TABLE A-5 Species-specific signs of behavior indicating pain, distress, or discomfort in experimental animals

Species

Posture

Vocalising

Temperament

Locomotion

Other

Rat*

Persistent dormouse posture

Squeals on handling or pressure on affected area

May become more docile or aggressive

 

Abdominal writhing in mice.

Eats bedding; eats neonates

Rabbit

Looks anxious, faces back of cage (hiding posture)

Piercing squeal

Kicks and scratches or dozey

 

No spillage of food or water; eats neonates

Guinea pig

 

Urgent repetitive squealing

Rarely vicious; usually quiet; terrified, agitated

Drags legs back

No spillage of food or water

Dog

Anxious glances: seeks cold surfaces; tail between legs; hangdog look

Howls, distinctive bark

Aggression or cringing and extreme submissiveness, runs away

As guinea pig. Raised body temperature; increase in specific gravity of urine and decrease in volume; sweaty paws, pupils dilate, eyes glazed

Penile protrusion; frequent urination

Cat

Tucked-in limbs, hunched head and neck

Distinctive cry or hissing and spitting

Ears flattened; fear of being handled; may cringe

 

 

Monkey

Head Arms across body

Screams

Facial grimace

 

 

* Many signs in rats may also be seen in mice.

Reprinted from Morton, D. B. and P. H. M. Griffiths. 1985. Guidelines on the recognition of pain, distress and discomfort in experimental animals and an hypothesis for assessment. Vet Record 116:431-436.



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