Special Issue "Animal Stress and Pain Assessment"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Lee Niel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road E., Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
Interests: animal welfare, companion animals, procedural pain and stress, fear and aggression

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our ability to properly evaluate stress and pain in animals and to develop and implement effective strategies for mitigation is dependent on the availability of valid and reliable methodologies for assessment. It is clear that there is no single measure that is suitable for evaluating stress and pain across all species and scenarios. Furthermore, for some situations we must acknowledge that currently available techniques are inadequate. Thus, further research is needed to develop novel approaches to assessment, and to more fully understand the potential and limitations of existing measures.

Original research papers and reviews are invited for this special issue. Topics might include, but are not limited to the following: (1) development of novel approaches or technologies for the assessment of animal stress or pain; (2) translation of existing methodologies to novel situations or species; and (3) assessment of the validity, reliability and feasibility of existing measures.

Dr. Lee Niel
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • animal stress
  • animal pain
  • methods of assessment
  • validity & reliability
  • animal welfare

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Heat Tolerance in Curraleiro Pe-Duro, Pantaneiro and Nelore Cattle Using Thermographic Images
Animals 2016, 6(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6020009 - 29 Jan 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
The objective of this study was to compare physiological and thermographic responses to heat stress in three breeds of cattle. Fifteen animals of each of the Nelore, Pantaneiro and Curraleiro Pe-Duro breeds, of approximately two years of age, were evaluated. Heart and respiratory [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to compare physiological and thermographic responses to heat stress in three breeds of cattle. Fifteen animals of each of the Nelore, Pantaneiro and Curraleiro Pe-Duro breeds, of approximately two years of age, were evaluated. Heart and respiratory rates, rectal and surface temperature of animals as well as soil temperature were recorded at 8:30 and 15:30 on six days. Variance, correlation, principal factors and canonical analyses were carried out. There were significant differences in the rectal temperature, heart and respiratory rate between breeds (p < 0.001). Nelore and Pantaneiro breeds had the highest rectal temperatures and the lowest respiratory rate (p < 0.001). Breed was also significant for surface temperatures (p < 0.05) showing that this factor significantly affected the response of the animal to heat tolerance in different ways. The Curraleiro Pe-Duro breed had the lowest surface temperatures independent of the period evaluated, with fewer animals that suffered with the climatic conditions, so this may be considered the best adapted when heat challenged under the experimental conditions. Thermography data showed a good correlation with the physiological indexes, and body area, neck and rump were the main points. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Models and Methods to Investigate Acute Stress Responses in Cattle
Animals 2015, 5(4), 1268-1295; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani5040411 - 03 Dec 2015
Cited by 14
Abstract
There is a growing appreciation within the livestock industry and throughout society that animal stress is an important issue that must be addressed. With implications for animal health, well-being, and productivity, minimizing animal stress through improved animal management procedures and/or selective breeding is [...] Read more.
There is a growing appreciation within the livestock industry and throughout society that animal stress is an important issue that must be addressed. With implications for animal health, well-being, and productivity, minimizing animal stress through improved animal management procedures and/or selective breeding is becoming a priority. Effective management of stress, however, depends on the ability to identify and quantify the effects of various stressors and determine if individual or combined stressors have distinct biological effects. Furthermore, it is critical to determine the duration of stress-induced biological effects if we are to understand how stress alters animal production and disease susceptibility. Common stress models used to evaluate both psychological and physical stressors in cattle are reviewed. We identify some of the major gaps in our knowledge regarding responses to specific stressors and propose more integrated methodologies and approaches to measuring these responses. These approaches are based on an increased knowledge of both the metabolic and immune effects of stress. Finally, we speculate on how these findings may impact animal agriculture, as well as the potential application of large animal models to understanding human stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Validation and Reliability Testing of the Montreal Instrument for Cat Arthritis Testing, for Use by Veterinarians, in a Colony of Laboratory Cats
Animals 2015, 5(4), 1252-1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani5040410 - 02 Dec 2015
Cited by 6
Abstract
Subtle signs and conflicting physical and radiographic findings make feline osteoarthritis (OA) challenging to diagnose. A physical examination-based assessment was developed, consisting of eight items: Interaction, Exploration, Posture, Gait, Body Condition, Coat and Claws, (joint) Palpation–Findings, and Palpation–Cat Reaction. Content (experts) and face [...] Read more.
Subtle signs and conflicting physical and radiographic findings make feline osteoarthritis (OA) challenging to diagnose. A physical examination-based assessment was developed, consisting of eight items: Interaction, Exploration, Posture, Gait, Body Condition, Coat and Claws, (joint) Palpation–Findings, and Palpation–Cat Reaction. Content (experts) and face (veterinary students) validity were excellent. Construct validity, internal consistency, and intra- and inter-rater reliability were assessed via a pilot and main study, using laboratory-housed cats with and without OA. Gait distinguished OA status in the pilot ( p = 0.05) study. In the main study, no scale item achieved statistically significant OA detection. Forelimb peak vertical ground reaction force (PVF) correlated inversely with Gait (Rho s = −0.38 ( p = 0.03) to −0.41 ( p = 0.02)). Body Posture correlated with Gait, and inversely with forelimb PVF at two of three time points (Rho s = −0.38 ( p = 0.03) to −0.43 ( p = 0.01)). Palpation (Findings, Cat Reaction) did not distinguish OA from non-OA cats. Palpation—Cat Reaction (Forelimbs) correlated inversely with forelimb PVF at two time points (Rho s = −0.41 ( p = 0.02) to −0.41 ( p = 0.01)), but scores were highly variable, and poorly reliable. Gait and Posture require improved sensitivity, and Palpation should be interpreted cautiously, in diagnosing feline OA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
How Farm Animals React and Perceive Stressful Situations Such As Handling, Restraint, and Transport
Animals 2015, 5(4), 1233-1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani5040409 - 01 Dec 2015
Cited by 35
Abstract
An animal that has been carefully acclimated to handling may willingly re-enter a restrainer. Another animal may have an intense agitated behavioral reaction or refuse to re-enter the handling facility. Physiological measures of stress such as cortisol may be very low in the [...] Read more.
An animal that has been carefully acclimated to handling may willingly re-enter a restrainer. Another animal may have an intense agitated behavioral reaction or refuse to re-enter the handling facility. Physiological measures of stress such as cortisol may be very low in the animal that re-enters willingly and higher in animals that actively resist restraint. Carefully acclimating young animals to handling and restraint can help improve both productivity and welfare by reducing fear stress. Some of the topics covered in this review are: How an animal perceives handling and restraint, the detrimental effects of a sudden novel event, descriptions of temperament and aversion tests and the importance of good stockmanship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
Open AccessReview
Physiologic Measures of Animal Stress during Transitional States of Consciousness
Animals 2015, 5(3), 702-716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani5030380 - 07 Aug 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Determination of the humaneness of methods used to produce unconsciousness in animals, whether for anesthesia, euthanasia, humane slaughter, or depopulation, relies on our ability to assess stress, pain, and consciousness within the contexts of method and application. Determining the subjective experience of animals [...] Read more.
Determination of the humaneness of methods used to produce unconsciousness in animals, whether for anesthesia, euthanasia, humane slaughter, or depopulation, relies on our ability to assess stress, pain, and consciousness within the contexts of method and application. Determining the subjective experience of animals during transitional states of consciousness, however, can be quite difficult; further, loss of consciousness with different agents or methods may occur at substantially different rates. Stress and distress may manifest behaviorally (e.g., overt escape behaviors, approach-avoidance preferences [aversion]) or physiologically (e.g., movement, vocalization, changes in electroencephalographic activity, heart rate, sympathetic nervous system [SNS] activity, hypothalamic-pituitary axis [HPA] activity), such that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be easily applied to evaluate methods or determine specific species applications. The purpose of this review is to discuss methods of evaluating stress in animals using physiologic methods, with emphasis on the transition between the conscious and unconscious states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
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