The amount of scientific data evaluating sheep pain responses after analgesia treatment is limited.
The aims of this study were to compare the efficacy of flunixin meglumine (FLU) and meloxicam (MEL) at relieving post-surgical pain in sheep and to evaluate the utility of the Sheep Grimace Scale (SGS).
Thirty ewes were assigned to one of three treatment groups: oral MEL or intravenous FLU to manage pain associated with a laparotomy procedure, or a non-surgical control (CON) group.
Behavior and physiologic outcome measures were collected pre-procedure and up to 48 h post-procedure. There were no significant differences in behavior, gait, degree of inflammation or pain around the surgical site when MEL and FLU sheep were compared, suggesting that both drugs provided similar levels of analgesia.
Significant differences in behavior, gait, abdominal inflammation and pain were found when surgical sheep were compared to non-surgical controls. More work is needed to characterize the amount of pain relief provided by MEL and FLU. The SGS had moderate reliability between scorers; however, the results were inconsistent with the other study outcome measures.
The SGS may have some utility as a pain assessment tool but should be used in conjunction with other pain measures.
Abbie V Viscardi 1, Emily J Reppert 2, Michael D Kleinhenz 2, Payton Wise 1, Zhoumeng Lin 1 3, Shawnee Montgomery 1, Hayley Daniell 4, Andrew Curtis 1, Miriam Martin 1, Johann F Coetzee 1 3.Animals (Basel). 2021;11(2): 423.doi: 10.3390/ani11020423.
1Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.
2Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.
3Institute of Computational Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.4Animal Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.