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Monitoring Acute Pain in Donkeys with the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkeys Composite Pain Assessment (EQUUS-DONKEY-COMPASS) and the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkey Facial Assessment of Pain (EQUUS-DONKEY-FAP)

1
Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 114, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Department of Nutrition, Genetics and Ethology, Veterinary Faculty, Ghent University, Heidestraat 19, 9820 Merelbeke-Ghent, Belgium
3
Department of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, Antwerp University, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk-Antwerp, Belgium
4
The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0NU, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020354
Received: 23 January 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 17 February 2020 / Published: 22 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a better assessment of acute pain in equines)
Pain can be difficult to objectively assess in animals, especially in prey animals that hide their symptoms from others. Donkeys are also known to mask and hide these signs. Owners often describe donkeys as “stubborn”, but veterinarians and equine ethologists describe donkeys more as “stoic”. Among veterinarians it is known that donkeys hide their pain symptoms even more than horses. Therefore, objective and valid pain measurement tools are needed to assess pain in donkeys. In this study, two pain scales (with behavioural elements, physiological elements, responses to interactions, and facial expressions) have been developed and tested in 79 donkeys with various types of acute pain (acute lameness, colic, head-related pain, and postoperative pain) and in 185 healthy pain-free control donkeys. The authors found that the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkey Composite Pain Assessment (EQUUS-DONKEY-COMPASS) and the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkey Facial Assessment of Pain (EQUUS-DONKEY-FAP) can both be effective to objectively assess various types of acute pain in donkeys and could potentially be used to monitor pain and improve welfare in donkeys.
Objective pain assessment in donkeys is of vital importance for improving welfare in a species that is considered stoic. This study presents the construction and testing of two pain scales, the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkey Composite Pain Assessment (EQUUS-DONKEY-COMPASS) and the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkey Facial Assessment of Pain (EQUUS-DONKEY-FAP), in donkeys with acute pain. A cohort follow-up study using 264 adult donkeys (n = 12 acute colic, n = 25 acute orthopaedic pain, n = 18 acute head-related pain, n = 24 postoperative pain, and n = 185 controls) was performed. Both pain scales showed differences between donkeys with different types of pain and their control animals (p < 0.001). The EQUUS-DONKEY-COMPASS and EQUUS-DONKEY-FAP showed high inter-observer reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.97 and 0.94, respectively, both p < 0.001). Sensitivity of the EQUUS-DONKEY-COMPASS was good for colic and orthopaedic pain (83% and 88%, respectively), but poor for head-related and postoperative pain (17% and 21%, respectively). Sensitivity of the EQUUS-DONKEY-FAP was good for colic and head-related pain (75% and 78%, respectively), but moderate for orthopaedic and postoperative pain (40% and 50%, respectively). Specificity was good for all types of pain with both scales (91%–99%). Different types of acute pain in donkeys can be validly assessed by either a composite or a facial expression-based pain scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: donkey; acute; pain; assessment; facial expression; composite pain scale donkey; acute; pain; assessment; facial expression; composite pain scale
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MDPI and ACS Style

van Dierendonck, M.C.; Burden, F.A.; Rickards, K.; van Loon, J.P.A.M. Monitoring Acute Pain in Donkeys with the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkeys Composite Pain Assessment (EQUUS-DONKEY-COMPASS) and the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkey Facial Assessment of Pain (EQUUS-DONKEY-FAP). Animals 2020, 10, 354. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020354

AMA Style

van Dierendonck MC, Burden FA, Rickards K, van Loon JPAM. Monitoring Acute Pain in Donkeys with the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkeys Composite Pain Assessment (EQUUS-DONKEY-COMPASS) and the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkey Facial Assessment of Pain (EQUUS-DONKEY-FAP). Animals. 2020; 10(2):354. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020354

Chicago/Turabian Style

van Dierendonck, Machteld C., Faith A. Burden, Karen Rickards, and Johannes P.A.M. van Loon. 2020. "Monitoring Acute Pain in Donkeys with the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkeys Composite Pain Assessment (EQUUS-DONKEY-COMPASS) and the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Donkey Facial Assessment of Pain (EQUUS-DONKEY-FAP)" Animals 10, no. 2: 354. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020354

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