Pain Management in Horses

Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2017 Apr;33(1):181-211. doi: 10.1016/j.cveq.2016.11.006.


There has been great progress in the understanding of basic neurobiologic mechanisms of pain, but this body of knowledge has not yet translated into new and improved analgesics. Progress has been made regarding pain assessment in horses, but more work is needed until sensitive and accurate pain assessment tools are available for use in clinical practice. This review summarizes and updates the knowledge concerning the cornerstones of pain medicine (understand, assess, prevent, and treat). It highlights the importance of understanding pain mechanisms and expressions to enable a rational approach to pain assessment, prevention, and management in the equine patient.

Keywords: Equine; Inflammation; Lameness; Musculoskeletal; Visceral.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Horse Diseases / physiopathology
  • Horse Diseases / therapy*
  • Horses
  • Lameness, Animal / physiopathology
  • Lameness, Animal / therapy
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain / veterinary*
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Pain Management / veterinary*