Physiology of pain

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Veterinary professionals attempting to treat pain are limited in terms of examining whether patients experience the sensory or emotional aspects of true pain. An understanding of the physiology of pain is required to know when and how to treat for pain if classical behavioural signs are not present.

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2.1 Diagram of a nociceptor terminal illustrating various transducers sensitive to noxious stimuli and ion channels. Influx of calcium and sodium ions in sufficient concentration will cause an action potential along the nerve axon. Potassium ions are usually inhibitory. ASIC = acid-sending ion channels; TRPA1 = transient receptor potential ankyrin 1; TRPM8 = transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 8; TRPV = transient receptor potential channel subfamily V. (© Juliane Deubner, University of Saskatchewan, Canada)
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2.2 Diagram of a transverse section of the spinal cord, illustrating the central terminals of the first-order Aβ (green), Aδ (orange) and C (red) neurons within the dorsal horn of the grey matter. The numerals represent the position of the terminals in Rexed’s laminae of the spinal cord. (© Juliane Deubner, University of Saskatchewan, Canada)
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