Cynthia M. Otto's research while affiliated with University of Pennsylvania and other places

Publications (57)

Article
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Research on working dogs is growing rapidly due to increasing global demand. Here we report genome scanning of the risk of puppies being eliminated for behavioral reasons prior to entering the training phase of the US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) canine olfactory detection breeding and training program through 2013. Elimination of...
Article
Ovarian cancer has a high mortality rate due to its unclear symptomology and the lack of precise early detection tools. If detected in the first stage, over 90% of patients reach remission. As such, developing a reliable method of early detection is crucial in reducing the mortality rate of the disease. One potential method would be to identify spe...
Article
This article highlights the recommendations and considerations for maintaining a healthy canine lifestyle. A key component of a healthy lifestyle is the enhancement and optimization of mobility. Mobility is essential in maintaining a high quality of life and involves the interplay of a dog's structure, posture, body condition score, physical exerci...
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The bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica is responsible for serious respiratory disease in dogs, most often associated with ‘kennel cough’ (canine infectious tracheobronchitis). It is recommended that dogs are vaccinated against the bacterium every 6–12 months, either by oral or intranasal administration. Any impairment of dogs' olfactory capabiliti...
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Objective Septic peritonitis is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. As a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of sepsis, 2-O, 3-O desulfated heparin (ODSH) reduces histones and platelet factor 4 (PF4) in mouse sepsis models. This pilot clinical trial evaluated the safety and effect of ODSH in client-owned dogs with septic p...
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The land treadmill is a multipurpose tool with a unique set of behavioral and physical benefits for training and assessing active dogs. Habituation to voluntary treadmill locomotion is crucial for training a dog or accurately assessing a dog’s fitness on a treadmill. Therefore, a treadmill acclimation program was developed and evaluated with workin...
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Objective To determine whether first responders delivering naloxone by either the IM or intranasal (IN) route were at risk of contamination with inert powder simulating canine opioid exposure. Design Prospective, crossover design. Setting Research study (university setting). Animals Ten clinically normal working dogs ranging from 9 to 44 months...
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The guidelines are the first comprehensive consensus report on veterinary healthcare recommendations for working, assistance, and therapy dogs. This category of canine patients includes a broad assortment of animals, some with well-defined functions and others that provide a more generalized support role. The guidelines discuss recommendations for...
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Working dogs are prevalent throughout our societies, assisting people in diverse contexts, from explosives detection and livestock herding, to therapy partners. Our scientific exploration and understanding of animal welfare have grown dramatically over the last decade. As community attitudes toward the use of animals continue to change, applying th...
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Disaster search dogs traverse diverse and unstable surfaces found in collapsed buildings. It is unknown if the physical conditioning on a treadmill involves the same muscle groups that are involved in rubble search. This 14-week prospective cohort study was conducted to investigate changes within the thermal gradients of specific dog muscles follow...
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Explosive detection canines (EDC) play an important role in protecting people and property. The utilization of and research on EDCs is often based on personal experience or incomplete knowledge. EDC practitioners (handlers, trainers, and leaders) possess the institutional knowledge necessary to understand EDC operational requirements. This study ut...
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Canine sports medicine and rehabilitation recently have evolved to embody the optimization of performance, injury prevention, and mitigation of musculoskeletal degeneration. This article discusses the diverse factors and considerations of working dog wellness and injury prevention and the importance of recognizing normal and abnormal posture and an...
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The explosive detection canine (EDC) team is currently the best available mobile sensor capability in the fight against explosive threats. While the EDC can perform at a high level, the EDC team faces numerous factors during the search process that may degrade performance. Understanding these factors is key to effective selection, training, assessm...
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Dogs are trained for a variety of working roles including assistance, protection, and detection work. Many canine working roles, in their modern iterations, were developed at the turn of the 20th century and training practices have since largely been passed down from trainer to trainer. In parallel, research in psychology has advanced our understan...
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One of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is the utility of an early, flexible and rapidly deployable disease screening and detection response. The largely uncontrolled spread of the pandemic in the United States exposed a range of planning and implementation shortcomings, which if they had been in place before the pandemic emerged, may...
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Dogs perform a variety of integral roles in our society, engaging in work ranging from assistance (e.g., service dogs, guide dogs) and therapy to detection (e.g., search-and-rescue dogs, explosive detection dogs) and protection (e.g., military and law enforcement dogs). However, success in these roles, which requires dogs to meet challenging behavi...
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The spotted lanternfly ( Lycorma delicatula ) is an invasive species first detected in 2014. The insect feeds on plants causing severe damage in vineyards such as the occurrence of sooty mold fungus that impairs leaf photosynthesis. Currently, there is extensive research on how to track and ultimately prevent the spread of this species. It lays egg...
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While the world awaits a widely available COVID-19 vaccine, availability of testing is limited in many regions and can be further compounded by shortages of reagents, prolonged processing time and delayed results. One approach to rapid testing is to leverage the volatile organic compound (VOC) signature of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Detection dogs, a bi...
Article
The Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ©) (http://www.cbarq.org) has been used to measure behaviors associated with release or graduation from several assistance dog programs, however it has never been evaluated within a prison environment. This study investigated whether a modified version of the C-BARQ© can be utilized...
Article
OBJECTIVE To compare the cause of death (COD; whether by natural death or eutha- nasia for poor quality of life caused by a primary pathological condition) be- tween search-and-rescue (SAR) dogs deployed to the World Trade Center, Pentagon, or Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and SAR dogs that were not depl...
Article
Objective: To document the clinical and clinicopathological changes in cats presenting with vehicular trauma (VT) and to determine whether the calculated animal trauma triage (ATT) score was associated with any clinicopathological abnormalities. Design: Retrospective descriptive study conducted between 1998 and 2009. Setting: University veteri...
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The administration of an oral probiotic has been demonstrated to impact oral microbial diversity in humans but has not been examined in canines. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that oral probiotic administration would impact the oral microbiota of canines compared to control. Working canines in training (n = 13) were assigned...
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Fit to Work is a formalized working dog foundational physical fitness assessment and development program. The Penn Vet Working Dog Center developed this program to address the needs of working dog handlers, trainers, and programs for simple, effective, and efficient methods to develop and assess working dog physical fitness. Fit to Work focuses on...
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The objective of this study was to evaluate 4 pre-exercise hydration strategies (oral water, chicken-flavored water, chicken-flavored oral electrolyte solution, and subcutaneous electrolyte solution) in working dogs conducting rigorous tracking operations in hot and arid conditions. In a randomized cross-over field study, 7 Border Patrol Search, Tr...
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Recent literature has demonstrated that dogs have the potential to detect, and communicate the presence of, various human diseases. However, there is a lack of investigation into whether commonplace training differences within the field could influence a dog's behavior during a biomedical detection task. Here we report on the behavior of four dogs...
Article
All cells release low molecular weight organic compounds that possess finite vapor pressures at body and/or ambient temperatures. These volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may possess an odor and can be found emanating from all body fluids. As cells turn malignant, analysis of changes in these VOCs can provide insight into cancer onset and diagnosis....
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[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00351.].
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Fentanyl is a potent opioid used clinically as a pain medication and anesthetic but has recently seen a sharp rise as an illicit street drug. The potency of fentanyl means mucous membrane exposure to a small amount of the drug can expose first responders, including working canines, to accidental overdose. Naloxone, a fast-acting opioid antagonist a...
Article
Ovarian cancer is known as a “silent killer” because of its nonspecific symptoms and generally late diagnosis due to the lack of reliable early detection tools. Medical detection canines have been shown to recognize the odor profile of malignant tumors of many types, including ovarian cancer, and may be utilized to help produce a much-needed early...
Article
Objective To document the clinical and clinicopathologic changes in cats presenting with trauma from bite wounds, identify common abnormalities associated with bite wounds, and to determine whether the calculated animal trauma triage (ATT) score is related to any clinicopathologic abnormalities. Design Retrospective descriptive study. Setting Uni...
Article
OBJECTIVE To determine usefulness of skin turgor and capillary refill time (CRT) for predicting changes in hydration status of working dogs after a 15-minute exercise period. ANIMALS 9 exercise-conditioned working dogs between 8 and 108 months of age. PROCEDURES Skin tent time (SkTT; time for tented skin on the forehead to return to an anatomically...
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Currently, demand for US-bred and born detector dogs exceeds available supply, while reliance on foreign-bred sources introduces many unnecessary and unwanted risks. With proper management of a domestic supply line, U.S. breeders can improve both health and behavior by applying scientific principles to breeding and raising of detector dogs. A coope...
Chapter
[fo]Working dogs serve an important role in protecting our nation (police and military) and our natural resources (conservation dogs), recovering lost or trapped individuals or their remains (search dogs), and allowing people with disabilities or medical conditions to function more independently. As a result of their jobs and their training, they w...
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Exercise-related physiological changes were evaluated in hydrated, exercise-conditioned working dogs with free access to tap water (TW) with or without a nutrient-enriched water supplement (NW). Physiological samples and measures were collected before and after work-related field tasks in a warm and moderately humid ambient environment. In a cross-...
Article
Objective: To determine the prevalence of rodenticide exposure in cats, describe the use of gastrointestinal decontamination (GID) after rodenticide exposure, and examine the efficacy of GID following exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides (ACR). Design: Retrospective study from 2000-2010. Setting: Emergency service of an urban university teac...
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Behavioral traits such as trainability, fearlessness, and energy are required for dogs to succeed as search-and-rescue (SAR) dogs. Certification by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ensures that dogs and handlers have extensive training and have demonstrated specific skills in the field. To determine whether behavioral differences exis...
Data
A video demonstrating a dog performing a systematic search of vehicles and the reward on identification of the odor source. This is a dog in training and with permission of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. No videos from the study are included in order to preserve the anonymity of the CBP agents.
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Physical activity in hot environments can increase the risk of heat stress or heat stroke in dogs. Heat tolerance is influenced by acclimatization to the environment, physical fitness, and hydration state. Three common strategies to promote hydration in working dogs are free access to water (W), oral electrolyte solutions (OESs), and administration...
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This IACUC approved study was performed to evaluate the environmental, physiological, and hematological components that contribute to stamina following successive bouts of exercise that included searching (5-min), agility (5-min), and ball retrieve (<10-min). Regularly exercised dogs (N = 12) were evaluated on five separate occasions. The populatio...
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Objective: To examine available evidence on prehospital care in human and veterinary trauma and emergency medicine and develop best practice guidelines for use by both paramedical and nonparamedical personnel in the approach to the prehospital care of dogs and cats. Design: Systematic evaluation of the literature gathered via medical databases s...
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The effect of animal-assisted activities (AAA) on the animal participants has been minimally investigated, and the welfare of these animals has been questioned. To enhance our understanding of these animals’ welfare, we measured cortisol collected from serial saliva samples of 15 healthy adult dogs registered with an AAA organization. We collected...
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To describe the most common reasons for emergency medical visits in working police dogs. Retrospective case control study. Two hundred three German Shepherd dogs (GSDs); 138 police dog visits by 74 dogs and 138 pet (control) dog visits by 129 dogs. Medical records of all GSDs seen in the emergency service (ES) at the University of Pennsylvania Vete...
Article
Objective-To determine the safety and efficacy of an electrolyte solution for oral administration (OES) for the correction of mild to moderate dehydration associated with hemorrhagic diarrhea in dogs. Design-Nonrandomized, noncontrolled clinical trial. Animals-20 dogs that had hemorrhagic diarrhea with < 3 episodes of vomiting. Procedures-All dogs...
Chapter
Working dogs and elite canine athletes are at risk for injuries or illness associated with performance and training. The basic approach to emergency stabilization is to address the most life-threatening problems first: airway, breathing, and circulation. Many of the problems that result in acute emergencies in these dogs will be the result of the e...
Article
Canine influenza virus (CIV) H3N8 infection is thought to be highly contagious and potentially deadly. Low seroprevalence in dogs participating in the sport of flyball in 2009 was reported. It remains unknown if prevalence is changing in dogs at risk. To determine seroprevalence of antibodies to CIV H3N8 in a population of pet dogs that participate...
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This study reports on three years of prospective, longitudinal data on the psychological well-being of the human handlers and the health and behavior of the search and rescue dogs deployed in New York City and Washington, DC in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Eighty-five human handlers (63 deployed and 22 controls) and...
Article
To evaluate risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in a large number of privately owned dogs across a wide geographic area. Internet-based, cross-sectional study. 2,551 privately owned dogs. A questionnaire addressed dog-specific, management, environmental, and personality-associated risk factors for GDV in dogs. Respondents were recrui...

Citations

... A service dog is a dog that is specifically trained to aid a person with a disability (1,2). There are upwards of 500,000 active service dogs in the US at present time. ...
... Understanding public perceptions regarding working dogs is important, as community attitudes and media coverage underpin social license to operate and the sustainability of working with dogs in these ways (Cobb, Lill, & Bennett, 2020;Cobb, Otto, & Fine, 2021). One such group of working dogs is Drug Detection Dogs (DDDs); dogs that have been trained to search and identify various target odors, including narcotics or other drugs, on command. ...
... Credentials based on the dogs' working performance represent working ability, as in the relationship between structure and function, real-world coping strategies and cognition, and, therefore, additional components of the dogs' physical and mental capacities [10,[41][42][43][44]. However, it is also well-known that working performance is moderated by variables including the experience of the dog handler and associative learning principles based on reward and punishment typically used in dog training [45][46][47][48]. ...
... A recent study of 17 experienced explosive detection canine practitioners in the law enforcement, military, federal, and private sectors highlighted the following traits as being associated with success: "hunt drive" (motivation, a high level of energy, focus, and the ability to ignore or recover quickly from distractions), stamina to continue working, and the ability to generalize odors (e.g. identify explosives that are similar but not identical to those used in training) 33 . At the same time, behavioral tests, descriptive vocabulary, and other aspects of explosives dog selection are inconsistent between working dog organizations 34 . ...
... To fully move the field forward in a collaborative way, systematic research through expert interview and qualitative research methods could be a highly beneficial practice to formalize some of the procedures, thought processes, and experience developed by expert working dog trainers e.g. (234). Although expert trainers may not have a scientific explanation or justification for their observations or procedures, finding a way to formalize their years of hands-on experience and feedback (via dog performance) could yield a wealth of information that would save researchers valuable time and resources. ...
... Utilizing the COVID-19 BMDDs as an example, one of the first questions to address during a disease outbreak would be if the BMDDs were able to detect the pathogen or disease and to what extent. The sensitivity and specificity of COVID-19 BMDDs has been reviewed in depth (77,(81)(82)(83)(84) and the answer to this question is an overwhelming "yes." Now that it has been irrefutably established that BMDD detection of a pandemic human disease caused by a virus is not only possible but that it is faster and more sensitive than our gold standard diagnostics, the question is what is the potential for BMDDs going forward for the next disease outbreak and what are some of the considerations that should be made around BMDD deployment. ...
... Credentials based on the dogs' working performance represent working ability, as in the relationship between structure and function, real-world coping strategies and cognition, and, therefore, additional components of the dogs' physical and mental capacities [10,[41][42][43][44]. However, it is also well-known that working performance is moderated by variables including the experience of the dog handler and associative learning principles based on reward and punishment typically used in dog training [45][46][47][48]. ...
... AuƟsm spectrum disorder, candidates (SFARI_2_3_S genes) 2 www.nature.com/scientificreports/ mapped for increased social behavior. ...
... However, the feeding choice of the first instars is especially interesting. In the eastern U.S., L. delicatula lays egg masses once a year, typically from September to November or even December [39]. If the egg masses are laid on the tree trunk, they may be laid up to 17 m above the ground [38]. ...
... Also, it can be caused by the replication of the virus within the intestinal cells ( Stanifer et al. 2020 ).Although, Despite the lack of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms, SARS-CoV-2 positivity can also be detected in patients' feces; for example, A live version of SARS-CoV-2 was found in the stool of two infected people who did not experience diarrhea symptoms ( Foladori et al. 2020 ). SARS-CoV-2 has been confirmed in urine samples of patients ( Essler et al. 2021 ). Despite this, SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in the stool does not necessarily imply illness or infection ( Yuen et al. 2020 ). ...