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

P Di Giminiani*, SA Edwards, EM Malcolm, MC Leach, MS Herskin, DA Sandercock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4827
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Early online date6 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 6 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

1026454

Keywords

  • Animal behaviour
  • Animal physiology
  • Peripheral nervous system

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of short- and long-term mechanical sensitisation following surgical tail amputation in pigs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Profiles

    No photo of Dale Sandercock

    Dale Sandercock

    Person: Academic contract that is research only

    Cite this