Development of a grimace pain scale in horses

horse grimace scaleDevelopment of the Horse Grimace Scale (HGS) as a Pain Assessment Tool in Horses

Horses do not vocalise their pain, and it can be difficult for observers to tell whether a horse is in pain, or to what extent.  Much equine management and training is contingent upon the application of aversive stimuli which have the potential to cause pain.  The ability to assess pain via the changes in a horse’s facial expressions is a useful facility, offering applications in a variety of husbandry and performance contexts.

An android app has been developed to teach users to recognise and assess pain in horses using facial expressions:

The HGS (Horse Grimace Scale) App

(Photo courtesy of Animal Welfare Indicators)

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