.


Chronic neuropathic pain: may not have a well-defined onset and may not respond to treatments that are effective against acute or chronic inflammatory pain. It is sometimes described as "intractable" pain.

How can Animal Pain be Assessed?
The principles used in these guidelines for assessment of animal pain can be found by clicking here.

Either objective and / or subjective assessments are used in a comprehensive (systematic) or easy to use (practical) way. However, the sensitivity, reliability and validity of all assessment methods should also be considered.



Objective Assessment, using physiological, biochemical and behavioural responses.
Subjective Assessment, using verbal descriptors, VAS and NRS scales.
Systematic Assessment accepts that all aspects of the animal's mental, physical and behavioural state should, ideally, be considered. However, it is acknowledged that the time necessary to obtain the information and the expertise required for its appropriate interpretation may not always be readily available.
Practical Assessment accepts that quick and easily applied methods are required for routine application under "field" conditions. Such methods involve reducing the information obtained during systematic assessment.
Validation is achieved experimentally by demonstrating consistency between the new method of assessment and established standard or independent methods.


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PostSubject: Re: Pain   Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:04 am

How is Pain Relieved?
This section does NOT describe how to treat particular painful conditions but does describe the different types of treatment that are generally used to control pain.

If you have an animal suffering from unacceptable pain it should be treated as soon as possible and you are advised to seek help from a veterinary surgeon.

Three groups of drugs commonly used to control animal pain are:

Opioids e.g. Morphine, Buprenorphine, Fentanyl
Anti-inflammatory drugs e.g. Phenylbutazone, Flunixin, Carprofen, Aspirin and Dexamethasone.
Local anaesthetics e.g. Lignocaine, Bupivacaine, Procaine.
Other drugs are also used to treat pain. All these drugs are administered either systemically, locally, epidurally or intrathecally (Otto & Short 1998).

Opioids:
Work by their action on several different cell membrane receptor subtypes (Mu, Delta, Kappa)
Different opioids activate (agonists) or inactivate (antagonists) these receptors or can have both actions.
Tolerance to their effects can develop
The onset and duration of their effects are different according to how they are administered.
Effectiveness varies with the type of pain and species being treated.
Unwanted effects e.g. respiratory depression, sedation, constipation can limit their usefulness.
Antagonists e.g. naloxone can rapidly reverse their effects.
Anti-inflammatory Drugs:
There are two types, steroids and non-steroids (NSAIDs).

Steroids are more often used for controlling severe inflammation, rather than pain.

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are commonly used for pain relieve (analgesics)

They have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, both of which are beneficial.
They work by inhibiting either or both of two enzymes (Cyclo-oxygenase - COX-1 and COX-2).
Different NSAIDs can have selective actions on the two enzymes. This can reduce unwanted effects.
They work on the brain and spinal cord (central nervous analgesic actions) as well as on damaged tissues (peripheral actions).
The onset and duration of their effects are different according to how they are administered.
Effectiveness varies with the type of pain and species being treated.
Unwanted effects e.g. gastric irritation, can limit their usefulness (Wallace et al 1990).
Pain relieve from treatment with a NSAID can be seen after an experimental study of the effects of castration of lambs with a bloodless castrator (Burdizzo) (Molony et al 1997). The NSAID either alone or in combination with local anaesthetic reduced the plasma cortisol response, the time spent in abnormal postures and the time spent trembling.

Anti-inflammatory drugs also reduce the plasma cortisol responses after scoop dehorning (Sutherland et al 2002a) and surgical castration (Stafford et al 2002) of cattle.

However, NSAIDs do NOT significantly reduce pain behaviour or plasma cortisol responses associated with rubber ring castration and / or tail docking of lambs or calves (Graham et al 1997; Price & Nolan 2001; Stafford et al 2002).

Other analgesic drugs
Various drugs are used to treat pain though their main use as sedatives, anaesthetics, anti-depressants or anti-convulsants. Xylazine, an alpha2 agonist, used frequently in cattle and sheep for sedation / anaesthesia (Grant & Upton 2001) was effective for controlling pain associated with mulesing and knife docking of lambs (Grant 2002) but was ineffective for controlling pain associated with scoop dehorning (Stafford et al 2003) and rubber ring castration and tail docking of lambs (Molony et al 1993b; Scott et al. 1996; Grant 2002).

Local Anaesthetics
Local anaesthetics act in the periphery blocking the signals from painful stimuli reaching the brain. Some act quickly but for only one or two hours (lignocaine), some take longer to become effective but last for longer (bupivacaine lasts for about four hours).
They effectively prevent, reduce or delay acute pain resulting from 'surgical' procedures and husbandry practices e.g. dehorning. See movies comparing lamb castration, tail docking with and without local anaesthesia. Local anaesthesia should work provided there is sufficient volume to reach all the affected nerves and sufficient time is given for the anaesthetic to act.
Local anaesthetics are sometimes used to help identify the source of pain e.g. use of nerve blocks in lame horses.
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PostSubject: Re: Pain   Sun May 06, 2007 1:15 pm

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