In this study, we applied photoplethysmography (PPG) as an alternative, convenient, and affordable method for bovine heat detection. Heat detection is an essential part of effective herd reproduction management. Currently, there are many different heat detection techniques, but they can be ineffective or impractical to use. Since heat affects local vulvar blood circulation (resulting in swelling and erythema), photoplethysmography could represent an affordable alternative to detect this bovine phenomenon. In this study, we enrolled 20 animals in heat and other stages of the bovine reproduction cycle. We analyzed the PPG signal in terms of baseline (DC component), power, kurtosis, and erythema index. One vaginal measurement site, approximately 8 cm from the vulva, exhibited significant differences in mucous color (PPG green and red baseline, both erythema indices). What is more, cows in heat displayed higher PPG signal power and kurtosis, but differences were not significant. Photoplethysmography exhibited the potential to detect bovine heat.
In this study, we clinically evaluated a pulse oximeter-based device for automated capillary refill time (CRT) estimation in dogs and cats. CRT can reveal conditions like shock or anemia in dogs and cats. However, visual CRT estimation has low repeatability, and the available optical systems for automated estimation are not suitable for pets. We evaluated a custom-made portable CRT measuring device on various measurement sites of 12 dogs and 11 cats with parallel visual CRT estimation on the gum by treating veterinarian. The capillary refill was also recorded by a video camera for reference. The visual and video procedures were moderately correlated with the coefficient of 0.61; visual CRT values were on average for 0.18 s longer than the reference. On average, ~32% of measurements with the proposed device were successful. The rest failed due to excessive pigmentation, motion artifacts, and other pressure-induced effects. The measurement sites of the metacarpal pad, digit, and tail were moderately correlated with the reference values with coefficients of 0.53, 0.58, and 0.42, respectively.