Abstracts: Are observer ratings influenced by prescription? A comparison of Free Choice Profiling and Fixed List methods of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment

Qualitative methods of behavioural assessment use observer rating scales to score the overall demeanour or body language of animals. Establishing the reliability of such holistic approaches requires test and validation of the methods used. Here, we compare two methodologies used in Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA): Fixed-Lists (FL) and Free-Choice Profiling (FCP). A laboratory class of 27 . . . → Read More: Abstracts: Are observer ratings influenced by prescription? A comparison of Free Choice Profiling and Fixed List methods of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment

Abstracts: Ventricular arrhythmias in Rhodesian Ridgebacks with a family history of sudden death and results of a pedigree analysis for potential inheritance patterns

OBJECTIVE To evaluate a group of related Rhodesian Ridgebacks with a family history of sudden death for the presence of arrhythmia and to identify possible patterns of disease inheritance among these dogs.
DESIGN Prospective case series and pedigree investigation.
ANIMALS 25 Rhodesian Ridgebacks with shared bloodlines.
PROCEDURES Pedigrees of 4 young dogs (1 female and 3 males; age, 7 to 12 months) that died suddenly were evaluated, and owners of closely related dogs were asked to participate in the study. Dogs were evaluated by 24-hour Holter monitoring, standard ECG, echocardiography, or some combination of these to assess cardiac status. Necropsy reports, if available, were reviewed. Continue reading Abstracts: Ventricular arrhythmias in Rhodesian Ridgebacks with a family history of sudden death and results of a pedigree analysis for potential inheritance patterns

Abstracts: Physical health problems and environmental challenges influence balancing behaviour in laying hens

With rising public concern for animal welfare, many major food chains and restaurants are changing their policies, strictly buying their eggs from non-cage producers. However, with the additional space in these cage-free systems to perform natural behaviours and movements comes the risk of injury. We evaluated the ability to maintain balance in adult laying hens with health problems (footpad dermatitis, keel damage, poor wing feather cover; n = 15) using a series of environmental challenges and compared such abilities with those of healthy birds (n = 5). Continue reading Abstracts: Physical health problems and environmental challenges influence balancing behaviour in laying hens

Abstracts: Pathogenesis of osteochondrosis dissecans: How does this translate to management of the clinical case?

Osteochondrosis (OC) is the most prevalent developmental orthopaedic disease in the horse. It is a complex disorder because of the interplay of factors that influence the formation of lesions and the ensuing natural healing process, the end result of which determines clinical outcome. The early pathogenetic mechanism of OC has long remained elusive, but recent research . . . → Read More: Abstracts: Pathogenesis of osteochondrosis dissecans: How does this translate to management of the clinical case?

Abstracts: Assessing positive emotional states in dogs using heart rate and heart rate variability

Since most animal species have been recognised as sentient beings, emotional state may be a good indicator of welfare in animals. The goal of this study was to manipulate the environment of nine beagle research dogs to highlight physiological responses indicative of different emotional experiences. Stimuli were selected to be a more or a less positive food (meatball or food pellet) or social reward (familiar person or less familiar person). That all the stimuli were positive and of different reward value was confirmed in a runway motivation test. Dogs were tested individually while standing facing a display theatre where the different stimuli could be shown by lifting a shutter. Continue reading Abstracts: Assessing positive emotional states in dogs using heart rate and heart rate variability