Pain assessment following experimental maxillofacial surgical procedure in sheep

M. Abu-Serriah, A. M. Nolan, S. Dolan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the severity and duration of postoperative pain and hyperalgesia in sheep undergoing mandibular reconstructive surgery. Stimulus-evoked sensitivity at the surgical site and an area remote from injury, the ipsilateral and contralateral forelimbs, was measured as objective indicators of altered pain processing in adult female sheep (n = 7). Responses were recorded before surgery and one, two, three, seven and 14 days afterwards. Concentrations of the acute-phase protein haptoglobin were measured in serum as a marker of inflammation before and at one and seven days after surgery. A significant decrease in forelimb mechanical withdrawal thresholds (secondary hyperalgesia) and response thresholds to punctate stimulation of the area surrounding the surgical incision (allodynia) was detected one day after surgery and persisted for at least three days, despite intra- and postoperative analgesic treatment. Concentrations of haptoglobin were significantly increased one day post-surgery, indicating the presence of a significant acute inflammatory response, and returned to pre-surgical concentrations by seven days. These data provide a deeper insight into understanding the impact of surgery in experimental animals, and may assist in formulating more effective analgesic and antihyperalgesic treatment regimens postoperatively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-352
Number of pages8
JournalLaboratory Animals
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Sheep
  • maxillofacial
  • pain
  • experimental
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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