delighted to see the publication of Vivian & Emily’s work on a real-time application of the Rat Grimace Scale (RGS). The RGS, developed by the Mogil group, describes scoring acute pain in rats by scoring facial expression (“grimacing”). While a valuable research tool, applying it to clinical care is limited as it is based on fairly labour intensive video-recordings followed by image scoring.
Vivian & Emily put in a massive number of hours watching and analysing videos alongside real-time (“cage-side”) scoring, showing for the first time that cage-side scoring is feasible. We hope that this finding will add to the limited number of tools we have available to assess acute pain in rats, improving care and welfare for both research animals and pets.