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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2015Researchpeer-review



  • Author: Raundal, Peter M.

    University of Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Author: Andersen, P. H.

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • Author: Toft, Nils

    Section for Epidemiology, National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Herskin, Mette S.

    Aarhus University, Denmark

  • Author: Forkman, B.

    University of Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Author: Munksgaard, L.

    Aarhus University

  • Author: de Passillé, A. M.

    University of British Columbia, Canada

  • Author: Rushen, J.

    University of British Columbia, Canada

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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
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
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

CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Mechanical nociceptive threshold, Dairy cows, Pain, Habituation
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