New Colic Pain Scale Assesses Discomfort Quickly

Two equine hospitals have trialed a pain scale to assess the level of discomfort of 237 horses referred to the clinics for colic. The veterinarians concluded that the sale was reliable, easy to use and fast.

Drs. Yamit Maskato, Alexandra Dugdale, Ellen Singer, Gal Kelmer and Gila Sutton created the Equine Acute Abdominal Pain Scale (EAAPS) in 2013. The scientists report that the scale requires no training, can be used easily in hospital settings and can improve equine welfare.

They suggest that the EAAPS now be tested in the field by veterinarians, as well as by horse owners and farm caretakers who lack medical training. Colic is the most common cause of equine deaths in the United States. Severity of pain is an important parameter for decision making regarding a horse that is colicking; it can also assist in evaluating pain-relieving measures, patient status and surgical or euthanasia decisions.

The EAAP gives typical colic behaviors a one-digit score to grade the severity of pain, with 1 being the most mild (flank watching or lip curling) to 5 being the most severe (rolling).  Participants at the two clinics where the EAAP was trialed reported that the EAAP was quick and easy to use, even with no training on the scale.

The creators determined that the EAAPS is feasible to use in an equine clinical setting to determine the severity of colic cases.

Read the full article here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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