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Facing up to detecting pain in horses

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RESEARCHERS at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) have developed an ethogram – an inventory of behaviours – to help vets, owners and riders detect signs of pain in ridden horses on the basis of their facial expressions. They hope that this will enable early investigation, diagnosis and treatment of lameness cases.

Facial expression ethograms have been used before to describe pain-related behaviour in horses, but the researchers, led by Sue Dyson, head of clinical orthopaedics at the AHT, say that there is a need for a facial ethogram to …

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