Characterization of short- and long-term mechanical sensitisation following surgical tail amputation in pigs

Publikation: Forskning - peer reviewTidsskriftartikel


  • Pierpaolo Di Giminiani
    Pierpaolo Di GiminianiNewcastle University
  • Sandra A. Edwards
    Sandra A. EdwardsNewcastle University
  • Emma M. Malcolm
    Emma M. MalcolmNewcastle University
  • Matthew C. Leach
    Matthew C. LeachNewcastle University
  • Mette S. Herskin
  • Dale Sandercock
    Dale SandercockScottish Rural University College (SRUC), Edinburgh, United KingdomStorbritannien
Commercial pigs are frequently exposed to tail mutilations in the form of preventive husbandry procedures (tail docking) or as a result of abnormal behaviour (tail biting). Although tissue and nerve injuries are well-described causes of pain hypersensitivity in humans and in rodent animal models, there
is no information on the changes in local pain sensitivity induced by tail injuries in pigs. To determine the temporal profile of sensitisation, pigs were exposed to surgical tail resections and mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNT) were measured in the acute (one week post-operatively) and in the long-term (either eight or sixteen weeks post-surgery) phase of recovery. The influence of the degree of amputation on MNTs was also evaluated by comparing three different tail-resection treatments (intact, ‘short tail’, ‘long tail’). A significant reduction in MNTs one week following surgery suggests the occurrence of acute sensitisation. Long-term hypersensitivity was also observed in tail-resected
pigs at either two or four months following surgery. Tail amputation in pigs appears to evoke acute and sustained changes in peripheral mechanical sensitivity, which resemble features of neuropathic pain reported in humans and other species and provides new information on implications for the welfare of
animals subjected to this type of injury.
TidsskriftScientific Reports
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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