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    ABSTRACT: Early life experiences can have profound long-term, and sometimes trans-generational, effects on individual phenotypes. However, there is a relative paucity of knowledge about effects on pain sensitivity, even though these may impact on an individual's health and welfare, particularly in farm animals exposed to painful husbandry procedures. Here, we tested in sheep whether neonatal painful and non-painful challenges can alter pain sensitivity in adult life, and also in the next generation. Ewes exposed to tail-docking or a simulated mild infection (lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) on days 3–4 of life showed higher levels of pain-related behaviour when giving birth as adults compared with control animals. LPS-treated ewes also gave birth to lambs who showed decreased pain sensitivity in standardized tests during days 2–3 of life. Our results demonstrate long-term and trans-generational effects of neonatal experience on pain responses in a commercially important species and suggest that variations in early lif
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Biology letters
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    ABSTRACT: An observer blinded, placebo controlled study evaluated the effects of 62.5 μg/m2 dexmedetomidine administered IV on recovery from isoflurane anaesthesia in dogs. Forty-four healthy dogs, weighing 1.8 - 19.95 kg, presented for surgery that was expected to cause mild to moderate pain were studied. All were premedicated with 125 μg/m2 dexmedetomidine and 20 μg/kg buprenorphine IM. Anaesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with isoflurane. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and local anaesthetic techniques were administered as appropriate. Immediately prior to extubation dogs were treated with dexmedetomidine 62.5 μg/m2 (group D) or an equivalent volume of heparinised saline (S). Assessments of heart rate, respiratory rate, pain (short form Glasgow composite pain scale [SF-GCPS], dynamic interactive visual analogue scale [DIVAS]), sedation (simple descriptive scale [SDS], DIVAS) and mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) were performed immediately before premedication, 20 min later, at the time of test drug administration (T0) and at 15 to 30 min intervals until T4 h. Recovery quality was scored 0 – 3 (SDS). Data were analysed with Student’s t and Mann-Whitney U tests, two-way ANOVA and Fisher’s exact test. Significantly fewer poor quality recoveries were observed in group D (D 2[1-3]; S 2[0-3]; P=0.02), however, sedation was increased in group D compared to group S from T15 to T150 min (P=0.0001). Pain scores were lower in group D compared to group S from T15 to T120 min (P=0.001), but the requirement for additional analgesia in the first 4 h following extubation was not different between groups. Dexmedetomidine may decrease the incidence of poor quality anaesthetic recoveries in dogs.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · The Veterinary Journal

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