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Data from: The effect of early burn injury on sensitivity to future painful stimuli in dairy heifers

Citation

Adcock, Sarah; Tucker, Cassandra (2020), Data from: The effect of early burn injury on sensitivity to future painful stimuli in dairy heifers, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.25338/B82G8Z

Abstract

Animals that experience painful procedures as neonates are more sensitive to pain later in life. We evaluated whether disbudding with a heated iron at 3 (n=12), 35 (n=9), or 56 (n=20) d of age affected heifers’ pain responses to vaccine injections at 11 mo of age. Heifers responded to the injection procedure with struggling and changes in eye temperature and heart rate variability compared to a sham procedure the day before, and still had a heightened response 6 d later, regardless of disbudding age. However, some heart rate variability indices suggested increased sympathetic dominance in heifers disbudded at 35 d, compared to the other 2 age groups, independent of the injection procedure. We also found that heifers disbudded at 3 or 35 d had a higher mean heart rate after the injection procedure compared to those disbudded at 56 d. We conclude that: (1) heifers find injections aversive; and (2) there is some evidence that disbudding age influences autonomic nervous system activity later in life.

Usage Notes

Data were collected from the University of California Davis Dairy Facility on 41 heifers in 2017. Variables are defined in Sheet 2 of each Excel file. The R script used to analyze each dataset is provided.