ABSTRACT: Reptiles are very likely to have the same pain experience as mammals, as the structures involved with nociception and processing are homologous. However, there is a big difference in expressive behaviours of pain between reptiles and mammals. This makes pain assessment challenging. Difficulty in pain assessment, along with other factors, makes poor pain management a welfare issue in the veterinary and the wider reptile – keeping context. Research in reptile pain is very limited so far; this article aims to provide some basic information on assessing pain in reptiles.


Aneesa Malik MSC RVN Cert VNES Cert VNECC

Aneesa worked in first opinion, emergency, referral, and for the RSPCA. She went on to pursue an interest in animal welfare science, particularly pain assessment and management. Her focus is the factors that affect very different pain management regimes in our veterinary patients, for instance, factors such as the staff involved, the species of animal, or whether patients are ‘owned’, ‘stray’, or wildlife.

Email: aneesa.vn@gmail.com

Keywords: reptiles; pain; assessment; analgesia

To cite this article: Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 33 (07) • July 2018 pp201-211

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