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the use of a questionnaire for monitoring signs of chronic pain in horses with osteo-arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of chronic pain in horses yet it remains an under-recognized and under-treated condition. Despite its common association with advanced age, it can also affect young horses. In addition to being painful, OA can severely limit a horse's athletic career, and impact the bond between horse and owner if the condition limits a horse's ability to be ridden.
Diane Howard, PhD, MSc., a graduate of the Equine Science Master's program at the University of Edinburgh, has developed a 15-question survey based on interviews with horse owners whose animals suffer from chronic osteoarthritic pain.
The study will evaluate the questionnaire's efficacy in assisting owners to identify and monitor behavioural indications of pain in their horses.
Initial results,presented at the Horses Inside Out conference, are promising, but additional participants are required. To date, people completing the questionnaire have found it to be both helpful and straightforward to complete, with all participants able to finish it in less than five minutes.
The research, in collaboration with Dr. Janny de Grauw, from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, is funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.
“Many horses may deal with pain that is not recognized, particularly in its early stages,” said Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane, Morris Animal Foundation Chief Scientific Officer. “Giving their caregivers effective tools for detection, monitoring and decision-making has the potential for significant animal welfare impact.”
For more details, and to take part, please contact Diane Howard, at: