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

Riemer, Stefanie and Assis, Luciana and Pike, Thomas W. and Mills, Daniel S. (2016) Dynamic changes in ear temperature in relation to separation distress in dogs. Physiology & Behavior, 167 . pp. 86-91. ISSN 0031-9384

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Abstract

Highlights

Pet dogs were tested in a brief separation test and filmed remotely using thermography.

Temperature was analyzed from selected patches of both ear pinnae simultaneously.

Social isolation was associated with a significant decrease in ear pinnae temperature.

Temperature of the two ears did not differ significantly from each other.

Long distance thermography is a useful tool in non-invasive stress monitoring.
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 7 m 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.

Keywords:Ear temperature, Infrared thermography, Noninvasive stress monitoring, Pet dogs Canis familiaris, Physiological stress responses, Separation stress
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:25198
Deposited On:17 Nov 2016 17:15

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