Empathic veterinarians score cattle pain higher

In human medicine, empathy is considered important because it facilitates the acquisition of information for diagnosis and decisions on therapies. For vets, recognition of animal pain is an essential prerequisite for the treatment of pain in animals.

93% of Finnish veterinarians would treat disbudding pain with sedation, local anesthetic and analgesicsIn human medicine, empathy is considered important because it facilitates the acquisition of information for diagnosis and decisions on therapies. For vets, recognition of animal pain is an essential prerequisite for the treatment of pain in animals. A Finnish survey to farm animal veterinarians and clinical stage students discovered that veterinarians with a higher empathy towards people give a higher pain score to conditions such as disbudding in calves.

Remarkably, overall the respondents had a greater empathy towards animals than towards humans. Having grown up in larger families with a pet increased sensitivity towards pain in animals.

Norring et al. 2014. Vet J200:186-190 See the full abstract here!

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