What is pain?
How is pain produced?
How can pain be assessed?
How is pain relieved?
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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.

 suckler calf

  • 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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                                            Revised: 20-10-08