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Publication - Dr Livia Benato

    Pain and analgesia in pet rabbits within the veterinary environment

    a review

    Citation

    Benato, L, Rooney, NJ & Murrell, JC, 2019, ‘Pain and analgesia in pet rabbits within the veterinary environment: a review’. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, vol 46., pp. 151-162

    Abstract

    Objective
    To provide an overview of pain and analgesia in rabbits with the aim of developing a more accurate understanding of these topics.
    To illustrate and discuss the areas that have advanced in recent years and those that still require further research.

    Databases used
    Three key subject resources were used: Web of Science, Medline and CAB Abstracts.

    Search terms including rabbits, lagomorphs, laboratory animals, pet, pain, surgicalprocedures, ovariohysterectomy, orchiectomy, castration, analgesia, opioids, and non9 steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs were included. References from books and articles relevant to the topics were also included.

    Conclusions
    Rabbit medicine has improved over the last 20 years, but the literature suggests that pain management in this species is still inadequate and veterinary professionals believe
    their knowledge of pain and analgesia in this species is limited. Assessment and quantification of pain in rabbits can be challenging in a clinical environment not only because
    as prey species rabbits tend to hide signs of pain but also because there are no validated methods to assess pain except the Rabbit Grimace Scale (RbtGS) which is based on only one
    rabbit breed. It is the current consensus that perioperative multimodal analgesia is best practice. However it is not widely used in rabbits. In rabbits, analgesia protocols and dosages reported in the
    literature are often poorly researched and do not result in complete pain amelioration with the return of normal behaviour of the rabbit. The present literature on rabbit pain and analgesia
    presents gaps either due to unexplored areas or insufficient findings. Further research should focus on these areas with the aim of improving the welfare of rabbits within a veterinary clinic.

    Full details in the University publications repository