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Development of a facial expression scale using footrot and mastitis as models of pain in sheep

By Krista M. McLennan, Carlos J. B. Rebelo, Murray J. Corke, Mark A. Holmes, Matthew C. Leach, Fernando Constantino-Casas

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Abstract

Management of pain in sheep is limited by the challenges of recognising and accurately quantifying pain in this species. The use of facial expression scoring to assess pain is a well-utilised, practical tool in both humans and non-human animals. The objective of this study was to develop a standardised facial expression pain scale for adult sheep, that could be used reliably and accurately to detect pain associated with naturally occurring painful diseases, such as footrot and mastitis. We also investigated whether the scale could be reliably and accurately utilised by observers after training, enabling the development of an on-farm pain assessment tool. The sheep pain facial expression scale (SPFES) was able to correctly identify sheep suffering from disease with a high degree of accuracy (AUC; footrot: 0.81, mastitis: 0.80). Diseased sheep scored higher on the scale than controls on the day of disease identification ( P

Date 2016
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 176
Pages 19-26
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.01.007
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Face
  2. Feet
  3. Mastitis
  4. Pain
  5. Sheep