Pain is a subjective experience in humans and livestock and can only be measured indirectly, posing challenges for veterinary practitioners in terms of diagnosis and treatment of bovine pain. In this review, attitudes of citizens, producers, and veterinarians are explored regarding pain and its associations with animal welfare and husbandry procedures. Behavior used to quantify pain in cattle is identified in terms of pain-specific behaviors and general behavioral responses that can be observed during painful procedures or convalescence. Finally, nociception and cognitive tests used for reporting pain in human patients are investigated for application to bovine patients.
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