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Keywords:

  • analgesia;
  • analgesiometry;
  • horse;
  • nociceptive threshold testing;
  • pain

Abstract

Objective  This review evaluates the thermal and mechanical nociceptive threshold testing techniques that have been used in horses and discusses them with reference to their applications, limitations and the factors which can influence both the testing procedure itself and the animal’s responses. Methods to optimise the reliability and repeatability of the testing procedures are suggested and the potential clinical applications discussed.

Databases used  Web of Science and Medline.

Conclusions  Thermal and mechanical nociceptive threshold testing techniques have valuable roles in both the identification of altered nociceptive function and the pre-clinical evaluation of analgesics in horses.