Pre-test habituation improves the reliability of a handheld test of mechanical nociceptive threshold in dairy cows

P. M. Raundal, P. H. Andersen, Nils Toft, M. S. Herskin, B. Forkman, L. Munksgaard, A. M. de Passillé, J. Rushen

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    Abstract

    Mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) testing has been used to investigate aspects of painful states in bovine claws. We investigated a handheld tool, where the applied stimulation force was monitored continuously relative to a pre-encoded based target force. The effect on MNT of two pre-testing habituation procedures was performed in two different experiments comprising a total of 88 sound Holsteins dairy cows kept either inside or outside their home environment. MNT testing was performed using five consecutive mechanical nociceptive stimulations per cow per test at a fixed pre-encoded target rate of 2.1 N/s. The habituation procedure performed in dairy cows kept in their home environment led to lowered intra-individual coefficient of variation of MNT (P < 0.001), increased MNT (P < 0.001) and decreased the discrepancy between applied and target force during stimulations (P < 0.001). Pre-test habituation improved the reliability of the handheld tool when used in dairy cows kept in their home environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
    Volume102
    Pages (from-to)189-195
    Number of pages7
    ISSN0034-5288
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

    Keywords

    • Mechanical nociceptive threshold
    • Dairy cows
    • Pain
    • Habituation

    Cite this

    Raundal, P. M., Andersen, P. H., Toft, N., Herskin, M. S., Forkman, B., Munksgaard, L., de Passillé, A. M., & Rushen, J. (2015). Pre-test habituation improves the reliability of a handheld test of mechanical nociceptive threshold in dairy cows. Research in Veterinary Science, 102, 189-195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2015.07.020