Article

Dynamic changes in ear temperature in relation to separation distress in dogs

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Abstract

Infrared thermography can visualize changes in body surface temperature that result from stress-induced physiological changes and alterations of blood flow patterns. Here we explored its use for remote stress monitoring (i.e. removing need for human presence) in a sample of six pet dogs. Dogs were tested in a brief separation test involving contact with their owner, a stranger, and social isolation for two one-minute-periods. Tests were filmed using a thermographic camera set up in a corner of the room, around 7m from where the subjects spent most of the time. Temperature was measured from selected regions of both ear pinnae simultaneously. Temperatures of both ear pinnae showed a pattern of decrease during separation and increase when a person (either the owner or a stranger) was present, with no lateralized temperature differences between the two ears. Long distance thermographic measurement is a promising technique for non-invasive remote stress assessment, although there are some limitations related to dogs' hair structure over the ears, making it unsuitable for some subjects.

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... Some dogs may also show aversive behaviour toward camera. Ogata et al., 2006;Part et al., 2014;Vainionpää, 2014;Nääs et al., 2014;Redaelli et al., 2014;Travain et al., 2015;Proctor and Carder, 2015;Telkänranta et al., 2016;Whitham and Miller, 2016;Riemer et al., 2016 Immune function (IgA/ antibody and WBC levels) ...
... In contrast, Part et al. (2014) found that dogs who were moved to kennels from a home environment had no difference in their core temperatures (measured with a thermometer in the ear canal), but they did have significantly lower surface temperatures, as measured using an infrared camera recording nose temperature. Similarly, Riemer et al. (2016) used an infrared camera to measure surface temperature, specifically the temperature of the ear pinnae from long distances (6-8 m). Although this was a small sample (six dogs), the results showed that peripheral temperature decreased in response to separation and increased again upon reunion with the owner. ...
... With the advance of technology, thermal imaging can now be used as a noninvasive measure of temperature, which greatly reduces the stresses involved. This is because thermal imaging requires no restraint and, in some cases, does not even require a person to be present, meaning that the animal is not even necessarily aware that the measurements are being taken (Riemer et al., 2016). Thermal imaging is a useful measure of welfare across a variety of species for both core and peripheral temperatures (for reviews, see: Nääs et al., 2014 andRedaelli et al., 2014), however few studies have used it to assess canine welfare specifically, as a standard methodology has not yet been developed and validated. ...
Article
Hundreds of thousands of dogs are housed in kennels worldwide, yet there are no standard protocols for assessing the welfare of dogs in these environments. Animal science is focusing increasingly on the importance of animal-based measures for determining welfare states, and those measures that have been used with kennelled dogs are reviewed in this paper with particular focus on their validity and practicality. From a physiological standpoint, studies using cortisol, heart rate and heart rate variability, temperature changes, and immune function are discussed. Behavioural measures are also of great relevance when addressing canine welfare, thus studies on fear and anxiety behaviours, abnormal behaviours like stereotypies, as well as responses to strangers and novel objects are reviewed. Finally, a limited number of studies attempting to use cognitive bias and learning ability are also mentioned as cognitive measures. The literature to date provides a strong background for which measures may be useful in determining the welfare of kennelled canines, however more research is needed to further assess the value of using these methods, particularly in regard to the large degree of individual differences that exist between dogs.
... Studies of the facial region have described several thermal windows: the lacrimal caruncle [9,12,39,40], the eyeball [41], and the ear [22,42]. Some authors even suggest evaluating the entire area of the face [43]. ...
... Some authors even suggest evaluating the entire area of the face [43]. In the cranial region (regio cranii), the auricula (regio auricularis) has been described as an area whose vascular response is associated with inflammatory, painful, and stressful events [22,42]. This region and the ocular window (oculi) in veterinary medicine are currently used as thermal windows to evaluate the infrared response [31,35,38]. ...
... Another field of evaluation of thermographic responses in cats involves stress induced by separation from the owner. Observations showed that the auricular region temperature decreased during separation but registered an increase as soon as the owner returned to contact with the patient [42]. The thermal window of the auricular pavilion (pinna) has also been used in companion animals to evaluate responses to stress in these species. ...
Article
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Infrared thermography (IRT) has been proposed as a method for clinical research to detect local inflammatory processes, wounds, neoplasms, pain, and neuropathies. However, evidence of the effectiveness of the thermal windows used in dogs and cats is discrepant. This review aims to analyze and discuss the usefulness of IRT in diverse body regions in household animals (pets) related to recent scientific evidence on the use of the facial, body, and appendicular thermal windows. IRT is a diagnostic method that evaluates thermal and circulatory changes under different clinical conditions. For the face, structures such as the lacrimal caruncle, ocular area, and pinna are sensitive to assessments of stress degrees, but only the ocular window has been validated in felines. The usefulness of body and appendicular thermal windows has not been conclusively demonstrated because evidence indicates that biological and environmental factors may strongly influence thermal responses in those body regions. The above has led to proposals to evaluate specific muscles that receive high circulation, such as the bicepsfemoris and gracilis. The neck area, perivulvar, and perianal regions may also prove to be useful thermal windows, but their degree of statistical reliability must be established. In conclusion, IRT is a non-invasive technique that can be used to diagnose inflammatory and neoplastic conditions early. However, additional research is required to establish the sensitivity and specificity of these thermal windows and validate their clinical use in dogs and cats.
... In the scientific literature, there is divergence regarding the nomenclature used for expressing the behavioral problems related to separation in companion animals with at least three terminologies commonly used: separation-related problems [22,23]; separation distress [24] and separation anxiety syndrome [15,25]. In spite of using different terms to describe this condition, some of the behaviors most commonly used to characterize SRP are usually the same: destructive behavior, excessive vocalization and inappropriate elimination when the animal is alone [22,26]. ...
... In spite of using different terms to describe this condition, some of the behaviors most commonly used to characterize SRP are usually the same: destructive behavior, excessive vocalization and inappropriate elimination when the animal is alone [22,26]. In this study we will use the term SRP, since it is the most general and includes behavioral disturbances that occur in the presence or absence of physiological signs of stress [23,24,27]. ...
... Separation-related problems have been vastly studied in domestic dogs [23,24,27]; however, for cats few studies have reported the occurrence of SRP [15,25,28]. To the best of our knowledge, there are only two empirical studies [15,28] and one review article [25] addressing this condition in cats. ...
Article
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Identifying and preventing the occurrence of separation-related problems (SRP) in companion animals are relevant to animal welfare and the quality of human-pet interactions. The SRP are defined as a set of behaviors and physiological signs displayed by the animal when separated from its attachment person. In cats, SRP has been insufficiently studied. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop a questionnaire for cat owners which identifies behaviors that may indicate SRP, as well as relates the occurrence of SRP to the management practices applied in the sampled cats. The associations of SRP with cats' characteristics , as well as owner, environmental, and management traits were investigated. The questionnaire was developed based on the scientific literature about separation anxiety syndrome in dogs and a few papers in cats, and it was completed by 130 owners of 223 cats. Analysis of owners' answers was done through categorization and acquisition of relative frequencies of each response category, followed by Fisher's exact test, chi-square tests in contingency table and Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Among the sampled animals, 13.45% (30 / 223) met at least one of the behavioral criteria we used to define SRP. Destructive behavior was the most frequently reported behavior (66.67%, 20 / 30), followed by excessive vocalization (63.33%, 19 / 30), urination in inappropriate places (60.00%, 18 / 30), depression-apathy (53.33%, 16 / 30), aggressiveness (36.67%, 11 / 30) and agitation-anxiety (36.67%, 11 / 30) and, in lower frequency, defecation in inappropriate places (23.33%, 7 / 30). The occurrence of SRP was associated with the number of females living in the residence (P = 0.01), with not having access to toys (P = 0.04), and no other animal residing in the house (P = 0.04). Separation-related problems in domestic cats are difficult to identify due to the limited amount of knowledge regarding the issue. The questionnaire developed in this study supported identification of the main behaviors likely related to SRP in cats and could be used as a starting point for future research.
... Therefore, HRV is useful when paired with behavioral observations which may involve postural changes (Travain et al., 2016). Infrared thermography (IRT) is noninvasive and can be used to measure changes in core eye and ear temperature (Travain et al., 2015;Riemer et al., 2016) and can be paired with HRV as an indicator of psychological stress (Squibb et al., 2018). Heart rate (HR) and IRT measures offer supplementary physiological data to further support behavioral indicators of stress and can be used to assess stress response in dogs subjected to DAP application. ...
... Where owners were unavailable to participate in the trials, a familiar person was used instead. A familiar person (known to the dog and who engaged with the dog on a regular basis) was considered a suitable alternative to the owner as Riemer et al., (2016) observed no significant difference between dog responses when owners and strangers returned to the dog. ...
... IRT was used as a noninvasive stress assessment method to record core eye temperature (Stewart et al., 2005;Travain et al., 2015) and ear pinna temperature (Riemer et al., 2016) using a portable IRT camera (FLIR One iOS plug-in Thermal Imaging Camera, USA, FLIRÔ). Five thermal image readings took place between conditions, for example, immediately before and after the control condition and also immediately post conditions A, B, and C. Thermographic measurements measured temperature ( C) in the lacrimal caruncle of the eye, since this has been shown to represent the core body temperature in dogs (Travain et al., 2015). ...
Article
Behavioral problems in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) increase the likelihood of the dog being rehomed or relinquished to a rescue shelter. Problem behaviors that result in relinquishment include unwanted elimination, destructive behavior and excessive vocalization when owners are absent. Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) is currently marketed via veterinarians as a stress relief product and purported to help dogs cope in stressful situations and as a potential solution to reduce anxiety. This study investigated whether a DAP diffuser affected behavioral and physiological stress parameters in 10 dogs in a laboratory environment. A repeated measures design with and without the use of DAP, and in the presence and absence of the owner was used. Behavioral responses, such as barking, passive behavior, scratching, whining, orienting behavior, exploration and locomotion, were recorded in real time and video recorded using a focal instantaneous sampling technique. In order to control for potential bias, 10% of the videos were scored using a second blinded scorer to assess inter-rater reliability. Heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV) using Standard Deviation of Normal to Normal beats (SDNN), eye temperature and ear temperature (°C) were also collected to assess dogs’ physiological state. When dogs were separated from their owner, there was a significant increase in orienting behavior during both the DAP and without DAP application trial phase suggesting arousal due to owner absence rather than any discernible effect of DAP. A significant increase was recorded in core eye temperature when the owner was absent and the DAP diffuser was not switched on however, eye temperature also increased when the owners were present after the DAP condition suggesting that it may be the owner’s presence and the dog’s arousal levels that affect core eye temperature rather than any effect of DAP. There was no significant effect of DAP on HR or ear temperature. Overall, our results suggest that the application of a DAP diffuser did not markedly influence the behavior, heart rate, eye or ear temperature of dogs.
... In general, areas without the interference of fur are used as regions of interest to detect heat changes. Eye (Stewart et al., 2008;Csoltova et al., 2017) and nose (Kuraoka and Nakamura, 2011;Proctor and Carder, 2016) temperatures are used most frequently, but other body parts, such as the ears (Riemer et al., 2016) have also been used as a region of interest when studying emotion-induced heat surface changes in animals. ...
... In dogs, there has been a growing interest in utilizing IRT to investigate negative emotion-induced surface heat increase associated mainly with stress, fear-based aggression, and separation anxiety, both in clinical and home settings (Travain et al., 2015;Riemer et al., 2016;Csoltova et al., 2017;Rigterink et al., 2018). ...
... The reappearance of both familiar and unfamiliar persons after a brief separation was sufficient to increase dogs' outer ear temperature (Riemer et al., 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Although there have been a growing number of studies focusing on dog welfare, the research field concerning dog positive-emotion assessment remains mostly unexplored. This paper aims to provide a state-of-the-art review and summary of the scattered and disperse research on dog positive-emotion assessment. The review notably details the current advancement in dog positive-emotion research, what approaches, measures, methods, and techniques have been implemented so far in emotion perception, processing, and response assessment. Moreover, we propose possible future research directions for short-term emotion as well as longer-term emotional states assessment in dogs. The review ends by identifying and addressing some methodological limitations and by pointing out further methodological research needs.
... Therefore, although IRT might be a useful tool in assessing arousal emotional states in dogs, it fails to discriminate emotional states, whose interpretation still has to depend on behavioral indices or supplementary physiological parameters [78]. Riemer and coworkers measured ear temperature in dogs during a brief separation from their owner and found that it decreased during separation and increased when a person (either owner or stranger) was present [79]. Although these results indicate that IRT could be promising as a noninvasive remote stress assessment tool, ears were often difficult to use (if not completely inaccessible) because of the different hair and ear structure of many dog breeds. ...
... Stressful situations can induce an increase in core body temperature, which influences the temperature of the lacrimal caruncle and ear pinnae. Veterinary visit caused a peak in dogs' eye temperatures during the clinical examination phase; on the other hand, temperature of the ear pinnae decreased during isolation and increased when a person was present in the same room with the dog, indicating that isolation stress is associated with reduced ear temperature [4,79]. Similarly, arousal determined by the presence of food in the owner's hands resulted in an increment in eye temperature [78]. ...
... Similarly, arousal determined by the presence of food in the owner's hands resulted in an increment in eye temperature [78]. Likely, temperature changes following a stimulus are linked to the intensity of the response, for example, suggesting different effects by stressors of different intensity on the temperature both during and after the exposure, but they cannot be used as the sole parameter for detecting the valence of a stimulus [77][78][79]. This contrasting effect on body temperature can be explained by the activation of the sympathetic branch of the ANS, which induces an increase in core temperature, reflected in the eye, and a decrease in more peripheral body areas, such as the nose, face, and ears, due to vasoconstriction [78]. ...
Article
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Whether animals have emotions was historically a long-lasting question but, today, nobody disputes that they do. However, how to assess them and how to guarantee animals their welfare have become important research topics in the last 20 years. Infrared thermography (IRT) is a method to record the electromagnetic radiation emitted by bodies. It can indirectly assess sympathetic and parasympathetic activity via the modification of temperature of different body areas, caused by different phenomena such as stress-induced hyperthermia or variation in blood flow. Compared to other emotional activation assessment methods, IRT has the advantage of being noninvasive, allowing use without the risk of influencing animals’ behavior or physiological responses. This review describes general principles of IRT functioning, as well as its applications in studies regarding emotional reactions of domestic animals, with a brief section dedicated to the experiments on wildlife; it analyzes potentialities and possible flaws, confronting the results obtained in different taxa, and discusses further opportunities for IRT in studies about animal emotions.
... While regular veterinary care is important for maintaining dog health and welfare, it can also result in exposure to stimuli and situations that can have a negative impact on animal welfare. A number of factors can contribute to dog fear during veterinary care, including previous negative experiences resulting from pain and/or stress (Döring et al., 2009), exposure to novel stimuli such as people (Vas et al., 2005), animals, environments (Garnier et al., 1990), as well as unfamiliar handling, and isolation from owners (Riemer et al., 2016). ...
... While respiratory rate was elevated by background noise, heart rate and temperature were not affected. Previous research has demonstrated increased heart rate and temperature in dogs in response to fear or stress-inducing stimuli, including loud, sudden noises (Beerda et al., 1997;Bragg et al., 2015;Hydbring-Sandberg et al., 2004;Riemer et al., 2016;Soszyński et al., 1999). For example, Ogata et al. (2006) demonstrated that dog heart rate and body temperature increased consistently in response to a loud buzzer. ...
Article
Veterinary visits result in behavioural and physiological signs of fear and stress for many companion dogs. There are a number of factors that likely contribute to this response, but little is known about possible effects of the acoustic environment. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of elevated levels of common veterinary background noises on fear-related responses in dogs during a routine physical examination in a veterinary setting. Testing took place in an examination room at a veterinary clinic and involved 33 owned companion dogs. All dogs received a standardized physical examination where each dog was either presented with no additional noise (n = 16, control), or a pre-recorded noise track that included the sounds of people talking, dogs barking, and metal doors clanging (n = 17). This noise track was played back with a peak sound level of 68.0 dB, which is comparable to levels previously recorded in clinic settings. The dogs’ behavioural responses (lip licking, yawning, reduced posture, avoidance, vocalizing, trembling) were scored from video by a blinded observer for each stage of the physical examination (i.e., head exam, lymph node palpation, body palpation, temperature assessment, heart rate assessment, and respiratory rate assessment). In addition, willingness to approach the examiner was assessed before and after the examination. For behavioural measures, generalized mixed models and Fisher's exact tests were used to assess the effects of noise, exam phase, sex, and age, with dog as a random effect. For temperature, a general linear model was used to assess the effects of noise, sex, and age, and the remaining physiological measures were assessed using t-tests. Only respiratory rate was increased with exposure to background noise (F 1,31 = 6.74, p = 0.0143); no other responses were affected. However, lip licking (F 5,65 = 4.04, p = 0.003), avoidance (F 5,158 = 6.36, p < 0.0001), and posture reductions (F 5,158 = 3.55, p = 0.0045) were increased during some exam phases. Background noise only affected a single, physiological measure during a routine exam, while exam phase seemed to have a larger influence, affecting various behavioural measures. These results suggest that ceiling effects did not prevent proper assessment of responses to noise. Thus, while noise should be minimized where possible, aspects of the examination itself should be a key focus of future research examining methods to reduce stress in dogs during veterinary examinations.
... Potentially underlying physiological mechanisms for these changes in ear temperature are not known. In fact, a different pattern was observed in rabbits and dogs where ear temperature decreased during stress or fear related situations [30,31]. Additionally, stress-related situations evoked a temperature drop in the tail and paws in rats [15]. ...
... A final issue in thermography studies, especially with animals, concerns the role of physical activity [6,11,31]. An alternative explanation for thermal changes that accompany arousal may be that higher arousal simply leads to higher physical activity that in turn influences body temperature. ...
Article
Measuring body surface temperature changes with infrared thermography has recently been put forward as a non-invasive alternative measure of physiological correlates of emotional reactions. In particular, the nasal region seems to be highly sensitive to emotional reactions. Several studies suggest that nasal temperature is negatively correlated with the level of arousal in humans and other primates, but some studies provide inconsistent results. Our goal was to establish the use of infrared thermography to quantify emotional reactions in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), with a focus on the nasal region. To do so we exposed 17 common marmosets to a set of positive, negative and control stimuli (positive: preferred food, playback of food calls; negative: playback of aggressive vocalizations, teasing; control: no stimulus). We compared nasal temperature before and after the stimuli and expected that highly aroused emotional states would lead to a drop in nasal temperature. To validate the thermography measure, we coded piloerection of the tail as an independent measure of arousal and expected a negative correlation between the two measures. Finally, we coded physical activity to exclude its potential confounding impact on nasal temperature. Our results show that all predictions were met: the animals showed a strong decrease in nasal temperature after the presentation of negative arousing stimuli (teasing, playback of aggressive vocalizations). Furthermore, these changes in nasal temperature were correlated with piloerection of the tail and could not be explained by changes in physical activity. In the positive and the control conditions, we found systematic sex differences: in males, the preferred food, the playbacks of food calls, as well as the control stimulus led to an increase in nasal temperature, whereas in females the temperature remained stable (preferred food, control) or decreased (playback of food calls). Based on naturalistic observations that document higher food motivation and competition among female marmosets, as well as stronger reactions to separation from group members in male marmosets, these sex differences corroborate a negative correlation between arousal and nasal temperature. Overall, our results support that measuring nasal temperature by infrared thermography is a promising method to quantify emotional arousal in common marmosets in a fully non-invasive and highly objective way.
... Therapy dogs are asked to perform various tasks, such as interacting with unfamiliar people in unfamiliar environments [4,5], and there is the potential for these interactions to cause stress for therapy animals [6]. For example, during AAA sessions dogs are exposed to novel items such as wheelchairs, crutches, sudden noises, and unusual substrates (e.g., tile, stairs, and iron grid) [7,8]. ...
... The mean number of times per hour in which the change in consecutive normal sinus intervals exceeds 50 milliseconds.4 The root square mean of the successive differences of RR intervals.5 Low-high frequency power ratio.6 ...
Article
Full-text available
Therapy dogs are increasingly being incorporated into numerous clinical settings. However, there are only a handful of studies that have focused on the impact of animal-assisted activity or therapy sessions on the wellbeing of the therapy dogs. Furthermore, these studies show mixed results. The goal of this study was to provide an in-depth picture of the effects of these interactions on the dogs involved by considering multiple physiological measures known to be associated with emotional state (continuous heart rate, heart rate variability, pre- and post-session tympanic membrane temperatures, and salivary cortisol and oxytocin concentrations). Nineteen Mayo Clinic Caring Canine therapy dogs completed five 20-minute animal-assisted activity (AAA) visits each in an outpatient clinical setting (Mayo Clinic Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Clinic). From a physiological perspective, the dogs showed a neutral to positive response to the AAA sessions. Heart rate (HR) was significantly lower at the end of the session compared with the beginning of the session (F = 17.26, df1 = 1, df2 = 29.7, p = 0.0003). The right tympanic membrane temperature was lower post-session (F = 8.87, df1 = 1, df2 = 107, p = 0.003). All other emotional indicators remained stable between pre- and post-session. These results suggest that the dogs involved were not negatively affected by their participation in the AAA. Moreover, there was some evidence suggesting the dogs may have been in a more relaxed state at the end of the session (lower HR and lower right tympanic membrane temperature) compared to the beginning of the session.
... Heightened arousal in greyhounds prior to racing may be caused by distress related to the racetrack environment including kennelling. Anticipation may also heighten arousal levels [9][10][11], which may, in turn, be influenced by how long the dog has been kennelled at the racetrack, or how many days it has been since the dog last raced, or how experienced the dog is with the procedure at race meets. A previous study on racing greyhounds revealed an increase in arousal in dogs that raced as well as those that merely watched racing [12], suggesting greyhound arousal increases with anticipation of an opportunity to race. ...
... Infrared thermographic (IRT) cameras are increasingly being used to record the surface temperature of non-human animals' eyes. Increases in eye temperature detected by IRT have revealed arousal in a variety of animals including mice [16], rabbits [17], horses [18][19][20][21][22] and dogs [10,11,23,24]. IRT detects infrared radiation, providing a pictorial representation of surface temperature [23]. ...
Article
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The racing greyhound industry in Australia has come under scrutiny in recent years due to animal welfare concerns, including wastage where physically sound greyhounds fail to enter or are removed from the racing industry because of poor performance. The reasons why some greyhounds perform poorly in racing are not well understood, but may include insufficient reinforcement for racing or negative affective states in response to the race meet environment. The current study investigated ways to measure affective states of greyhounds (n = 525) at race meets across three racetracks and the factors influencing performance by collecting behavioural and demographic data, and infrared thermographic images of greyhounds’ eyes at race meets. Increasing Eye Temp After had a negative association with performance (n = 290, Effect = −0.173, s.e. = 0.074, p-value = 0.027), as did increasing age (n = 290, Effect = −0.395, s.e. = 0.136, p-value = 0.004). The start box number also had a significant association, with boxes 4, 5 and 7 having an inverse relationship with performance. There was a significant effect of racetrack on mean eye temperatures before and after the race (n = 442, Effect = 1.910, s.e. = 0.274, p-value < 0.001; Effect = 1.595, s.e. = 0.1221, p-value < 0.001 for Gosford and Wentworth respectively), suggesting that some tracks may be inherently more stressful for greyhounds than others. Mean eye temperature before the race increased as the race meet progressed (n = 442, Effect = 0.103, s.e. = 0.002, p-value < 0.001). Behaviours that may indicate frustration in the catching pen were extremely common at two of the tracks but much less common at the third, where toys attached to bungees were used to draw greyhounds into the catching pen.
... Infrared thermography (IRT) has emerged as a non-invasive and reliable method to infer states of physiological stress in working [9,10], companion [11,12] and production animals [13,14]. It detects infrared radiation that is emitted from an object as a measure of its surface temperature (ST) and presents this as a heat map [11]. ...
... This decrease may represent an acute stress response whereby activation of the SNS mediates vasoconstriction and alters capillary flow [20]. Canine studies have highlighted that ET will decrease after dogs are separated from their owners, but will increase once they are reunited [12]. ET will also increase when undergoing a veterinary examination [11] or in anticipation of receiving a reward [19]. ...
Article
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Infrared thermography (IRT) can be used to identify stressors associated with greyhound racing procedures. However, factors unrelated to stress may influence measurements. Validation of an eye side (right or left) and a reference point on the eye is required if IRT is to be standardised for industry use. Infrared images of greyhound heads (n = 465) were taken pre-racing and post-racing at three racetracks. Average temperature was recorded at seven different locations on each eye. A multivariate analysis model determined how several factors influenced eye temperature (ET) pre-racing and post-racing. As expected, ET increased after racing, which may be attributed to physical exertion, stress and arousal. The right eye and lacrimal caruncle had the highest sensitivity to temperature changes and could be considered reference points for future studies. Additionally, dogs that raced later had higher ET, and Richmond racetrack had the lowest pre-race ET, but the highest post-race ET. This may suggest that arousal increases as the race meet progresses and certain track attributes could increase stress. Furthermore, ET increased as humidity increased, and higher post-race ET was associated with light-coloured, young and low-performing dogs. Environmental and biological factors need to be considered if IRT is to become accurate in the detection of canine stress and monitoring of greyhound welfare.
... Alternatively, they can be related to subcutaneous vascular constriction, a phenomenon which results in reduction of blood flow in exposed body parts [16]. Regarding temperature changes in the ear, we are aware of a recent study reporting shifts in ear temperature after emotional stimulation [34]. In particular, this study found that the ear temperature of dogs decreased when their owner left, a shift also reported in macaques during alert behaviour [21]. ...
... These results can typically be interpreted as the consequence of vasoconstriction [16]. However, increases in ear temperature were also reported in the dogs' study, when dogs retrieved contact with the owner or experimenter, a social event associated with a positive affective reaction [34]. A similar pattern of the increase of ear temperature was present in rats exposed to fear conditioning [16]. ...
Article
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A growing trend of research using infrared thermography (IRT) has shown that changes in skin temperature, associated with activity of the autonomic nervous system, can be reliably detected in human and non-human animals. A contact-free method, IRT provides the opportunity to uncover emotional states in free-ranging animals during social interactions. Here, we measured nose and ear temperatures of wild chimpanzees of Budongo Forest, Uganda, when exposed to naturally occurring vocalizations of conspecifics. We found a significant temperature decrease over the nose after exposure to conspecifics’ vocalizations, whereas we found a corresponding increase for ear temperature. Our study suggests that IRT can be used in wild animals to quantify changes in emotional states in response to the diversity of vocalizations, their functional significance and acoustical characteristics. We hope that it will contribute to more research on physiological changes associated with social interactions in wild animals.
... To mitigate the effect of outside temperature in future studies, researchers should either measure and control for outside temperature or allow dogs to acclimate to a standardized inside temperature before taking the IRT reading. Infrared thermography has been used in other studies as a tool to evaluate canine stress in a variety of situations, from being separated from caregivers [43], to experiencing pain [44], as well as visits to the veterinarian [4,45]. However, there are inconsistencies as to whether an increase or decrease in temperature is related to negative or positive emotional valence. ...
... This may be dependent on what body part the temperature is being taken from and whether the stressor is acute or chronic. The results obtained from the present study support previous findings in which canine eye temperature increased significantly during a veterinary examination [4,45], but in contrast, another study showed ear temperature decreased [43] in response to stress caused by a separation event. To better understand whether IRT is of value as a measure of emotional wellbeing, it is necessary to further validate these measures against other stress parameters. ...
Article
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Veterinary visits can be stressful for dogs, but how their wellbeing changes during a visit is not well understood. Music therapy has been successfully used in clinical practice to alleviate stress and anxiety in people. The present study aimed to understand how canine stress changes during a veterinary visit, establish the effect of music, and highlight measures which may be of practical use. In a randomized crossover design, dogs were exposed to no music and a bespoke piece of classical music at a tempo designed to match their resting heart rate during a mock veterinary visit. Dogs were scored as more “afraid” during the physical examination compared to when they were in the hospital kennel (p < 0.001). Salivary cortisol, IgA, and infrared temperature all increased significantly (p < 0.05) from baseline to post-kennel and post-examination, with no effect of music treatment. Core body temperature (p = 0.010) and the odds of ‘relaxed’ lips (p = 0.020) were lower when dogs were exposed to music compared to control visits. Overall, dogs experienced changes in physiology and behavior, indicative of increased stress, over the course of the visit. Additional research is required to further understand the effect that bespoke music may have in alleviating canine stress during veterinary visits.
... IRT has been widely used as an auxiliary diagnostic tool for diagnosing musculoskeletal disorders in horses [11][12][13]. Moreover, IRT has emerged as a noninvasive and reliable method for assessing physiological stress in working [14,15], companion [10,16], and production animals [17,18]. However, the quantitative data obtained from infrared thermography (IRT) show that even the slightest incorrect use can lead to substantial inaccuracies in the measurement of body temperature [19]. ...
Article
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This study aimed to validate eye temperature (ET) assessed using infrared thermography (IRT) as an indicator of welfare in horses. Moreover, this study aimed to determine the most accurate position for ET measured using IRT and to validate this approach as a gold-standard measurement method. As the quantitative data obtained by IRT have strongly influenced the ET results depending on the specific location of the measurement area, an accurate definition of the regions of interest (ROI) was established. A total of 176 horses (Thoroughbred, Warmblood, and Halla horses) were used at the racing course of the Korea Racing Authority and public horse-riding clubs in South Korea. The present study also compared temperatures among three ROIs of the eye—lacrimal sac, medial canthus, and lateral canthus—at rest. Correlations between ET, rectal temperature (RT), heart rate (HR), and respiratory rate (RR) were assessed. There were no significant correlations between HR, RR or RT; however, among the three ROIs, the temperature of the medial canthus was positively correlated with RT (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the size of ROI was negatively correlated with accuracy of temperature measurement. These results indicate that the most suitable area for ET measurement using IRT in horses is the medial canthus, and it is recommended to use the average temperature of the smallest ROIs (2 × 2 pixels) for temperature analysis. Therefore, this study offers a validated protocol in which ET measured using IRT in the horses is useful as an indicator of welfare.
... With regard to context, different emotions are presumably elicited when a reward or punisher is anticipated, delivered, omitted, or terminated (Mendl et al. 2010;Rolls 2013). Physiological measurements such as heart rate and heart rate variability (e.g., Beerda et al. 1998;Gygax et al. 2013;Zupan et al. 2016), body temperature (e.g., Moe et al. 2012;Part et al. 2014;Riemer et al. 2016;Travain et al. 2016; but see Proctor and Carder 2016), or hormone levels (e.g., Part et al. 2014) can give some information about the arousal state. Action tendencies, such as approach or avoidance, can inform about behaviour goals (Mills 2017;Scherer 2005). ...
Article
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Facial expressions potentially serve as indicators of animal emotions if they are consistently present across situations that (likely) elicit the same emotional state. In a previous study, we used the Dog Facial Action Coding System (DogFACS) to identify facial expressions in dogs associated with conditions presumably eliciting positive anticipation (expectation of a food reward) and frustration (prevention of access to the food). Our first aim here was to identify facial expressions of positive anticipation and frustration in dogs that are context-independent (and thus have potential as emotion indicators) and to distinguish them from expressions that are reward-specific (and thus might relate to a motivational state associated with the expected reward). Therefore, we tested a new sample of 28 dogs with a similar set-up designed to induce positive anticipation (positive condition) and frustration (negative condition) in two reward contexts: food and toys. The previous results were replicated: Ears adductor was associated with the positive condition and Ears flattener, Blink, Lips part, Jaw drop, and Nose lick with the negative condition. Four additional facial actions were also more common in the negative condition. All actions except the Upper lip raiser were independent of reward type. Our second aim was to assess basic measures of diagnostic accuracy for the potential emotion indicators. Ears flattener and Ears downward had relatively high sensitivity but low specificity, whereas the opposite was the case for the other negative correlates. Ears adductor had excellent specificity but low sensitivity. If the identified facial expressions were to be used individually as diagnostic indicators, none would allow consistent correct classifications of the associated emotion. Diagnostic accuracy measures are an essential feature for validity assessments of potential indicators of animal emotion.
... Research on humans and other animals has shown external ear temperature (e.g., dogs: Riemer et al., 2016) and within-ear temperature to reflect hemispheric temperature in the brain with high accuracy (humans: Brinnel & Cabanac, 1989;Cabanac, 1993;Mariak et al., 1994Mariak et al., , 2003Ogawa, 1994;rabbits: Tanabe & Takaori, 1964; pig-tailed macaques: Baker et al., 1972;cats: Mazzotti & Boere, 2009). In humans, left and right hemispheres are responsible for processing different emotional responses (Ahern & Schwartz, 1985;Altenmüller et al., 2002;Davidson & Fox, 1982;Jones & Fox, 1992;MacNeilage et al., 2009;Turhan et al., 1998) and the same is true for several species of domesticated animals (dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and goldfish: Leliveld et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Background and aims: Studies combining brain activity measures with behavior have the potential to reveal more about animal cognition than either on their own. However, brain measure procedures in animal studies are often practically challenging and cost-prohibitive. Therefore, we test whether a simple measure of ear temperature can be used to index hemispheric brain activation using a handheld thermoscanner. Cortisol levels are correlated with the activation of the right cortical region, implying that, when stressful situations are experienced, increased right hemisphere activation occurs. This leads to corresponding locally detectable increases in ipsilateral ear temperature. Methods: We compared right-and left-ear temperatures of 32 domestic dogs under non-stressful and partially stressful conditions. Results: We detected significant elevations in right-ear temperature - but not left-ear temperature - relative to baseline readings in the partially stressful condition that were not detected in the non-stressful condition. Discussion: These findings provide encouraging support for the notion that tympanic membrane temperature readings can provide a simple index for canine hemispheric brain activation, which can be combined with data on behavioral decision-making, expectancy violations, or other measures of emotional processing. Devices are cheap, simple to use, portable, and only minimally invasive providing a means for realtime brain and behavior measurements to be conducted in real-world settings.
... In these instances, so-called 'thermal windows', or areas of the body responsible for heat exchange (Weissenböck et al. 2010), can be used to assess arousal. Eye (Dai et al. 2015;Stewart et al. 2008b;Travain et al. 2016;Valera et al. 2012), nose (Ioannou et al. 2015;Kano et al. 2016;Kuraoka and Nakamura 2011;Nakayama et al. 2005;Proctor and Carder 2015), ear (Riemer et al. 2016), and comb temperature (Moe et al. 2012) all have been utilized for welfare assessments in a variety of species. A recent study on wild blue tits found correlations between eye thermal signatures and both body condition and circulating GC concentration, suggesting that thermography could integrate multiple aspects of physiological state (Jerem et al. 2018). ...
Chapter
To reverse the trend of declining wildlife populations globally, individuals must be provided with conditions that allow them to not just survive, but to thrive. It is no longer only the remit of captive breeding programs to ensure animal well-being; in situ conservation efforts also must consider how environmental and anthropogenic pressures impact wild populations, and how to mitigate them—especially with regards to reproduction and survival. Stress and welfare are complex concepts that necessitate an understanding of how stressors affect animals on both individual and population levels. There are species differences in how factors impact well-being, related in part to natural history, which also are shaped by individual perceptions and coping abilities. A multitude of stress-related responses then have the potential to disrupt fertility on many levels, and ultimately fitness. A major limitation to advancing welfare science is the lack of definitive tests to verify welfare status; i.e., is the animal happy or not? While analyses of circulating or excreted glucocorticoids have for decades been the primary method of assessing stress, today we recognize the need for more objective indicators that incorporate multiple physiological systems, including behavior, to assess both negative and positive welfare states. In this chapter, we discuss the potential for stress to disrupt, and sometimes facilitate reproduction, including the key role that glucocorticoids play. We then discuss a number of physiological biomarkers, which in addition to glucocorticoids, have the potential to assess well-being and the role of stress on reproduction. Finally, we discuss allostatic load, a method by which multiple physiological markers are used to inform on morbidity and mortality risk in humans, which if applied to wildlife, could be a powerful tool for conservation.
... Due to the non-invasive nature of IRT, it is becoming a promising technology in animal stress and welfare research [75][76][77]. However, few studies have used this technique to assess stress in dogs [4,78,79]. The data gathered in our study suggest, that IRT represent a useful tool to study sympathetic activation in dogs. ...
Article
In order to improve well-being of dogs during veterinary visits, we aimed to investigate the effect of human social interactions on behavior and physiology during routine examination. Firstly, we assessed the impact of a standardized veterinary examination on behavioral and physiological indicators of stress in dogs. Secondly, we examined whether the owner's tactile and verbal interactions with the dog influenced behavioral and physiological stress-associated parameters. A randomized within-subjects crossover design was used to examine behavior (n = 33), rectal temperature (n = 33), heart rate (HR) (n = 18), maximal ocular surface temperature (max OST) (n = 13) and salivary cortisol concentrations (n = 10) in healthy privately owned pet dogs. The study consisted of two experimental conditions: a) “contact” - owner petting and talking to the dog during the examination; b) “non-contact” - owner present during the examination but not allowed to interact with the dog. Our findings showed that the veterinary examinations produced acute stress responses in dogs during both “contact” and “non-contact” conditions, with significant increases in lip licking, HR, and max OST. A significant decrease in attempts to jump off the examination table (p = 0.002) was observed during the examination in the “contact” compared to the “non-contact” condition. In addition, interactions of owners showed an attenuating effect on HR (p = 0.018) and max OST (p = 0.011) in their dogs. The testing order (first vs. second visit) had no impact on behavioral and physiological parameters, suggesting that dogs did not habituate or sensitize to the examination procedure. Moreover, the duration of the owner-dog interactions had no significant impact on the behavioral and physiological responses of their dogs. This study demonstrates that owner-dog interactions improve the well-being of dogs during a veterinary examination. Future research may assist in further understanding the mechanisms associated with reducing stress in dogs in similar settings.
... A noteworthy example are therapy dogs. Several studies have questioned whether therapy dogs experience stress from assisting humans in a therapeutic setting (Clark et al., 2020;Clark, Smidt, & Bauer, 2019;Glenk et al., 2013Glenk et al., , 2014King, Watters, & Mungre, 2011;Melco, Goldman, Fine, & Peralta, 2020;Palestrini et al., 2017;Riemer, Assis, Pike, & Mills, 2016). The most common methods used to evaluate this question are a combination of behavioral assessment through structured observation and the analysis of salivary cortisol samples. ...
Article
Service dogs are trained to assist humans. This assistance potentially exposes them to stressors To investigate if service dogs are exposed to more stressors than companion dogs we questioned whether hair cortisol levels differed between both groups. We studied this by cutting a tuft of hair from the neck of 19 companion and 11 service dogs. Cortisol levels were subsequently analyzed via immunoassay and compared via a simple linear regression model. The influence of coat color, season, sex, other dogs, pets, or mental health diagnoses in the household was also checked . Results showed that cortisol values did not differ between service and companion dogs. Furthermore, none of the additional variables had an influence on cortisol levels. This lead to the conclusion that the service dogs in this study did not have higher hair cortisol levels than companion dogs Further study should be conducted as to why no difference did occur between groups and if this difference is persistent over time given that we only studied a period of up to two months' worth of hair cortisol.
... This effect has been widely studied across various mammalian species and has been referred to as stress-induced hyperthermia [97]. Core body temperature can be assessed using infrared thermography [98,99], or like in the study by Clark et al., a tympanic ear thermometer [22]. Acute stress [100] and emotional arousal [101] have been related to changes in right ear tympanic membrane temperature. ...
Article
During the past decade, the field of human-animal interaction(s) research has been characterized by a significant increase in scientific findings. These data have contributed to our current understanding of how humans may benefit from contact with animals. However, the animal experience of these interactions is still an under-researched area. This paper addresses the welfare of dogs who participate in animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) to improve health in human recipients. This paper builds on previous work by Glenk (2017) and provides an updated review of the literature on therapy dog welfare published from 2017-2021. New advances in scientific methodology, such as the determination of salivary oxytocin, breath rate and tympanic membrane temperature, are analyzed regarding their value and limitations for research in AAIs. Moreover, welfare-related social and environmental factors (e.g., freedom of choice, exploration of novel environments, inequity aversion, individual development, working experience, relationship with handler and handler skills) that profoundly influence dog perception and well-being are reviewed and discussed. Accounting for the globally increasing interest and the number of dogs utilized in AAIs, safeguarding therapy dog well-being, and identifying situations, circumstances and protocols that may challenge animal welfare remains an emerging and crucial area of scientific effort.
... A study with chickens indicated that even the intensity of the stressor can be evaluated with a thermographic camera [23]. Furthermore, a thermographic video camera allows for video recording of animals in the absence of humans [29]. ...
... A study with chickens indicated that even the intensity of the stressor can be evaluated with a thermographic camera [25]. Furthermore, a thermographic video camera allows for video recording of animals in the absence of humans [31]. ...
Article
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Guinea pigs are often involved in animal-assisted therapy (AAT) but there is little knowledge about the effects of human contact on guinea pigs involved in AAT. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of availability of a retreat, presence of conspecifics, prior experience with AAT, and human interaction on indicators of welfare in guinea pigs involved in AAT. Guinea pigs of both sexes and different ages (n=20) were assigned to a randomized, controlled within-subject trial with repeated measurements. Each guinea pig was tested in four settings: (I) therapy with retreat possibility with conspecifics, (II) therapy with retreat possibility without conspecifics, (III) therapy without retreat possibility, and (IV) setting without human interaction. We measured changes in eye temperature, as a proxy to infer stress levels, at 5-s intervals with a thermographic camera. All sessions were video recorded and the guinea pigs’ behavior was coded using continuous recording and focal animal sampling. For the statistical analysis we used generalized linear mixed models, with therapy setting as a fixed effect and individual guinea pig as a random effect. We observed a temperature increase relative to baseline in settings (I) therapy with retreat with conspecifics present and (III) therapy without retreat. The percentage of time a guinea pig was petted was positively correlated with a rise in the eye temperature independent of the setting. Time spent eating was reduced in all therapy settings (I-III) compared to the setting without HAI (IV). In the setting with retreat (I), guinea pigs showed more active behaviors such as locomotive behavior or startling compared to the setting without retreat (III) and the setting without HAI (IV). When no retreat was available (III), they showed more passive behaviors, such as standing still or freezing compared to therapy with retreat (I). Based on our results we identified the behaviors “reduced eating”, “increased startle” and “increased freezing” as indicators of an increased stress level. Petting the guinea pigs was correlated with a rise in the eye temperature and might be a factor which can cause stress. Our results support the suggestion that guinea pigs involved in AAT should have a retreat possibility, should have access to conspecifics, and should be given time to adapt to a new setting. In this way, stress might be reduced.
... Likewise, sample order did not have a significant effect on the production of the inner brow raiser. To better understand the effect of arousal on eye and inner brow movements, future studies could additionally collect physiological parameters that indicate a subject's arousal level, such as heart rate (e.g., Zupan et al., 2016), eye or ear temperature (e.g., Riemer et al., 2016;Travain et al., 2016). ...
Book
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Whilst humans undisputedly shape and transform most of earth's habitats, the number of animals (domestic and wild) living on this planet far outnumbers that of humans. Inevitably, humans have to interact with animals under a variety of circumstances, such as during conservation efforts, wildlife and zoo management, livestock husbandry, and pet keeping. Next to the question of how humans deal with these interactions and conflicts, it is crucial to understand the animal's point of view: How do animals perceive and differentiate between humans? How do they generalize their behavior towards humans? And how does knowledge about humans spread socially? In this Research Topic, we aim to collect original empirical work and review articles to get a more comprehensive and diverse picture on how humans are part of the sensory and cognitive world of non-human animals. We strongly invite contributions that pinpoint shortcomings and limitations in interpreting the available research findings, that provide new cross-disciplinary frameworks (e.g. links between conservation biology and comparative psychology, or human-animal interactions at zoos and animal welfare) and that discuss the applied implementation of these findings (e.g. for conservation attempts or livestock husbandry management).
... For instance, after a confrontation with a negative event, cows showed a drop in nasal temperature (Proctor & Carder, 2016). Dogs (Riemer et al., 2016) and ...
Thesis
Les mécanismes qui sous-tendent la personnalité animale (c.-à-d., les différences individuelles de comportement stables à travers le temps et les contextes) sont encore mal compris. Il a été suggéré que la personnalité pourrait émerger à partir de différences individuelles dans les réactions émotionnelles. Cette thèse a pour objectif d’étudier comment la tendance à l’exploration, l’un des traits de personnalité les plus étudiés, est liée aux différences individuelles d’émotions, à différentes classes d’âge chez deux rongeurs d’origine sauvage. Chaque chapitre aborde un composant d’une réaction émotionnelle (comportement, cognition et physiologie), afin d’évaluer la valence ou l’intensité de l’expérience émotionnelle. Tout d’abord, nous avons montré que le taux d’appels d’isolement pouvait être utilisé pour caractériser les profils émotionnels de jeunes souris domestiques, celui-ci étant stable durant trois jours et dans trois situations stressantes. Deuxièmement, nos résultats ont suggéré qu’une tendance plus forte à l’exploration pourrait être liée à une plus grande tendance à exprimer des états affectifs négatifs (c.-à-d., un biais de jugement plus négatif).Troisièmement, nous avons constaté que les souris glaneuses plus exploratrices étaient caractérisées par une réactivité plus forte du système sympathique, exprimée par des températures périphériques de la queue plus basses, peu de temps après une procédure de manipulation brève. Dans l'ensemble, les résultats de ce projet de recherche contribuent à la compréhension de la base émotionnelle des traits de personnalité et soulignent l'importance de prendre en compte l'individualité lors de l'évaluation des émotions.
... Infrared thermal imaging (IRT) has emerged as a promising tool for studying animal behaviour. For instance, research employing this methodology has helped cast light on affective processing in a variety of species, including macaques (Macaca mulatta) (Nakayama et al., 2005;Kuraoka & Nakamura, 2011;Ioannou, Chotard & Davila-Ross, 2015), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) (Kano et al., 2016;Dezecache et al., 2017) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) (Travain et al., 2015;Riemer et al., 2016;Travain et al., 2016). In these studies, IRT has been used to detect changes in emissivity of the skin caused by shifts in blood flow at the body surface, a physiological process controlled by the autonomic nervous system (see (Ioannou, Gallese & Merla, 2014) for a comprehensive review). ...
Article
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Infrared thermal imaging has emerged as a valuable tool in veterinary medicine, in particular for evaluating reproductive processes. Here, we explored differences in skin temperature of twenty female chimpanzees in Budongo Forest, Uganda, four of which were pregnant during data collection. Based on previous literature in other mammals, we predicted increased skin temperature of maximally swollen reproductive organs of non-pregnant females when approaching peak fertility. For pregnant females, we made the same prediction because it has been argued that female chimpanzees have evolved mechanisms to conceal pregnancy, including swellings of the reproductive organs, conspicuous copulation calling, and solicitation of male mating behaviour, to decrease the infanticidal tendencies of resident males by confusing paternity. For non-pregnant females, we found slight temperature increases towards the end of the swelling cycles but no significant change between the fertile and non-fertile phases. Despite their different reproductive state, pregnant females had very similar skin temperature patterns compared to non-pregnant females, suggesting little potential for males to use skin temperature to recognise pregnancies, especially during maximal swelling, when ovulation is most likely to occur in non-pregnant females. We discuss this pattern in light of the concealment hypothesis, i.e., that female chimpanzees have evolved physiological means to conceal their reproductive state during pregnancy.
... Past literature has demonstrated that cortisol can increase due to exercise and general arousal (positive or negative) (13,15,23). It is recommended that future studies use cortisol and additional biomarkers, such as tympanic membrane temperature (36), heart rate variability (37), and salivary oxytocin (27,38). Furthermore, future studies would be beneficial in observing different therapy dog programs and their therapy teams' perceived stress along with the addition of objective physiological parameters. ...
Article
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Therapy dogs provide health benefits for individuals who suffer from illnesses, such as dementia, depression, loneliness, and aggression. Therapy dogs' impact on human health has been thoroughly studied; however, studies on dog welfare have been limited. Additionally, as dogs have evolved with humans, they have learned to read non-verbal social cues. Dogs can read humans' non-verbal body language and can react to their emotions. However, the body language of dogs is poorly understood and can lead to dog owner-directed aggression. Communication plays a vital role to be a cohesive therapy team. The purpose of this study was to assess perceived stress and cortisol concentrations in therapy dogs and their handlers during the first three visits in a hospital setting. Moreover, the study aimed to investigate whether, while in an overstimulating environment, a therapy dog handler can observe his or her dog's body language and correlate such observations to the dog's stress. Nine therapy dog teams from Mayo Clinic's Caring Canine Program participated in this study. A baseline salivary cortisol was collected from the handler and therapy dog each day of the visits. Once the team arrived, a pre-visit salivary cortisol was collected from the handler and therapy dog and, afterward, a post-visit salivary cortisol. Handlers were also asked to fill out a perceived stress survey on their own stress and that of their therapy dogs'. Behavior was documented by a staff member and the handler. For each visit, the therapy dogs were at the hospital on average 47 min and visited with nine people. There was significant correlation (P = 0.02) between the owner's perceived stress of his or her therapy dog and the dog's salivary cortisol concentrations. The handlers noted medium to high stress, and those dogs had higher cortisol concentrations post-visit. There was no significant difference in salivary cortisol for the handler and therapy dog over the course of the three visits and comparing pre-and post-visit. Overall, the dogs displayed mixed behaviors, with the three most reported being panting, lip licking, and yawning. However, salivary cortisol results suggest that the handlers and therapy dogs maintained their welfare state throughout the visits.
... In recent years, infrared thermography has been suggested as useful tool both in the diagnostic field and in physiological assessments (Rossignoli et al., 2015;Redaelli et al., 2014;Ring and Ammer, 2012). In contrast to core temperature measurements through rectal sensors, perceived as invasive and discomfortable for the animals, the infrared methodology represents a non-invasive way of measuring body surface temperature changes (Yarnell et al., 2014;Riemer et al., 2016;Salles et al., 2016). Infrared thermography can visualize changes in body surface temperature that result from exercise-induced physiological changes in tissue metabolism and local blood flow (Borba Neves et al., 2016;Yarnell et al., 2014). ...
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of moderate treadmill exercise session on body surface and core temperature in dog measured by means of two infrared instruments. Ten Jack Russell Terrier/Miniature Pinscher mixed-breed dogs were subjected to 15 min of walking, 10 min of trotting and 10 min of gallop. At every step, body surface temperature (Tsurface) was measured on seven regions (neck, shoulder, ribs, flank, back, internal thigh and eye) using two different methods, a digital infrared camera (ThermaCam P25) and a non-contact infrared thermometer (Infrared Thermometer THM010-VT001). Rectal temperature (Trectal) and blood samples were collected before (T0) and after exercise (T3). Blood samples were tested for red blood cell (RBC), hemoglobin concentration (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct). A significant effect of exercise in all body surface regions was found, as measured by both infrared methods. The temperature obtained in the eye and the thigh area were higher with respect to the other studied regions throughout the experimental period (P<0.0001). RBC, Hb, Hct and Trectal values were higher at T3 (P<0.05). Statistically significant higher temperature values measured by infrared thermometer was found in neck, shoulder, ribs, flank, back regions respect to the values obtained by digital infrared camera (P<0.0001). The results obtained in this study showed that both internal and surface temperatures are influenced by physical exercise probably due to muscle activity and changes in blood flow in dogs. Both infrared instruments used in this study have proven to be useful in detecting surface temperature variations of specific body regions, however factors including type and color of animal hair coat must be taken into account in the interpretation of data obtained by thermography methodology.
... These can now be used with dogs together with positive operantconditional training. Thermographic imaging also appears promising for detecting emotionally-stimulated changes in body surface temperature (Travain et al. 2015, Riemer et al. 2016, Travain et al. 2016. All these new techniques require careful experimentation to avoid the possible confounds reported for human research (importantly, see Bennett et al. 2009, Kriegeskorte et al. 2009, Poldrack & Mumford 2009, Vul et al. 2009). ...
Article
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It is not possible to demonstrate that dogs (Canis familiaris) feel emotions, but the same is true for all other species, including our own. The issue must therefore be approached indirectly, using premises similar to those used with humans. Recent methodological advances in canine research reveal what dogs experience and what they derive from the emotions perceptible in others. Dogs attend to social cues, they respond appropriately to the valence of human and dog facial expressions and vocalizations of emotion, and their limbic reward regions respond to the odor of their caretakers. They behave differently according to the emotional situation, show emotionally driven expectations, have affective disorders, and exhibit some subcomponents of empathy. The canine brain includes a relatively large prefrontal cortex, and like primates, dogs have a brain area specialized for face perception. Dogs have many degrees of emotion, but the full extent of dog emotions remains unknown. Humans are a socially minded species; we readily impute mind and emotion to others, even to vegetables or rocks. Hence the experimental results need to be analyzed carefully, so the emotional lives of dogs are accurately estimated.
... Apart from the muzzle IRT, Riemer et al. (2016), investigated the effect of social separation and reunion with a familiar (owner) and unfamiliar (experimenter) person on dog's ear IRT. ...
Thesis
In dairy cattle, feelings of negative emotions by daily encountered potential threats such as an unfamiliar object, person, or more dominant herd mate, may lead to the development of extreme physiological and/or behavioural adjustment or abnormalities. Such adjustments could compromise welfare, reduce appetite and productivity. Measurement of laterality indices has been used to indicate the emotional state of dairy cows. Cows that prefer to pass an unfamiliar person in a laneway on the right side (from the cow’s perspective, R cows) are considered more anxious than those preferring to pass on the left (L cows). This is because cows that pass on the right side see the threat with their left eye which is better connected to the right brain hemisphere where the flight or fight centre is located. However, measurement of a laterality index is time consuming, labour intensive, requires specialised infrastructure, and is distressful to the cattle. Infrared thermography has the potential to measure emotional changes in a remote and non-invasive way. It measures the emissions of radiated heat from the external body surfaces which varies on the basis of subsurface blood flow. The pattern of radiated heat is displayed as a thermogram (thermal image) of pixels varying in colours or shades that indicate different infrared temperatures (IRT). When a cow experiences negative emotion, there is an enhanced secretion of adrenaline, which constricts blood vessels, hence, increasing blood flow within the body system. Consequently, the central hypothesis tested in this PhD thesis was that the IRT of key external body surfaces would be positively associated with R cows, and negatively with milk productivity. The first experiment (Chapter 2) in this thesis evaluated thermographic, behavioural and lactation parameters of left (less anxious; n = 15) and right (anxious; n = 16) lateralised lactating dairy cows. In agreement with the hypothesis, there were positive associations between IRT of eyes, and coronary band of the forelimbs, with laterality; the R cows had higher IRT temperatures at these sites than the L cows (P < 0.05). In subsequent regressions between IRT measures with behavioural responses and lactation parameters, it was identified that maximum IRT measures were mostly associated with right laterality (P < 0.05), and with more predicting variables and a higher consequent R2 than average IRT. Moreover, there were no differences between the right and left eye, and the right and left coronary band of the forelimb IRT (P > 0.10). Therefore, among the range of IRT measures, in further investigations, the maximum IRT of both eyes averaged ((left+ right eye)/2) and both limbs averaged ((left+ right coronary band of forelimbs)/2) was of focus. Statistical power analysis also indicated that reliable IRT estimates for a group of cows could be made by measuring either 14-16 cows for 2 consecutive or 10-12 cows for 3 days, with two thermograms taken in rapid succession per cow at each daily session (Chapter 3). In a second experiment (Chapter 4), important measures of the first experiment were evaluated along with flight speed, crush score, and rectal temperature on 50 cows in 3 repeated periods, once in a month apart across 3 consecutive months. Potential confounders identified in the first experiment, such as days in milk (DIM) and temperature humidity index (THI), were also more carefully considered. Results of the second experiment showed that IRT of both eyes and cows’ sniffing behaviour in the forced lateralisation test were positively associated (P = 0.05) in period 1, and rectal temperature was positively associated with both flight speed (P = 0.001) and crush score (P = 0.01) in period 3. Cow waiting time before being milked was negatively associated with limb IRT (P < 0.05) in each of the 3 months and positively associated with the ratio of eyes to limb IRT(P < 0.05) in 2 of the 3 months, whereas no such associations were detected with rectal temperature. In the analysis across months, there were associations between IRT and behavioural indicators: limb IRT was negatively related to slow to medium walking, and the ratio of IRT of eyes to limbs was positively associated with a vertical, rather than horizontal, tail. IRT of eyes showed a tendency for the negative relationship with flight speed (P = 0.07). No associations were detected between laterality and IRT or rectal temperature. Differences in the DIM, milk yield, milk fat content and somatic cell count of cows evaluated in both experiments were implicated as factors that could confound investigations into the relationship between IRT and laterality. In comparison, IRT measures exhibited a greater potential to predict behavioural and consequently productive responses of cows than rectal temperature. The IRT measures had higher adjusted R2 (eyes 86 %; limbs 78 %) than rectal temperature (63 %) in the corresponding regression models for each, and across periods. The repeated periods’ design was also for consideration of the repeatability of the behavioural and IRT measures. Despite IRT measures not showing potential as a predictor of laterality index, IRT, at least for both eyes, was shown to be a repeatable measure in itself, as was the case with laterality index, flight speed and waiting time (P ≤ 0.001). In both experiments, there were negative associations between IRT of both limbs and waiting time in the dairy prior to milking, and between IRT of both eyes and milk fat content (P < 0.05). This indicates the potential for lower limb IRT to be used to predict relaxed cows and the efficacy of a cooling strategy for the herd. These relaxed cows could produce more milk fat content which might be due to the milk let down process. Consequently, in future experiments, the link between IRT measures and or waiting time and oxytocin level deserve further investigation. Therefore, it is concluded that IRT of eyes and coronary band of forelimbs of lactating dairy cows, could predict their behavioural responses of emotions and consequent milk productivity in a better way than conventionally used rectal temperature and or other behavioural measures. The IRT of eyes showed potentiality to predict negative emotional responses as measured by flight speed and other behaviours such as sniffing. Lower limb IRT indicated the potential for the use of these measures to non-invasively select relaxed cows and to evaluate the cooling strategy for a herd. The sampling strategy of IRT measures, outlined in this thesis will further improve handling requirements and cow welfare in routine monitoring of the herd.
... Furthermore, due to the high variability of our sample in size and breed the optimal timing of the sampling would have been hard to determine, especially as our separation was only 3 min long, thus we reasoned that such hormonal measurements would have been too noisy for proper testing. Finally, one option would have been the telemetric measurements of ear temperature like in Riemer et al. 46 but unfortunately, we had no access to the necessary equipment. However, as several studies already showed that behaviours such as those measured in our test are associated with stress using physiological measurements in separation 47,48 and in other fearful contexts 49,50 , we can assume that these are reliable proxies of the dogs' stress level in our sample too. ...
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During social interactions, acoustic parameters of tetrapods’ vocalisations reflect the emotional state of the caller. Higher levels of spectral noise and the occurrence of irregularities (non-linear phenomena NLP) might be negative arousal indicators in alarm calls, although less is known about other distress vocalisations. Family dogs experience different levels of stress during separation from their owner and may vocalise extensively. Analysing their whines can provide evidence for the relationship between arousal and NLP. We recorded 167 family dogs’ separation behaviour including vocalisations, assessed their stress level based on behaviour and tested how these, their individual features, and owner reported separation-related problems (SRP) relate to their whines’ (N = 4086) spectral noise and NLP. Dogs with SRP produced NLP whines more likely. More active dogs and dogs that tried to escape produced noisier whines. Older dogs’ whines were more harmonic than younger ones’, but they also showed a higher NLP ratio. Our results show that vocal harshness and NLP are associated with arousal in contact calls, and thus might function as stress indicators. The higher occurrence of NLP in older dogs irrespective to separation stress suggests loss in precise neural control of the larynx, and hence can be a potential ageing indicator.
... They did so primarily through a combination of behavioral assessment through structured observation and the analysis of cortisol samples. The use of heart rate and body temperature is, however, also seen [14,[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]. Although it is disputed whether there is a relation between behavioral observations and cortisol measurements in dogs [23][24][25][26][27], both measures have individually been found to be indicative of animal welfare status. ...
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Only a few studies have investigated the welfare of animals participating in animal-assisted interventions (AAIs). Most of these studies focus on dogs in therapeutic settings. There are, however, also dogs—service dogs—that are employed to continuously support a single human. Because the welfare of these service dogs is important for the sustainability of their role, the aim of this study was to investigate their stress response to service dog training sessions. To do this, we took repeated salivary cortisol samples from dogs who participated in a training session (n = 19). Samples were taken just after arrival at the training ground, before training, after training, and after a period of free play. Our results showed that mean cortisol levels in all samples were relatively low (between 1.55 ± 1.10 and 2.73 ± 1.47 nmol/L) compared to similar studies. Analysis further showed that samples taken before and after participation in the training’s session did not differ from one another. Mean cortisol levels in both situations were additionally lower than those upon arrival at the training site and after a period of free play. This led to the conclusion that the dogs in our study did not seem to experience training as stressful.
... It is recognized that both procedures are stressors that cause physiological changes and alterations of blood flow patterns, which manifest as changes in body surface temperature (Beausoleil et al., 2004). Moreover, with IRT it is possible to identify changes in eye temperature as a result of a stress-induced physiological response and consequent changes of blood flow patterns (Stubsjøen et al., 2009;Riemer et al., 2016). The aim of this study addresses the question of whether the eye and muzzle temperature variations measured using IRT can assess shearing and foot-trimming stress of sheep. ...
... As the predictors identified in this study only explained 7% of the variance of fear during veterinary examinations, the authors suggested a more comprehensive analysis of other contributors is required. Additional factors worth exploring that are hypothesized to influence dog behaviour at veterinary clinics include response to isolation from owners (Riemer et al., 2016;Stellato et al., 2020); the dog's prior history of negative experiences related to pain and/or stress (Döring et al., 2009); and the dog's prior history of exposure to novel stimuli, such as new people (Vas et al., 2005), animals, environments (Garnier et al., 1990), and unfamiliar handling (Mariti et al., 2016;Stellato et al., 2019.). Factors related to the owner and their management of the dog have also been suggested to affect dog fear and aggression, such as training methods (Mariti et al., 2016), owner personality, and the owner's level of nervousness during stressful situations (Dodman et al., 2018;Podberscek and Serpell, 1997). ...
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... Likewise, sample order did not have a significant effect on the production of the inner brow raiser. To better understand the effect of arousal on eye and inner brow movements, future studies could additionally collect physiological parameters that indicate a subject's arousal level, such as heart rate (e.g., Zupan et al., 2016), eye or ear temperature (e.g., Riemer et al., 2016;Travain et al., 2016). ...
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The inner brow raiser is a muscle movement that increases the size of the orbital cavity, leading to the appearance of so-called 'puppy dog eyes'. In domestic dogs, this expression was suggested to be enhanced by artificial selection and to play an important role in the dog-human relationship. Production of the inner brow raiser has been shown to be sensitive to the attentive stance of a human, suggesting a possible communicative function. However, it has not yet been examined whether it is sensitive to human presence. In the current study, we aimed to test whether the inner brow raiser differs depending on the presence or absence of an observer. We used two versions of a paradigm in an equivalent experimental setting in which dogs were trained to expect a reward; however, the presence/absence of a person in the test apparatus was varied. In the social context, a human facing the dog delivered the reward; in the non-social context, reward delivery was automatized. If the inner brow raiser has a communicative function and dogs adjust its expression to an audience, we expect it to be shown more frequently in the social context (when facing a person in the apparatus) than in the non-social context (when facing the apparatus without a person inside). The frequency of the inner brow raiser differed between the two contexts, but contrary to the prediction, it was shown more frequently in the non-social context. We further demonstrate that the inner brow raiser is strongly associated with eye movements and occurs independently in only 6% of cases. This result challenges the hypothesis that the inner brow raiser has a communicative function in dog-human interactions and suggests a lower-level explanation for its production, namely an association with eye movements.
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Emotion is understudied in nonhuman animals despite broad interests in the topic. This is partly due to the difficulty in measuring subtle emotional reactions, such as physiological changes, under ecologically-valid situations. It is particularly challenging because the majority of traditional physiological measurements require animal participants to wear electrodes and head/body restraints in a laboratory. Recent advances in infrared thermography (IRT), and its use in measuring changes in animals' skin-temperature, offer suitable solutions for these challenges. This article reviews a growing body of research employing IRT in the study of animal emotions and identify both merits and shortcomings of IRT which need to be considered when designing experiments and observations. Also, we introduce our recent efforts to facilitate the use of IRT for the study of large-body animals, such as chimpanzees. Finally, we illustrate some of the critical future directions of IRT for the study of nonhuman animals. In conclusion, the study of animal emotion is more possible than ever before with this novel technology.
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With global temperatures rapidly increasing, biologists require tools to assess how wild animals are responding to heat. Thermal imaging of the eye region offers a potential non-invasive alternative to traditional techniques to study thermoregulation and stress responses in wild animals. However, we currently have a poor understanding of how the temperature of the eye region is regulated under increasing temperature and whether this regulation differs among individuals. Here, we use thermal imaging to repeatedly measure the maximum temperature of the eye region (periorbital temperature) in 42 wild pied babblers (Turdoides bicolor) under natural air temperatures ranging from 14.3 to 42.5 °C. Our aim was to determine the relationship between periorbital temperature and air temperature, whether this relationship is repeatable, and whether it differs according to individual attributes. Periorbital temperature showed a non-linear increase with air temperature, becoming independent of air temperature above 38 °C. Above 38 °C, periorbital temperature was not explained by any individual attributes. Below 38 °C, periorbital temperature increased more steeply in individuals with low body mass and it was lower in older compared to younger females. However, the effect of these individual attributes was small compared to the effect of wind speed, air temperature and head tilt. Additionally, the repeatability of individual periorbital temperature was low (R < 0.25) and non-significant both below and above 38 °C. Our findings warrant caution in the use of periorbital temperature to infer individual thermoregulatory responses to increasing temperatures, especially in the wild, where control over confounding non-physiological factors is limited.
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The purpose of this study was to create a systematic review of articles pertaining to stress measurement and management of dogs and cats in order to use the information to find a way to reduce stress associated with a visit to the veterinarian. The corpus for this review contains 42 articles with 33 primary research studies and 9 secondary research studies. The information deduced during the review showed that a majority of studies on animal stress take place outside of the USA. The review also showed that a visit to a vet practice begins with client-staff communication. This collected knowledge was used to create four behavioral analysis questionnaires to be filled out by pet owners in order to open the communication between owner and DVM about pet behavior. These questionnaires are a first step for establishing a stress-free environment at a vet’s office.
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The racing greyhound industry in Australia has come under scrutiny in recent years due to animal welfare concerns, including so-called behavioural wastage whereby physically sound greyhounds are removed from the racing industry because of poor performance. The non-medical reasons why greyhounds perform poorly at the racetrack are not well understood, but may include insufficient reinforcement for racing, or negative affective states associated with the context of racing. This study sought evidence for the affective states of greyhounds (n=525) at race meets and associations of those states with performance. It collected demographic, behavioural and performance data, along with infrared thermographic images of greyhounds at race-meets to investigate whether arousal influenced performance. It also collected behavioural data in the catching pen at the completion of races to examine possible evidence of frustration that may reflect sub-optimal behavioural reinforcement. Linear regression models were built to determine factors affecting greyhound performance. Increasing mean eye temperature after the race and increasing greyhound age both had a statistically significant, negative effect on performance. The start box number also had a significant effect, with boxes 4, 5 and 7 having a negative effect on performance. There was a significant effect of track on mean eye temperatures before and after the race, suggesting that some tracks may be inherently more stressful for greyhounds than others. Behaviours that may indicate frustration in the catching pen were extremely common at two tracks, but much less common at the third, where play objects in motion were used to draw greyhounds into the catching pen. The study provides evidence for the use of eye temperature in predicting performance, guidance for assessment of poor performance in greyhounds and suggested approaches to the management of frustration in racing greyhounds.
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Infrared thermal imaging has emerged as a valuable tool in veterinary medicine, in particular in evaluating reproductive processes. Here, we explored differences in skin temperature of cycling and pregnant wild chimpanzee females in Budongo Forest, Uganda. Based on previous literature, we predicted increased skin temperature when approaching peak fertility at the area of the reproductive organs of cycling females. For pregnant females, we made the same prediction, mainly because it has been argued that chimpanzee females have evolved mechanisms to conceal pregnancy, including exaggerated sexual swelling and sexually conspicuous vocal behaviour, and to encourage male mating behaviour in order to decrease their infanticidal tendencies by confusing paternity. Overall, we found only small changes in cycling females, with slight temperature increases towards the end of the swelling cycles but no overall increase in skin temperature between oestrous and non-oestrous phases. Interestingly, however, pregnant and cycling females had very similar skin temperatures. These results suggest that males cannot use skin temperature to discriminate between pregnant and non-pregnant/cycling females during maximal swelling, when ovulation is most likely to occur in cycling females. This pattern may be linked to the evolution of physiological means to conceal reproductive state in pregnant females.
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Este estudo demonstra os efeitos fisiológicos e comportamentais dos cães que atuam como coterapeutas em Intervenções Assistidas por Animais (IAAs). A maioria das pesquisas se concentra nos assistidos durante as IAAs, não levando em conta os coterapeutas. Assim, buscou-se avaliar os efeitos das IAAs sobre os parâmetros fisiológicos e comportamentais dos cães coterapeutas. Foram realizadas avaliações de pressão arterial sistólica, pressão arterial diastólica, temperatura, frequência cardíaca, frequência respiratória e comportamento de cinco cães coterapeutas do projeto Pet Terapia da Universidade Federal de Pelotas em três locais diferentes. As avaliações comportamentais foram registradas por meio de filmagens durante visitas às instituições e posteriormente registradas em etograma. Os resultados obtidos durante a avaliação dos sinais vitais mostraram que não houve alterações ou quando houve relação com a redução da pressão arterial dos cães, os cães não apresentaram comportamentos relacionados ao estresse, tais como: vocalização, comportamento passivo, ativo/repetitivo. Conclui-se que intervenções assistidas em animais, desenvolvidas com cães treinados e adaptados aos moradores e ao público assistido durante o período de 40 a 60 min, com equipe treinada não causam alterações nos sinais vitais e no comportamento dos cães coterapeutas, indicando estresse, garantindo assim saúde e bem-estar animal.
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Nowadays, a variety of new pet food products are being launched on the market. The rising global trend of pet ownership is linked to consumers’ increased product demand. Differentiation between different pet products is necessary not only from the nutritional and health perspective but also from pets’ well-being and positive emotional experience perspective. Performing sensory analysis by pets to demonstrate product performance presents a challenge due to the pets’ inability to communicate verbally. The use of the animal as a model is essential while respecting ethical aspects and animal welfare. This chapter aims to describe all the methods and tools currently available to assess the global performance of pet food products by pets.
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OBJECTIVE To determine whether shelter dogs presenting for elective ovariohysterectomy or castration have leukocytosis, whether leukocytes are associated with age and infection, and whether leukocytosis precludes progression to surgery. ANIMALS 138 dogs (from 13 regional shelters) presented for ovariohysterectomy or castration between October 7 and December 6, 2019. PROCEDURES For this prospective study, each dog underwent presurgical physical examination, CBC, and tests for Dirofilaria immitis antigen and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi , and Ehrlichia canis antibodies, with additional tests performed as needed. Dogs were aged by dentition as juvenile (< 3 or ≥ 3 to ≤ 6 months) or adult (> 6 months). Leukogram results were compared across age groups with recognized infections and parasitism and with dogs’ progression to surgery. RESULTS There were 34 dogs < 3 months old, 22 dogs ≥ 3 to ≤ 6 months old, and 82 > 6 months old. Sixty-three of 138 (45.6%) dogs had leukocytosis (median, 16,500 cells/µL; range, 13,700 to 28,300 cells/µL). Dogs < 3 months of age had higher median leukocyte and lymphocyte counts (14,550 cells/µL and 3,700 cells/µL, respectively) than dogs > 6 months of age (12,500 cells/µL and 2,400 cells/µL, respectively). Only 1 dog had a stress leukogram. Forty-seven dogs had recognized infection, but there was no association with leukocytosis. Surgery proceeded successfully for all dogs with leukocytosis. CLINICAL RELEVANCE Mild to moderate leukocytosis is common before elective surgery in shelter dogs, but surgery can proceed safely. A CBC should be reserved for ill-appearing dogs rather than as a screening test, and age-specific reference intervals should be considered.
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Infrared thermal imaging has emerged as a valuable tool in veterinary medicine, in particular in evaluating reproductive processes. Here, we explored differences in skin temperature of cycling and pregnant wild chimpanzee females in Budongo Forest, Uganda. Based on previous literature, we predicted increased skin temperature when approaching peak fertility at the area of the reproductive organs of cycling females. For pregnant females, we made the same prediction, mainly because it has been argued that chimpanzee females have evolved mechanisms to conceal pregnancy, including exaggerated sexual swelling and sexually conspicuous vocal behaviour, and to encourage male mating behaviour in order to decrease their infanticidal tendencies by confusing paternity. Overall, we found only small changes in cycling females, with slight temperature increases towards the end of the swelling cycles but no overall increase in skin temperature between oestrous and non-oestrous phases. Interestingly, however, pregnant and cycling females had very similar skin temperatures. These results suggest that males cannot use skin temperature to discriminate between pregnant and non-pregnant/cycling females during maximal swelling, when ovulation is most likely to occur in cycling females. This pattern may be linked to the evolution of physiological means to conceal reproductive state in pregnant females.
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Acute stress triggers peripheral vasoconstriction, causing a rapid, short-term drop in skin temperature in homeotherms. We tested, for the first time, whether this response has the potential to quantify stress, by exhibiting proportionality with stressor intensity. We used established behavioural and hormonal markers: activity level and corticosterone level, to validate a mild and more severe form of an acute restraint stressor in hens (Gallus gallus domesticus). We then used infrared thermography (IRT) to non-invasively collect continuous temperature measurements following exposure to these two intensities of acute handling stress. In the comb and wattle, two skin regions with a known thermoregulatory role, stressor intensity predicted the extent of initial skin cooling, and also the occurrence of a more delayed skin warming, providing two opportunities to quantify stress. With the present, cost-effective availability of IRT technology, this non-invasive and continuous method of stress assessment in unrestrained animals has the potential to become common practice in pure and applied research.
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The affective experience of a stimulus has traditionally been studied by statistically correlating the Electroencephalogram (EEG) and Affective Self Report (ASR). Here, this method is extended into a three-way correlation by including measurement of changes in forehead temperature on the right and left sides using Infrared Thermography (IRT). Sixteen male undergraduate designers were given a cognitive task whilst simultaneous IRT and EEG measurements were conducted. Measures of Arousal and Valence were recorded along with an additional post-test measure of Task Engagement. Using a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, the initial results exhibited inconclusive evidence of triangulation between the three methods, although a strong positive association was established between changes in forehead temperature and changes in total EEG activity. Further analysis revealed that the sample group was complex: half displayed higher temperatures on the right side and half displayed higher temperatures on the left side throughout the test. Analysis of these smaller groups revealed significant correlations between IRT, EEG, and ASR. The results support the view that IRT has potential use in the measurement of cognitive work and affective state changes during user-product interactions and suggest that further work is required to establish a more definitive relationship between forehead temperature dynamics and affect.
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Background: Canine separation-related problems (SRP) (also described as "separation anxiety" or "separation distress") are among the most common behavioural complaints of dog owners. Treatment with psychoactive medication in parallel with a behaviour modification plan is well documented in the literature, but it is unknown if this is associated with an improvement in underlying affective state (emotion and mood) or simply an inhibition of the behaviour. Cognitive judgement bias tasks have been proposed as a method for assessing underlying affective state and so we used this approach to identify if any change in clinical signs during treatment was associated with a consistent change in cognitive bias (affective state). Five dogs showing signs of SRP (vocalising - e.g. barking, howling-, destruction of property, and toileting - urination or defecation- when alone) were treated with fluoxetine chewable tablets (Reconcile™) and set on a standard behaviour modification plan for two months. Questionnaires and interviews of the owners were used to monitor the clinical progress of the dogs. Subjects were also evaluated using a spatial cognitive bias test to infer changes in underlying affect prior to, and during, treatment. Concurrently, seven other dogs without signs of SRP were tested in the same way to act as controls. Furthermore, possible correlations between cognitive bias and clinical measures were also assessed for dogs with SRP. Results: Prior to treatment, the dogs with SRP responded to ambiguous positions in the cognitive bias test negatively (i.e. with slower running speeds) compared to control dogs (p < 0.05). On weeks 2 and 6 of treatment, SRP dogs displayed similar responses in the cognitive bias test to control dogs, consistent with the possible normalization of affect during treatment, with this effect more pronounced at week 6 (p > 0.05). Questionnaire based clinical measures were significantly correlated among themselves and with performance in the cognitive bias test. Conclusion: These results demonstrate for the first time that the clinical treatment of a negative affective state and associated behaviours in a non-human species can produce a shift in cognitive bias. These findings demonstrate how the outcome of an intervention on a clinical problem can be evaluated to determine not only that the subject's behaviour has improved, but also its psychological state (welfare).
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The present paper provides information from two studies performed in consecutive years on elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis), in which animals were pre-treated with a commercial nutritional therapy product 24 hours prior to removal of velvet antler (velveting). Stress-induced increases in metabolic activity were assessed by infrared thermography (IRT) of radiated heat from an area around the eye. Adrenocortical response was assessed by plasma and salivary cortisol measurements. Nutritional therapy treatment was a commercial formulation containing electrolytes, sugars and selected amino acids in an alfalfa-based pellet. In Study #1, nutritional therapy was given to control (CON) and treated (NT) groups of animals on alternate days. In Study #2, CON and NT treated animals were represented during each day of velvet removal. In Study #1, plasma and salivary cortisol levels were significantly elevated in response to velveting (P < 0.0001 and 0.03, respectively). Nutritional Therapy animals exhibited lower salivary cortisol levels than CON animals (P < 0.0002), particularly for pre-cut and post-cut samples (P < 0.04 and 0.001, respectively). The saliva:plasma cortisol ratio (%) was significantly lower in NT animals for all samples (P < 0.0001), samples collected pre-cut (P < 0.02) and post-cut (P < 0.0002). In Study #2, plasma cortisol levels in post-cut samples were significantly lower (P < 0.02) in the NT group compared to CON animals and salivary cortisol levels were consistently lower (P < 0.0001) in NT animals over the first 11 minutes of restraint. In Study #1, infrared heat losses increased in response to velveting (P < 0.0001), but were generally lower in NT animals (P < 0.006) and IRT temperature were significantly lower in NT animals at pre-cut and post-cut (P < 0.05 and 0.04, respectively). Similar responses in radiated heat losses occurred in Study #2 for both treatment groups (P < 0.0001). In Study #2, radiated heat losses were consistently lower in NT animals compared to CON but differences were not statistically significant. These studies demonstrate that pre-capture nutritional therapy reduces HPA axis and metabolic responses of elk to the stress of velveting. Key Words: Velveting, nutritional therapy, salivary cortisol, infrared thermography.
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Infrared thermography (IRT) represents a non-invasive method to investigate stress responses in animals. Despite the large existing literature about stress responses in dogs, the potential use of IRT in assessing dogs' stress reactions has not been investigated so far. This study evaluates the usefulness of IRT to assess dogs' emotional responses to an unpleasant and stressful event. After a preliminary test, aimed to evaluate the correlation between eye temperature and rectal temperature in dogs in a stressful situation, a sample of 14 adult healthy dogs was observed during a standardized veterinary examination, carried out by an unfamiliar veterinarian in the presence of their owners. Dogs' behaviors and eye temperatures were recorded before the start of the veterinary visit, during, and after the clinical examination. Dogs' levels of activity and stress-related behaviors varied across the different phases of the visit. Interestingly, the dogs showed an increase in eye temperature during the examination phase compared with both pre-examination and post-examination phases, despite a concomitant significant decrease in their level of activity. However, it also emerged that the thermographic camera, although remote and non-invasive, was disturbing for the dogs, to some extent, as they showed avoidance behaviors, including averting their gaze and/or turning their head, exclusively when the thermographic camera was oriented to them. Overall results suggest that IRT may represent a useful tool to investigate emotional psychogenic stress in dogs. Nevertheless, further research is needed to establish the specificity and sensitivity of IRT in this context and to assess how different dogs' characteristics, breed, previous experience, and the nature and severity of the stressor could influence the magnitude and type of the stress response.
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Two experiments were conducted to determine whether maximum eye temperature, measured using infrared thermography (IRT), could be a non-invasive technique for detecting responses of cattle to handling procedures. Experiment one used six crossbred heifersrandomly assigned to two groups in a crossover design and subjected to i) being hit with a plastic tube on the rump and ii) being startled by the sudden waving of a plastic bag. Experiment two used 32 crossbred bulls randomly assigned to three treatments: i) control, restraint only; ii) electric prod, two brief applications of an electric prod or, iii) startled, as in experiment one, ccompanied by shouting. Exit speed (m s–1) was recorded on release from the restraint. Maximum eye temperature was recorded continuously pre- and post-treatment. In experiment one, eye temperature dropped rapidly between 20 and 40 s following both treatments and returned to baseline between 60 and 80 s following hitting and between 100 and 120 s following startling. In experiment two, eye temperature dropped between 0 and 20 s, following both treatments, and returned to baseline by 180 s, following startling plus shouting, but did not return to baseline for five minutes following electric prod. Exit speed tended to be faster following the electric prod. In conclusion, IRT detected responses that were due possibly to fear and/or pain associated with the procedures and may therefore be a useful, non-invasive method for assessing aversiveness of handling practices to cattle.
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The aims of this study were, first, to evaluate eye temperature (ET) with infrared thermography and heart rate (HR) to measure stress in horses during show jumping competitions and their relationship with competition results, and second, to evaluate the influence of different extrinsic and intrinsic factors of the horse on the stress measurements analysed. One hundred and seventy-three Spanish Sport Horses were analysed for ET and HR, and these measurements were taken 3 h before the competition, just after and 3 h after it. Two interval measurements were also assessed for each parameter. Positive significant correlations were found between ET and HR, measured before (r=0.23), just after competition (r=0.28) and for the later interval (r=0.26), whereas negative correlations with competition results were found only for ET when measured just after competing (r=-0.25). Two intrinsic factors (genetic line and age) and no extrinsic factors showed significant differences for ET, whereas one intrinsic factor (age) and two extrinsic factors (journey duration and number of training hours) showed significant differences for HR. The marginal means showed significantly higher ET values for the Anglo-Arab genetic line and for 5-year-old animals. HR values were significantly higher for 4-year-old animals, for horses which had travelled 4 to 6 h and for horses that had 3 to 6 h of daily training. This study suggests that, although ET and HR seemed to share a similar physiological basis, the factors that most influenced each parameter were different. Finally, ET seems to be a suitable tool for assessing stress during show jumping competitions in horses.
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During their second or third day in public animal shelter, juvenile/adult dogs were exposed to a venipuncture procedure. Then the dogs were either not petted or were petted in a prescribed manner by either a man or a woman; 20 min later, a second blood sample was collected. There was a clear increase in cortisol levels 20 min after the first venipuncture in juvenile/adult dogs that were not petted, but not in dogs that were petted by either a man or a woman. Additional comparisons showed that the petting procedure also inhibited the cortisol response following venipuncture in puppies. However, petting did not reduce the cortisol response to housing in the shelter per se. During petting, dogs made few attempts to escape, frequently were observed in a relaxed posture, and panting was common in juvenile/adult dogs. When dogs were petted immediately following removal from the living cage, those petted by women yawned more often and spent more time in a relaxed, head-up posture. Together, these results indicate that a previously observed sex difference in the effectiveness of petters in reducing the cortisol response was not due to some difference in odor or other nonbehavioural stimulus quality of men and women. Subtle aspects of petting technique appear to have pronounced effects on physiological and possibly behavioural responses of dogs confined in a shelter. Petting may be an effective means of reducing the cortisol responses of dogs to other common aversive situations, such as routine medical examinations and vaccination procedures at veterinary clinics as well as shelters.
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Among the main physiological stress indicators, the temperature evaluation is very important and innovative because it may be monitored without directly interacting with the animal. The use of a thermographic system, which is based on the detection of infrared radiation emitted by a subject, is a suitable method in order to measure temperature without any contact. In this research, a thermographic system was employed in order to single out the rabbit skin's zones most suitable for the temperature monitoring during stress challenges. Six hybrid rabbits were observed during induced stress; the areas selected as reference were: the ocular area (globe and periocular area), the internal auricle pavilion, and a shaved area of the head. The results of this pilot study show that the thermographic technique is a suitable method for the evaluation of temperature on rabbit. The best areas singled out were the eye bulb, the periocular area and the ear skin. The results concerning the effect of stress on cutaneous temperature showed that during stress condition a decrease in temperature occurs with respect to the basal condition (AT~1°C) and this trend is more evident for the auricle pavillion. In fact, this reaction is more evidenced in the ear skin, where a vasoconstriction process occurs. Moreover, corticosterone levels slightly increase (P=0.08) following the stressor's challenge due to tonic immobility test. In this research, both temperature and the change in corticosterone level show that the stress reaction induced by tonic immobility test is stronger than the one due to the other stressors applied to rabbits.
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