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Identification of Body Behaviors and Facial Expressions Associated with Induced Orthopedic Pain in Four Equine Pain Scales

Ask, Katrina and Rhodin, Marie and Tamminen, Lena-Mari and Hernlund, Elin and Andersen, Pia Haubro (2020). Identification of Body Behaviors and Facial Expressions Associated with Induced Orthopedic Pain in Four Equine Pain Scales. Animals. 10 , 2155
[Research article]

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Abstract

Simple SummaryPain scales are tools developed to improve pain assessment in horses. They are based on behaviors and/or facial expressions, and the observer allocates a score based on the character of the behavior or facial expression. Little is known about behaviors and facial expressions at rest in horses with orthopedic pain since pain is mainly assessed by lameness evaluation during movement. The aim of this study was to describe how closely equine behaviors and facial expressions are associated with movement asymmetry and to identify combinations of behavior and expressions present in horses with induced orthopedic pain. Orthopedic pain was induced in eight horses and assessed in two ways; using four existing equine pain scales at rest, and by measuring movement asymmetry during movement. The association of behavior and facial expression items in the pain scales with actual lameness was analyzed. Posture-related behavior showed the strongest association, while facial expressions varied between horses. These results show that pain scales for orthopedic pain assessment would benefit from including posture, head position, location in the box stall, focus, interactive behavior, and facial expressions. This could improve orthopedic pain detection in horses during rest with mild lameness.Equine orthopedic pain scales are targeted towards horses with moderate to severe orthopedic pain. Improved assessment of pain behavior and pain-related facial expressions at rest may refine orthopedic pain detection for mild lameness grades. Therefore, this study explored pain-related behaviors and facial expressions and sought to identify frequently occurring combinations. Orthopedic pain was induced by intra-articular LPS in eight horses, and objective movement asymmetry analyses were performed before and after induction together with pain assessments at rest. Three observers independently assessed horses in their box stalls, using four equine pain scales simultaneously. Increase in movement asymmetry after induction was used as a proxy for pain. Behaviors and facial expressions commonly co-occurred and were strongly associated with movement asymmetry. Posture-related scale items were the strongest predictors of movement asymmetry. Display of facial expressions at rest varied between horses but, when present, were strongly associated with movement asymmetry. Reliability of facial expression items was lower than reliability of behavioral items. These findings suggest that five body behaviors (posture, head position, location in the box stall, focus, and interactive behavior) should be included in a scale for live assessment of mild orthopedic pain. We also recommend inclusion of facial expressions in pain assessment.

Authors/Creators:Ask, Katrina and Rhodin, Marie and Tamminen, Lena-Mari and Hernlund, Elin and Andersen, Pia Haubro
Title:Identification of Body Behaviors and Facial Expressions Associated with Induced Orthopedic Pain in Four Equine Pain Scales
Series Name/Journal:Animals
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:10
Article number:2155
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2076-2615
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Clinical Science
Keywords:horses, movement asymmetry, movement symmetry, lameness, reliability, pain predictor, pain indicator
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109752
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109752
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/ani10112155
Web of Science (WoS)000593616800001
ID Code:21239
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry
(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:15 Jan 2021 09:43
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 09:51

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