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Westerberg, Helen and Åberg, Sofie (2008) Smärta hos djur. Other thesis, SLU.

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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 effects. 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 mechanisms.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: animals, pain management, Tender Loving Care, TLC
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Animal Enviroment and Health
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Depositing User: Malin Persson
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:05
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/2613

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