Pain Scale for Piglets

Use the following criteria to evaluate the animal post-surgery:

  • Score of 6-7: Continue monitoring for decline in condition. Analgesics can be administered
  • Score of 8 (one-24 hours post-surgery): Pain medication to be administered
  • Score of 9 (48+ hours post-surgery): Additional pain management, antibiotics, blood sampling, and/or fluid
  • balancing should be considered
  • Score of 10-11: Recommend euthanizing

Abdominal Palpation Following Surgery or at Time of Illness

  • 0: Normal, abdomen soft, piglet tolerates palpation well
  • 1: Abdomen soft, piglet actively withdraws from palpation
  • 2: Abdomen tense, piglets withdraws from palpation
  • 3: Abdomen rigid, piglet immobile

Physical Appearance

  • 0: Normal (coat, eyes clear and bright, head up when standing)
  • 1: Slight change in coat i.e. piglet starting to look a little hairy, eyes bright, normal position, head up when standing
  • 2: Piglets coat looks very hairy, nasal/ocular discharge, dull eyes, eyes not centrally positioned, but will follow movements of people or objects when prompted to do so, piglet hold head down, presses nose on ground occasionally, moderate mouth breathing (panting), piglet is pacing back and forth and vocal
  • 3: Very rough, hairy coat, abnormal posture (hunches up), eyes look dry, cloudy, and do not follow movements of people or objects, presses nose to ground, will not hold head up when standing, severe mouth breathing, panting with labored breathing

Unprovoked Behavior

  • 0: Normal behavior pattern
  • 1: Minor changes; is awake less often, plays with toys less often, plays when encouraged
  • 2: Abnormal behavior, reduced mobility, decreased alertness, inactive
  • 3: Unsolicited vocalizations, either very restless or immobile, expiratory grunts

Behavioral Responses to External Stimuli (hypo/hyperesthesia)

  • 0: Normal (behavioral responses normal for the expected conditions)
  • 1: Minor depression/exaggeration of responses (pain or touch response)
  • 2: Moderately abnormal responses, moderate change of behavior (pain or touch response)
  • 3: Violent reactions to stimuli, or very weak muscular responses as in a pre-comatose state (pain or touch response)