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Westerberg, Helen and Åberg, Sofie, 2008. Smärta hos djur. SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231), Skara. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



We have made a litterature study about pain in animals. In this studie we have brought up
areas like sign of pains in animals, pain relief and the care perspective.

Pain is perceived when body tissue is damaged or nearly damaged by stimuli. Nociceptors,
which are receptors placed at nerve endings, responds to a provocation of pain and
transmit an impulse along the nerve to the brain via the spinal cord. Pain is urgent or
chronic, and can be divided into nociceptive pain (somatic pain and visceral pain) and
neuropathic pain. Different pain mechanisms can arise, such as referred pain, which is
when signals of pain are referred to other parts of the body. Another example is peripheral
or central sensitisation, which means an increased sensitivity to pain. Wind-up is the result
of increased pain by repeated stimuli. Reflexes are an important defense mechanism. The
body has its own pain-limiting mechanisms, such as the gate theory and the release of
endogen opioides. Placebo and nocebo are positive respectively negative expectancy

There are many reasons as to why pain is negatively perceived. Apart from the actual
suffering, prolonged pain can result in a weakened immune system and a deterioration of
the wound healing process. There are many opinions about animal's pain. Recurring
questions include whether animals can feel pain; how this pain is perceived; whether or not
the pain relief is sufficient; and how to reduce pain. Nowadays it is well known that
animals can sense pain in a similar way as humans, but the degree of pain might be
difficult to judge. There are several different techniques and tools to help judge the degree
of pain. Among others, scales that omit from animal behaviour. As the main purpose of
veterinarians and animal nurses is to decrease their patients' suffering, efforts must be
made to decrease their pain. The basic concept for good care and pain management is
'Tender Loving Care', or TLC.

Pain management (analgesic) is based either on blocking the nociceptores or on the body's
own pain controling system. Analgesic drugs act in various ways on the peripheral and
central nervous systems. Peripheral working analgetica has effect on pain and
inflammations in a limited area (nociceptive pain). Central working analgetica acts in the
central nerve system. Opioides, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and local
anaesthetics are the main substanses that may be used as analgesics, either alone or in
combination. Alpha-2 adrenoreceptor agonists, dissociative drugs, benzodiazepines, and to
some extent corticosteroides, may also be used as pain relievers. In addition, nonpharmacologic
measures, such as acupuncture, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator
(TENS), massage and laser treatments can relief pain by stimulating the body's own painlimiting

Main title:Smärta hos djur
Authors:Westerberg, Helen and Åberg, Sofie
Supervisor:Nilsson, Anne
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:157
Year of Publication:2008
Level and depth descriptor:Other
Student's programme affiliation:VY003 Animal Nursing Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:animals, pain management, Tender Loving Care, TLC
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:?? 7032 ??
Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Deposited On:11 Sep 2017 14:49
Metadata Last Modified:13 Sep 2017 10:24

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