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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Behavioural Evaluation of a Leash Tension Meter Which Measures Pull Direction and Force during Human–Dog On-Leash Walks
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081382 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Leash tension forces exerted by dog and handler during walks affect their welfare. We developed a novel ambulatory measurement device using a load cell and a tri-axial accelerometer to record both the tension and direction of forces exerted on the leashes. Data were [...] Read more.
Leash tension forces exerted by dog and handler during walks affect their welfare. We developed a novel ambulatory measurement device using a load cell and a tri-axial accelerometer to record both the tension and direction of forces exerted on the leashes. Data were relayed telemetrically to a laptop for real time viewing and recording. Larger and heavier dogs exerted higher leash tension but had a lower pulling frequency than their smaller and lighter conspecifics. This pattern was observed in the reactional forces of handlers. Young dogs pulled more frequently during walks, which was also mirrored in handlers’ pulling. Well-behaved dogs created lower leash tension, but handlers did not respond with lower forces. This novel method of recording leash tension will facilitate real-time monitoring of the behaviour of dogs and their handlers during walks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Companion Animal Cognition, Communication, and Behavior)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Dogs Don’t Die Just in Hot Cars—Exertional Heat-Related Illness (Heatstroke) Is a Greater Threat to UK Dogs
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081324 - 31 Jul 2020
Abstract
Heat-related illness will affect increasing numbers of dogs as global temperatures rise unless effective mitigation strategies are implemented. This study aimed to identify the key triggers of heat-related illness in dogs and investigate canine risk factors for the most common triggers in UK [...] Read more.
Heat-related illness will affect increasing numbers of dogs as global temperatures rise unless effective mitigation strategies are implemented. This study aimed to identify the key triggers of heat-related illness in dogs and investigate canine risk factors for the most common triggers in UK dogs. Using the VetCompassTM programme, de-identified electronic patient records of 905,543 dogs under primary veterinary care in 2016 were reviewed to identify 1259 heat-related illness events from 1222 dogs. Exertional heat-related illness was the predominant trigger (74.2% of events), followed by environmental (12.9%) and vehicular confinement (5.2%). Canine and human risk factors appear similar; young male dogs had greater odds of exertional heat-related illness, older dogs and dogs with respiratory compromise had the greatest odds of environmental heat-related illness. Brachycephalic dogs had greater odds of all three types of heat-related illness compared with mesocephalic dogs. The odds of death following vehicular heat-related illness (OR 1.47, p = 0.492) was similar to that of exertional heat-related illness. In the UK, exertional heat-related illness affects more dogs, and kills more dogs, than confinement in a hot vehicle. Campaigns to raise public awareness about heat-related illness in dogs need to highlight that dogs don’t die just in hot cars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Potential of Recycling Cauliflower and Romanesco Wastes in Ruminant Feeding: In Vitro Studies
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081247 - 22 Jul 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The nutritive values for ruminants of cauliflower (CAU) and Romanesco (ROM) wastes (leaves, stems and sprouts) were assessed by analyzing their chemical composition, in vitro ruminal fermentation, and in vitro intestinal digestibility. In addition, the in vitro ruminal fermentation of diets containing increasing [...] Read more.
The nutritive values for ruminants of cauliflower (CAU) and Romanesco (ROM) wastes (leaves, stems and sprouts) were assessed by analyzing their chemical composition, in vitro ruminal fermentation, and in vitro intestinal digestibility. In addition, the in vitro ruminal fermentation of diets containing increasing amounts of CAU was studied. The dry matter (DM) content of leaves, stems and sprouts of both vegetables was lower than 10%, but they contained high crude protein (CP; 19.9 to 33.0%) and sugar (16.3 to 28.7%) levels, and low neutral detergent fiber (21.6 to 32.3%). Stems and sprouts were more rapidly and extensively fermented in the rumen than leaves, but there were only minor differences the fermentation profiles of both vegetables. The estimated metabolizable energy content ranged from 9.3 (leaves) to 10.8 (sprouts) MJ/kg DM. The CP rumen degradability (12-h in situ incubations) was greater than 80.0% for all fractions, and the in vitro intestinal digestibility of CP ranged from 85.7 to 93.2%. The inclusion of up to 24% of dried CAU in the concentrate of a mixed diet (40:60 alfalfa hay:concentrate) increased the in vitro rumen fermentation of the CAU diet, but did not affect methane (CH4) production, indicating the lack of antimethanogenic compounds in CAU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Effects of Dietary β-Mannanase Supplementation on Growth Performance, Apparent Total Tract Digestibility, Intestinal Integrity, and Immune Responses in Weaning Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(4), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040703 - 17 Apr 2020
Abstract
The experiment aimed to investigate the effects of dietary β-mannanase supplementation on growth performance, apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients, intestinal integrity, and the immunological and oxidative stress parameters in weaning pigs. A total of 64 newly weaning pigs (initial body weight: [...] Read more.
The experiment aimed to investigate the effects of dietary β-mannanase supplementation on growth performance, apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients, intestinal integrity, and the immunological and oxidative stress parameters in weaning pigs. A total of 64 newly weaning pigs (initial body weight: 6.96 ± 0.70 kg) were allotted to two dietary treatments in eight replicates per treatment with four pigs per pen based on body weight and sex. Dietary treatments were 1.) CON (control: corn-soybean meal based basal diet) and 2.) β-mannanase (basal diet +0.06% β-mannanase). The β-mannanase supplementation did not affect growth performance, concentrations of acute phase protein, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. However, the pigs fed the β-mannanase-supplemented diet had greater ATTD of ether extract, jejunum villus height, and villus height-to-crypt depth ratio, and lower crypt depth compared with those fed the CON diet (p < 0.05). The pigs fed the β-mannanase-supplemented diet tended to have the lower count of E. coli in cecum than those fed the CON diet (p = 0.08). In conclusion, dietary β-mannanase supplementation did not affect growth performance, immune response and oxidative stress of weaning pigs, whereas it increased fat digestibility and had positive effects on intestinal integrity and cecum microflora by reducing the count of E.coli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Picture Perfect Pups: How Do Attributes of Photographs of Dogs in Online Rescue Profiles Affect Adoption Speed?
Animals 2020, 10(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010152 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
To increase the public’s awareness of and exposure to animals needing homes, PetRescue, Australia’s largest online directory of animals in need of adoption, lists all currently available animals from rescue and welfare shelters nationwide. The current study examined the photographs in the PetRescue [...] Read more.
To increase the public’s awareness of and exposure to animals needing homes, PetRescue, Australia’s largest online directory of animals in need of adoption, lists all currently available animals from rescue and welfare shelters nationwide. The current study examined the photographs in the PetRescue online profiles of the three most common breeds within these data, namely, Staffordshire bull terriers (n = 3988), Labrador retrievers (n = 2246), and Jack Russell terriers (n = 2088), to identify the inferred preferences of potential adopters. By investigating the attributes of these photographs, we were able to identify visual risk factors associated with protracted lengths of stay (LOS). The longest stays were associated with dogs with erect ears and those photographed in a natural environment, i.e., 18.32 days and 19.57 days, respectively. Dogs photographed in a kennel and with mouths closed had the shortest LOS, i.e., 11.54 d and 14.44 d, respectively. Heightened awareness of the roles of photographic attributes in generating interest among potential adopters may increase the speed of adoption by guiding the creation of online profiles and selection of photos to optimise the promotion of dogs at risk of long stays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Effect of Soybean Oil and Fish Oil on Lipid-Related Transcripts in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue of Dairy Cows
Animals 2020, 10(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010054 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of long-term supplementation of unsaturated oil on lipid metabolism and transcription of genes involved in lipid metabolism in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) of mid-lactating dairy cows. The objective was achieved by supplementing dairy [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of long-term supplementation of unsaturated oil on lipid metabolism and transcription of genes involved in lipid metabolism in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) of mid-lactating dairy cows. The objective was achieved by supplementing dairy cows with soybean oil (SO; high in linoleic acid) or fish oil (FO; high in EPA and DHA) for 63 days (nine weeks). Cows were fed a control diet with no added lipid, or diets containing SO or FO (n = 5 cows/group). At the onset of the experiment (day 0) and on days 21, 42, and 63 of supplementation, blood and SAT samples were collected from each animal. Oil supplementation increased cholesterol and NEFA in plasma, with a greater effect of SO compared to FO. Concentration of BUN was lower in SO compared to control and FO at the end of the trial. Transcription of few genes was affected by dietary lipids: FABP4 had lowest expression in FO followed by SO and control. ACACA and FASN had higher expression in FO. Transcription of SCAP was higher but expression of INSIG1 was lower in SO. Overall, results revealed that compared to control, SO and FO had lipogenic effect in SAT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Improvement of Oxidative Status, Milk and Cheese Production, and Food Sustainability Indexes by Addition of Durum Wheat Bran to Dairy Cows’ Diet
Animals 2019, 9(9), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090698 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Durum wheat bran (DWB) is a by-product mostly used in feeding ruminants, contributing to decrease in the utilization of feeds suitable as foods for human consumption, thus improving the sustainability of livestock production. However, the potential benefits of DWB, due to its content [...] Read more.
Durum wheat bran (DWB) is a by-product mostly used in feeding ruminants, contributing to decrease in the utilization of feeds suitable as foods for human consumption, thus improving the sustainability of livestock production. However, the potential benefits of DWB, due to its content in phenolic acids, mainly consisting of ferulic acid with antioxidant properties, have not been well clarified yet. Accordingly, in this experiment, 36 lactating cows divided into three groups received, over a period of 100 days, one of three concentrates including DWB at 0% (DWB0), 10% (DWB10), or 20% (DWB20). The concentrates were formulated to be isoproteic and isoenergetic and, to balance the higher fiber content of the concentrates with DWB, the hay in the diets was slightly reduced. During the trial, the group feed intake and the individual milk production were monitored, and cheese was made with bulk milk from each group. Milk yield and microbiological characteristics of milk and cheese were similar among groups, indicating no DWB effect on cows performance and fermentation process. Milk from DWB20 group resulted slightly higher in casein and curd firmness (a2r). In cows fed DWB, the higher polyphenol intake was responsible for higher blood contents of these bioactive compounds, that seemed to have contributed in reducing the level of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs), which were higher in DWB0 cows. DWB20 cheeses showed a higher polyphenol content, lower number of peroxides, and higher antioxidant capacity than DWB0 cheeses. DWB20 and DWB10 diets resulted less expensive. In addition, the DWB20 group showed the best indexes heFCE (human edible feed conversion efficiency = milk/human edible feed) and NFP (net food production = milk − human edible food), expressed as crude protein or gross energy. In conclusion, the DWB fed to dairy cows at 12% of diet dry matter (DM) can lead to benefits, such as the improvement of oxidative status of cows, milk quality, shelf-life, and functional properties of cheese, and might contribute to reduce the feeding cost and limit the human-animal competition for feeding sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Compatibility between Humans and Their Dogs: Benefits for Both
Animals 2019, 9(9), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090674 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Compatibility in activity preferences refers to the shared enjoyment of daily activities, such as walking and interacting with others, and it is an indicator of the behavioral dimension of compatibility, which mainly refers to exercise and play. It has been found that individuals [...] Read more.
Compatibility in activity preferences refers to the shared enjoyment of daily activities, such as walking and interacting with others, and it is an indicator of the behavioral dimension of compatibility, which mainly refers to exercise and play. It has been found that individuals who are more compatible with their dogs have a better relationship with them, which can explain some of the benefits of human-dog interaction. However, research to explain how and why human-animal relationships are potentially therapeutic is still needed. The objective of this quantitative study was to compare the benefits of human-dog interaction for both humans and dogs between people who were and were not compatible with their dogs. Ninety people with scores of 50% or less on the compatibility index and 110 people with 100% compatibility participated in the study. The groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. The people in the group with greater compatibility reported more subjective happiness and less perceived stress, a stable dog-feeding routine, and more frequent daily walks and playing sessions; additionally, for their dogs, they reported a lower frequency of aggressive and fearful behaviors and higher trainability scores. In conclusion, compatibility in activity preferences helps explain the benefits of human–animal interaction. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Evaluating Animal-Assisted Interventions: An Empirical Illustration of Differences between Outcome Measures
Animals 2019, 9(9), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090645 - 03 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Multiple authors have called for strong empirical evaluations to strengthen the foundation of Animal-Assisted Interventions. Carefully choosing the outcome measures of these studies is important, as choosing the wrong outcomes may lead to a failure to detect effects. The current study therefore compares [...] Read more.
Multiple authors have called for strong empirical evaluations to strengthen the foundation of Animal-Assisted Interventions. Carefully choosing the outcome measures of these studies is important, as choosing the wrong outcomes may lead to a failure to detect effects. The current study therefore compares and contrasts the use of several outcome measures, to assess the effect of an equine-assisted intervention for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder: (1) a semi-structured interview with both parents, specifically designed for children with cognitive disabilities, (2) a general screening instrument filled out by both parents separately, which can be used to assess children’s psycho-social problems, and (3) systematic observations of social and communication skills during the equine-assisted sessions. All instruments indicated an improvement in the participant’s social and communication skills. We found differences between the interview and questionnaires with regard to parents’ perception of aggression regulation and interacting with peers. Differences with regard to parental reports and observations were found for play development and anxiety. The observations provided a detailed view of the child’s development during the intervention, which yielded an interesting hypothesis in terms of the current dose–response discussion in AAI for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Therapies and Interventions 2019)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Space Use and Movement of Urban Bobcats
Animals 2019, 9(5), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050275 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Global urbanization is rapidly changing the landscape for wildlife species that must learn to persist in declining wild spacing, adapt, or risk extinction. Many mesopredators have successfully exploited urban niches, and research on these species in an urban setting offers insights into the [...] Read more.
Global urbanization is rapidly changing the landscape for wildlife species that must learn to persist in declining wild spacing, adapt, or risk extinction. Many mesopredators have successfully exploited urban niches, and research on these species in an urban setting offers insights into the traits that facilitate their success. In this study, we examined space use and activity patterns from GPS-collared bobcats (Lynx rufus) in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Texas, USA. We found that bobcats select for natural/agricultural features, creeks, and water ways and there is greater home-range overlap in these habitats. They avoid roads and are less likely to have home-range overlap in habitats with more roads. Home-range size is relatively small and overlap relatively high, with older animals showing both greater home-range size and overlap. Simultaneous locations suggest bobcats are neither avoiding nor attracted to one another, despite the high overlap across home ranges. Finally, bobcats are active at all times of day and night. These results suggest that access to natural features and behavioral plasticity may enable bobcats to live in highly developed landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behaviour and Management of Urban Wildlife)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Field Propagation Experiments of Male African Savanna Elephant Rumbles: A Focus on the Transmission of Formant Frequencies
Animals 2018, 8(10), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100167 - 30 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
African savanna elephants live in dynamic fission–fusion societies and exhibit a sophisticated vocal communication system. Their most frequent call-type is the ‘rumble’, with a fundamental frequency (which refers to the lowest vocal fold vibration rate when producing a vocalization) near or in the [...] Read more.
African savanna elephants live in dynamic fission–fusion societies and exhibit a sophisticated vocal communication system. Their most frequent call-type is the ‘rumble’, with a fundamental frequency (which refers to the lowest vocal fold vibration rate when producing a vocalization) near or in the infrasonic range. Rumbles are used in a wide variety of behavioral contexts, for short- and long-distance communication, and convey contextual and physical information. For example, maturity (age and size) is encoded in male rumbles by formant frequencies (the resonance frequencies of the vocal tract), having the most informative power. As sound propagates, however, its spectral and temporal structures degrade progressively. Our study used manipulated and resynthesized male social rumbles to simulate large and small individuals (based on different formant values) to quantify whether this phenotypic information efficiently transmits over long distances. To examine transmission efficiency and the potential influences of ecological factors, we broadcasted and re-recorded rumbles at distances of up to 1.5 km in two different habitats at the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. Our results show that rumbles were affected by spectral–temporal degradation over distance. Interestingly and unlike previous findings, the transmission of formants was better than that of the fundamental frequency. Our findings demonstrate the importance of formant frequencies for the efficiency of rumble propagation and the transmission of information content in a savanna elephant’s natural habitat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceCommentary
Consequences Matter: Compassion in Conservation Means Caring for Individuals, Populations and Species
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121115 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Human activity affecting the welfare of wild vertebrates, widely accepted to be sentient, and therefore deserving of moral concern, is widespread. A variety of motives lead to the killing of individual wild animals. These include to provide food, to protect stock and other [...] Read more.
Human activity affecting the welfare of wild vertebrates, widely accepted to be sentient, and therefore deserving of moral concern, is widespread. A variety of motives lead to the killing of individual wild animals. These include to provide food, to protect stock and other human interests, and also for sport. The acceptability of such killing is widely believed to vary with the motive and method. Individual vertebrates are also killed by conservationists. Whether securing conservation goals is an adequate reason for such killing has recently been challenged. Conventional conservation practice has tended to prioritise ecological collectives, such as populations and species, when their interests conflict with those of individuals. Supporters of the ‘Compassionate Conservation’ movement argue both that conservationists have neglected animal welfare when such conflicts arise and that no killing for conservation is justified. We counter that conservationists increasingly seek to adhere to high standards of welfare, and that the extreme position advocated by some supporters of ‘Compassionate Conservation’, rooted in virtue ethics, would, if widely accepted, lead to considerable negative effects for conservation. Conservation practice cannot afford to neglect consequences. Moreover, the do-no-harm maxim does not always lead to better outcomes for animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Welfare of Wild Vertebrates)
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