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Study reveals underarm pet thermometers are faster, reduce necessary restraint

dvm360dvm360 October 2023
Volume 54
Issue 10
Pages: 26

Results have potential to redefine the way veterinarians approach routine temperature checks

Mella Pet Care has announced the results of a recent study1 where researchers at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) revealed that treating dogs and cats with axillary (underarm) thermometers “significantly” reduces the length of the procedure compared to traditional rectal thermometers, both in terms of the thermometry itself and any needed restraining of patients.

Cord Brundage, DVM, PhD, MS, who led the study.

Cord Brundage, DVM, PhD, MS, who led the study.

"Less handling and shorter procedures decreases animal stress and increases owner satisfaction," said Cord Brundage, DVM, PhD, MS, who led the study conducted by the Biology Department at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.2 "From a veterinary standpoint, animals that are less stressed do better, feel better and heal better. Any effort we can make to minimize animal handling and procedure time is a win all around."

The study’s aim was to evaluate the efficiency of using underarm thermometers provided by Mella in relation to conventional rectal thermometers in dogs and cats. Over a year timeframe, researchers observed veterinarians using both axillary thermometers and rectal thermometers on diverse cat and dog patients.

Some key findings include2:

  • Enhanced efficiency: Quicker, more streamlined axillary temperature readings substantially reduce the procedure time compared to rectal thermometry.
  • Improved patient comfort: Pets can be treated more comfortably with axillary thermometers which promotes further research into how advances in thermometry can reduce patient stress and improve care quality.
  • Clinical workflow optimization: Axillary thermometry enables clinics to manage appointments more effectively, enabling greater patient throughput without sacrificing the quality of care.

"We are excited to share the remarkable findings of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse study, which validate the advantages of using our Mella thermometer in veterinary care," added Anya Babbitt, CEO at Mella Pet Care.2 "This research underscores our commitment to providing innovative, user-friendly solutions that enhance the well-being of our beloved pets while also improving the overall veterinary experience for caregivers and practitioners."

According to the release,2 Mella Pet Care hopes that axillary thermometry one day become the gold standard in taking pets' temperatures.


  1. Beyer O, Lueck A, Brundage C. Comparison of Axillary versus rectal temperature timing in canine and feline patients. Vet Sci. 2023;10(7):475. doi: 10.3390/vetsci10070475
  2. Underarm pet thermometers faster than rectal, need less restraint, finds University of Wisconsin study. News release. Mella Pet Care. August 14, 2023. Accessed August 14, 2023.
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