Veterinary Journal 188: 178-183. 

Graubner, C., Gerber, V., Doherr, M. and Spadavecchia, C., 2011.


The aim of this study was to refine a multi-dimensional scale based on physiological and behavioural parameters, known as the post abdominal surgery pain assessment scale (PASPAS), to quantify pain after laparotomy in horses. After a short introduction, eight observers used the scale to assess eight horses at multiple time points after laparotomy. In addition, a single observer was used to test the correlation of each parameter with the total pain index in 34 patients, and the effect of general anaesthesia on PASPAS was investigated in a control group of eight horses.

Inter-observer variability was low (coefficient of variation 0.3), which indicated good reliability of PASPAS. The correlation of individual parameters with the total pain index differed between parameters. PASPAS, which was not influenced by general anaesthesia, was a useful tool to evaluate pain in horses after abdominal surgery and may also be useful to investigate analgesic protocols or for teaching purposes.