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Tip of the Week: Temperature Check

September 18, 2023, The Association

This first-of-its-kind tool is a step in reducing fear, anxiety and stress in pets—and it’s scientifically proven to significantly save time on the exam table.

Taking a dog’s or cat’s temperature using the traditional rectal thermometer…. In a clinical or shelter setting, this procedure can be very stressful for the animal and time-consuming for staff. A new alternative method using an axillary thermometer, however, aims to reduce fear and anxiety in pets and improve efficiency.

“Animals seem a lot more relaxed when I’m taking their temperature using this method,” reports Alex Schechter, DVM, of Burrwood Veterinary, Royal Oak, MI.

A proponent of the Fear Free philosophy, Schechter notes that in most cases, “When you try to incorporate Fear Free into practice, it can really slow things down.” But using an axillary thermometer, which is placed under an animal’s foreleg or hindleg and delivers a reading in about 15 seconds, actually saves time. Indeed, just-released research conducted at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse found that treating dogs and cats with underarm thermometers significantly decreases the length of the procedure.

Dr. Schechter uses the Mella Pro Thermometer. There is also an at-home version available for use by pet owners—these can be timesavers in a shelter setting. Volunteers could use them pre- or post-op, helping to free up time for your shelter vets, while foster caregivers can make recording temperature a part of their daily routine. This way, they’ll have data on hand if they need to bring a pet in to be seen by a veterinarian. Learn more about Mella Pet Care and their products here.

For more about this first-of-its-kind tool—and some preliminary research on its efficacy—listen to the recent podcast hosted by The Association’s Katherine Shenar.

More Tips

Tip of the Week: Another Way to Say It
Tip of the Week: A Little Friendly Advice
Tip of the Week: Uh, No Thanks…
Podcast: New Tool Reduces Stress for Pets at the Vet

Photo: Mella

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.

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