Mules are increasing in popularity in the United States and therefore more animals are coming to veterinary clinics for care. However, little information is available on detecting pain in mules, especially following common surgical procedures like castration. Researchers will create tools to help fill this knowledge gap. The team will use a combination of facial expressions (a grimace scale) and a new technology called Smart Halter™ to monitor physical signs, including heart rate and respiration, as well as if a mule is standing or lying down post-castration. The goal is to validate these tools to help improve pain management and veterinary care for mules and make it easy to use for veterinarians, owners, sanctuaries and nonprofit organizations that care for these animals.
Grant amount awarded
University of California, Davis
Amy McLean, PhD