Dull And Disinterested? Inattentive Attitude May Be Biomarker Of Pain - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Dull And Disinterested? Inattentive Attitude May Be Biomarker Of Pain

A dull and uninterested horse may not be simply bored, as many horse owners assume. Instead, the horse may be in pain, a study from England has found. 

Scientists from the University of Bristol tested 20 horses for the reactions to novel objects like pool noodles and swimming flippers prior to and after a surgical procedure. Sixteen horses that did not undergo surgery were used as study controls. 

The scientists found that the horses who underwent surgery spent significantly less time interacting with the objects immediately after the surgical procedure than they did beforehand. The control horses did not change interaction times when they were presented with the objects a second time. 

Additionally, study horses reacted less to the sound of a hair dryer turning on after surgery; the control horses did not change their reaction to noise exposure. 

The study team concluded that the pain horses feel after a surgery affects their response and startle times. They noted that this inattentive attitude may be used as a biomarker of pain. 

Read more at EQUUS magazine

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