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Detecting Your Pet’s Pain Level Is Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible

By Dr. Becker

Apparently, researchers have been hard at work using infrared thermography (IRT) to determine how dogs are feeling in certain situations. How cool is that?

Thermography is a non-invasive technique that allows for the visualization of temperature changes in the body, affording researchers the ability to evaluate physiological changes, and perhaps emotional states, in a wide variety of animals (including humans). Julie Hecht, writing for Scientific American, describes it this way:

“When you are frightened, blood rushes away from your extremities to get your muscles ready to go, which means your extremities get cooler as your core gets warmer. Infrared thermography, which captures changes to body surface temperature, is going to pick this up.

The tip of a scared person’s nose gets cooler (more blue) under an infrared camera, and studies find that when scared or distressed, rat paws and tails appear cooler, as do the outer parts of sheep and rabbit ears.”

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