PetPace Monitors the Well-Being of Pets with Hip Dysplasia

PetPace, the provider of an innovative IoT collar for remote real-time monitoring and analysis of pet vital signs and activity, today released the findings of a new medical case study. The case study, available for download here, documents in detail how the PetPace collar enables caregivers to monitor pets suffering from Hip Dysplasia, and can help them detect and manage chronic pain non-invasively.

The case study tracks the monitoring of Pippa, a nine-year-old, 61 lb spayed female Labrador Retriever suffering from Hip Dysplasia, a common disease in large breed dogs. Hip Dysplasia involves a malformation of the hip joint that causes laxity, degeneration and inflammation. Pets suffering from Hip Dysplasia may experience chronic pain and require treatment.

To assess her overall condition and well-being, a PetPace smart collar was placed on Pippa, and her physiological and behavioral data collected wirelessly and non-invasively. PetPace conducted statistical analysis of this data, and delivered insights into her condition via the PetPace Health Report.

PetPace compared Pippa’s values to average values for dogs of similar breed, age, weight, gender and more. The findings were revealing.

The PetPace analysis found that while Pippa’s pulse, respiratory, and activity values were comparable to those seen in other female Labrador retrievers of her age and weight, other parameters suggested the presence of pain. Pippa’s Heart Rate Variability (HRV), a marker for pain, occasionally dropped, possibly indicating intermittent pain or discomfort. Moreover, while most dogs like Pippa spend approximately 13% of their rest time lying on the left side, Pippa laid only 8% of the time on that side. This finding could suggest discomfort associated with lying on the left side, such as pain from hip dysplasia.

To further investigate the possibility of intermittent pain, PetPace employed an analytical tool that examines minute-to-minute HRV. An HRV index called VVTI (Vaso-Vagal Tonus Index) was plotted against the corresponding pulse data recorded at the same time. Preliminary data shows a statistical correlation between excessive numbers of data points below the normal range and various medical conditions. Pippa’s chart, shown below, found that 3.2%, a higher than normal percentage of data points (red points), fell below the normal range.

  • Detecting chronic pain, especially if it is intermittent in nature, is a challenge in veterinary medicine. Pets learn to compensate and do not readily show signs of pain. They may continue to eat and sleep well, appear happy and content and even be moderately active,” said Dr. Asaf Dagan, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Canine and Feline practice), and PetPace’s Chief Veterinary Scientist. The long term data analysis and comparisons provided by the PetPace collar can help reveal common pain conditions that owners may not be aware of,” he added.
  • Pippa is a happy dog despite her medical condition,” said Dr. Nitzan Kroter, a veterinary surgeon, senior partner in MediVet, UK, and Pippa’s owner. “The collar’s data help me detect those intermittent pain episodes and treat them accordingly,” he continued.

The PetPace collar potentially helps detect chronic, intermittent pain by monitoring physiological and behavioral parameters associated with pain assessment. PetPace uses both real-time and long-term analytical tools to detect data values that deviate from the specific values typical for that pet. Such deviations can indicate acute exacerbations of an existing condition like Hip Dysplasia. Finally, comparisons to pets with similar attributes, such as breed, gender, age and weight, provide additional insights into the pet’s condition and well-being.