• Dixon, A. K. and H. U. Fisch. 1998. Animal models and ethological strategies for early drug testing in humans. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 23(2):345-358.

As stated in various places in the report, an effective assessment of distress is predicated upon solid knowledge of physiologic behaviors for each species and careful observation. In this respect, clinical and behavioral analysis of distress follows the investigative guidelines to determine the cause of any clinical symptomatology or pathology. Similarly, the goal of this exercise would be to remove, alleviate, or minimize the cause of distress (if doing so does not conflict with the research protocol) and support the animal in order to help it recover (see decision-making algorithm at the end of Chapter 4). The approach should integrate information from multiple behavioral and physiological parameters and should involve a team approach that includes researchers, veterinarians, and animal caretakers/ technicians, as distress levels will vary in relation to the species, husbandry conditions, and experimental protocol as well as with each individual animal. The Committee points out that differential diagnosis of signs (clinical and behavioral) attributed to pain, sickness, or distress is quite difficult and requires careful observation and clinical skills. The following tables showcase the overlapping clinical signs and abnormal behaviors associated both with distress and/or pain in various animal species.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement