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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Clinical, Review

Animal Studies, Medical Devices, Neurobiology

Non-Human Pain

2023 Jun 22

Animals (Basel)




Assessment of Pain and Inflammation in Domestic Animals Using Infrared Thermography: A Narrative Review.


Whittaker AL, Muns R, Wang D, Martínez-Burnes J, Hernández-Ávalos I, Casas-Alvarado A, Domínguez-Oliva A, Mota-Rojas D


Pain assessment in domestic animals has gained importance in recent years due to the recognition of the physiological, behavioral, and endocrine consequences of acute pain on animal production, welfare, and animal model validity. Current approaches to identifying acute pain mainly rely on behavioral-based scales, quantifying pain-related biomarkers, and the use of devices monitoring sympathetic activity. Infrared thermography is an alternative that could be used to correlate the changes in the superficial temperature with other tools and thus be an additional or alternate acute pain assessment marker. Moreover, its non-invasiveness and the objective nature of its readout make it potentially very valuable. However, at the current time, it is not in widespread use as an assessment strategy. The present review discusses scientific evidence for infrared thermography as a tool to evaluate pain, limiting its use to monitor acute pain in pathological processes and invasive procedures, as well as its use for perioperative monitoring in domestic animals.