Painful Horse: Experts recognize facial

2021-12-08 11:36:56 By : Ms. Cindy Zhang

Horse news, research and information

A horse walked into a bar, and the bartender said, "Hey, man, why do you have a long face?"

This may be the oldest horse joke in the book, but researchers have made significant progress in deciphering the facial expressions of horses.

Experts have developed a new standardized scale for facial expressions to help horse managers identify pain.

Based on the results of a recent study, researchers from Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom developed the standardized horse grimace scale (HGS) they described to help detect pain in horses.

Dr. Michela Minero presented the results of the research team at the 2013 annual meeting of the International Academy of Equestrian Sciences in the United States recently. He said that the scale can help the welfare of horses that have undergone conventional surgery (such as castration).

"The standardized HGS is easy to train for non-professionals and may be beneficial to those who manage horses that have gone through painful procedures," Minero said.

In Europe, only a few horses undergoing conventional castration have undergone postoperative pain control, although the process is known to be painful.

"It is estimated that 240,000 horses in Europe are castrated each year, and the castration has been shown to be related to a certain degree of pain," Mineiro said.

"However, only about 36.9% of horses received analgesics for postoperative pain. One possible explanation for this is that the pain assessment of castrated horses is still not ideal."

46 stallions of different breeds were used in the study, ranging in age from 1 to 5 years old.

Horses are divided into one of two treatment groups and a control group. The treated horses were castrated by conventional surgery using sealing techniques.

Group A consisted of 19 horses and received a flunixin-meglumine injection immediately before anesthesia, usually called Banamine, while group B consisted of 21 horses who received the same drug before anesthesia and 6 hours after the operation .

The study also used a control group of six horses that required non-invasive diagnostic procedures under general anesthesia.

All horses studied were hospitalized for five days. As a baseline, HD video of the horse was taken for 30 minutes on the day before the operation and 8 hours after the operation. The video recording lasted for five days, from which high-quality images of horse faces were extracted.

The images were then scored by five therapeutically blind observers.

Subtle changes in facial expressions/changes that indicate communication pain have been found in other species, and the researchers hope to standardize this expression on horses.

A complicating factor that affects the assessment may be the way and when the horse chooses to express pain.

Minero continued: "Because there is no verbal communication between animals and humans... this may be further exacerbated by the suppression of horses showing obvious signs of pain in front of humans."

Facial movements selected to recognize pain include: ear stiffness back, tightening of the eye sockets, tightness above the eyes, tight chewing muscles, tight mouth with a pronounced jaw, tight nostrils, and flattened contours.

A blind observer experienced in facial expression evaluation of other species looked at the images to identify changes in the horse's facial expressions.

Pain-related behaviors mainly occur 8 hours after surgery, which indicates that this is a critical period for pain assessment.

The results of the study show that the accuracy of pain assessment is high (73.3%), and the inter-observer reliability is also high.

Research results show that such a scale can indeed benefit those who manage horses that have undergone painful procedures.

The researchers pointed out that dark horses are harder to score than light horses.

The latest research and information from the horse industry.

The link to the picture would be great.

For many people who cannot "read" animals well, it is very educational.

I agree with Laura, a picture that accurately shows these points will help a lot! !

Hi Laura and Barbara, this work was carried out as part of the Animal Welfare Indicators project. The science detailed above is expected to be published in Science Press in the next few months. Once this happens, we will publish various learning materials on the Animal Welfare Science Center (, which not only have photos, but also provide training to help horse owners and others recognize horse pain through facial recognition. This is also There will be an app. Thank you for your attention.

My brother is a veterinarian. He kept reminding us that human beings, all mammals, we are one of them, and they are all physiologically identical. When we cut ourselves, or when a dog, horse or cat cuts ourselves, we all feel the same pain.

If we fly more than 12,000 feet in a small plane and need oxygen! The same goes for our pets on the plane.

I can never understand why pain control is not used in animals, or why humans think that animals do not suffer.

It's so real! You don't have to be a veterinarian to know this. Only ruthless people hurt others. There should be a worldwide animal protection law with heavier penalties. Just enough!

I had two horses castrated in the past and both received Banamine because of pain. It's foolish to think they don't feel pain just because they can't cry. They have nerve endings just like us 馃檪

What if someone wants to see pictures showing pain on the horse's face?

Go find Big Lick, Speed 鈥嬧婻acking Horse or Rollkur.

It's easy to see the pain on those horses' faces.

What always surprises me is that people cannot see confusion and sadness in their eyes. Or they are desperate when they know that things will only get worse.

No, I am not at all a "poor horse freedom" mentality, but I know that horses say a lot about how they treat them.

Estoi de Acquierdo. Solo hay que obervarlos, pero eso requiere disponibilidad de tiempo. Solo hay una manera de aprenderlo. Observando cuando estan bien y cuando no. Cuando se estan "exhibiendo", cuando estan relajados, cuando estan enojados, cuando estan cansados, cuando estan jugando, cuando estan so帽ando, cuando estan durmiendo, cuando estans dustan ermando, cuando estan enojados, cuando estan cansados, cuando estan jugando, cuando estan so帽ando, cuando estan dustan ermiendo, cuando canados en la cara de un caballo. Nadie ha visto a un caballo apretar las mand铆bulas cuando siente dolor? nadie ha observado c贸mo sus m煤sculos facees se ponen en tensi贸n? c贸mo remarcan el arco de sus cejas? nadie ha observado sus caras en un proceso de c贸lico? incluso c贸mo cambian la cara despu茅s de ser tratado el dolor? Fijaos si podeis sacar material photos antes y despu茅s de cualquier dolencia.

I want to admit at the beginning of this statement that not everyone in the gait community does this. However, many terrible things happened in the equestrian show. You may or may not have heard of the surge. Although the rules and regulations regarding this disgusting treatment of horses are getting better and better, for example, soaring is now a felony in TN state, but it still happens. Soaring includes the use of chemicals/chemical burns on the horse鈥檚 legs, as well as placing objects between the soles of the hoof and shoes before placing them in the railing, and other practices that 鈥渢each鈥 the horse to put it on the shelf in a more vivid way. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to detect or prove that this kind of abuse has been committed. Personally, I have never seen pain on a horse's face, just like a horse in a shelf show.

Showing photos will be very educational.

What surprises me is that people get paid for "learning." Anyone who spends a lot of time around these animals already knows these appearances.

Why not go to the school stable and ask responsible and experienced horse owners and trainers how do they know when their horse is in pain or sick? They could have told you these expressions鈥攁t least I knew I could.

Hi. I agree with you that having a scale of thinking and being "formally" open to the idea that horses do have facial expressions when they are suffering or suffering will help many horses and humans to understand each other better. learn more. Cheers from Patagonia.

If ppl does not harm animals, this will never be a problem. Education first starts at home. If you are good to animals, so will your children. Cruelty to animals is a shame to mankind.

If you watch when you are brushing the horse, you can observe if he/she shrinks, they will also show if they miss you, I can鈥檛 visit me because someone killed my car, but he鈥檚 very good and was owned by those who originally owned it. People love him anyway, so I was lucky, but I was told that he missed me and didn鈥檛 know how they behaved. What really made me angry was when they shot from a helicopter without checking if they were dead and letting him They went to die in pain, this is still going on, I was only told yesterday! We complain about the cruelty of other countries, how about right at our door!

Can you download and post links to some video clips? This is the most helpful for all horse owners.

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