Il dolore negli animali: sintomatologia, diagnosi, terapia e prevenzione
Sezione di Clinica Chirurgica Veterinaria e Medicina d’Urgenza, Dipartimento di Salute Animale, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Parma.
Whoever lives in daily touch with animals is aware of their expression of different feelings, but the impossibility of verbal expression makes their identification difficult. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”.
Pain is clinically important because it impairs life quality of the animal. In the last decade the use of analgesics has increased thanks to new physiological and pharmacological knowledge for both pain treatment and pain prevention. The different species have different reactions to nociceptive stimuli, show an extreme clinic variability of pain and have different responses to analgesic treatment. Besides, a correct method for the objective evaluation of pain has not been set yet.
Nowadays pain prevention and analgesic therapy are based on opioids, local anaesthetics, alpha2-agonists, ketamine and corticosteroids.