Researchers have correlated scratching activity detected on a dog activity tracker with owner observations, validating it as a reliable method of detecting potential underlying skin conditions in dogs.
A team including researchers from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine Center for Outcomes Research and Epidemiology, Holland Management Services, Zoetis and the Pet Insight Project team at Kinship (part of Mars Petcare) say the study shows use of the Whistle device could help signal earlier veterinary intervention.
The findings were shared at the European Veterinary Dermatology Congress in September.
To obtain the results, pet scratching activity was recorded with remote sensors embedded in the Whistle device. They then compared that with visual observations of 358 pet owners who graded the severity of their pet’s scratching activity on a scale from 0 to 10.
Owner observations and severity of scratching measured by the Whistle correlated.
Aletha Carson, vet and data clinical studies senior manager for Kinship, said: “Pet owners can overlook the subtle changes in behaviour that may be a warning sign for an underlying issue and are often too late to recognise their beloved companion is suffering.
“This new method of analysing pet behaviours provides pet owners with an ‘always-on’ monitor that may be helpful in keeping their dogs healthy and happy.
“This groundbreaking data-driven advance is a positive step forward in detecting the skin ailments that affect so many of our canine companions. It may also prove to be quite useful for veterinarians who need an objective way to gauge a pet’s response to prescribed therapies used to reduce inflammation and scratching without requiring time-intensive monitoring from the owner.”
Lire la suite: www.vettimes.co.uk