Aug 2, 2014

An equine pain face

Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
Karina B GleerupPia Haubro Andersen


The objective of this study was to investigate the existence of an equine pain face and to describe this in detail. Semi-randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Six adult horses. Pain was induced with two noxious stimuli, a tourniquet on the antebrachium and topical application of capsaicin. All horses participated in two control trials and received both noxious stimuli twice, once with and once without an observer present. During all sessions their pain state was scored. The horses were filmed and the close-up video recordings of the faces were analysed for alterations in behaviour and facial expressions. Still images from the trials were evaluated for the presence of each of the specific pain face features identified from the video analysis. Both noxious challenges were effective in producing a pain response resulting in significantly increased pain scores. Alterations in facial expressions were observed in all horses during all noxious stimulations. The number of pain face features present on the still images from the noxious challenges were significantly higher than for the control trial (p = 0.0001). Facial expressions representative for control and pain trials were condensed into explanatory illustrations. During pain se...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Feeling Tense
Visual Analog Pain Scale
Moderate Pain
Entire Chin
Facial Pain
Facial Expression
Cross-Over Studies
Genus equus
Equus caballus

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