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Am J Vet Res. 1987 Jul;48(7):1082-6.

Dental dolorimetry for the evaluation of an analgesic agent in the horse.


A monopolar electrode was implanted surgically in the canine tooth dentine layer to evaluate pain threshold responses of horses. A constant-current stimulator was used to deliver a known electrical current to the tooth pulp nerve. A single stimulus of 2-ms duration, repeated at greater than or equal to 20-s intervals, was used to elicit a head lift response. The lowest current level that produced 3 positive head lift responses was recorded as the pain threshold of the horse. The testing technique, dental dolorimetry, was easily performed. Tooth pulp pain thresholds (TPPT) were established on 8 nonmedicated adult male horses. Electrodes were nonreactive and remained functional for up to 98 days. Base-line TPPT values were consistent with repeated measurements on the same day and measurements on subsequent test days. The quantity of electrical current necessary to elicit the TPPT was increased after administration of xylazine HCl as a test analgesic.

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