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Podcast: Are Some Dog Breeds More Pain Tolerant Than Others?

Cute Dog
Image by Chen Vision, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
NC State Audio Abstract
Audio Abstract
Podcast: Are Some Dog Breeds More Pain Tolerant Than Others?

Margaret Gruen joins the Audio Abstract to talk about her latest study, an attempt to determine whether what veterinarians think about dog breeds and pain sensitivity is true.

It turns out that yes, dog breeds do differ in pain sensitivity, but that some of the assumptions veterinarians make about which breeds are more or less sensitive are incorrect.

“One of the neatest things about this research is that no matter what we found, it was going to be interesting,” Gruen says. “If we found differences, then that opens up these avenues to look at, are there real differences in the pain sensory system in these dogs? Are there genetic differences that we need to understand that might affect how these dogs need to be treated? If we found no differences, then we need to understand where these ratings are coming from.

“Either one would’ve been amazing or interesting, but we actually found both, which is even more exciting. We found real differences, which means it does open up those avenues to look at those genetic drivers of these differences. But we also found that they didn’t quite align with what veterinarians would predict, meaning we need to understand more about what’s actually going on there and where it’s coming from.”