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Dr. Emma is involved in numerous research projects on dog behaviour and health. She specialises in wearable technology, quality-of-life, and using technology to detect illnesses in dogs, such as osteoarthritis.

Would you like help conducting canine research? I'd love to hear from you and help!

For enquiries and research collaboration,

please contact me at:

Here are some examples of my work which has been reported in the news, presented at conferences or won awards:


29th January 2024

Dr Emma Scales-Theobald is running a product trial into the effectiveness of Pooch & Mutt's new and improved joint supplements on dogs with osteoarthritis! Owners are being asked to feed their osteoarthritic dog the supplement for 6 weeks and will be completing validated questionnaires on their dog's pain, quality-of-life and overall wellbeing. 

November 2023

Edwina Gildea (1), Emma Scales-Theobald (2),
Jill Thompson (1), Jacky Reid (1), Alasdair Cook (2), Katie Forde (3), Sophie Lawrie (3), George Skingley (3), Nicola Williamson (3) and Charlotte Panter (3).

(1) Zoetis International, Dublin, Ireland;

(2) University of Surrey, School of Veterinary Medicine, Surrey, UK;

(3) Adelphi Values Patient-Centered Outcomes, Cheshire, UK

"OBJECTIVES: Osteoarthritis (OA) causes pain and mobility impairment in dogs and reduces dog and owner quality of life (QoL). No valid instruments assess both canine and owner QoL simultaneously; this study aimed to develop and validate an owner-completed canine OA QoL, owner QoL and treatment satisfaction (CaOA-QoL-TS) instrument.

METHODS: The CaOA-QoL-TS instrument was developed using a conceptual model derived from a meta-synthesis of published literature. Cognitive interviews with owners of dogs with OA (N=10) evaluated the content validity. During a phase 4 field study, owners of OA treated dogs (N=93) completed the CaOA-QoL-TS at six timepoints across 70 days to assess the instrument’s psychometric properties.


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Dr Emma Scales-Theobald Research Poster

August 2023

Dr Emma Scales-Theobald Research Poster

Emma Scales-Theobald (1), Charles Malleson (2), Alasdair Cook (1), Constanza B. Gómez Álvarez (3).

(1) School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Surrey, UK;

(2) Centre of Vision, Speech and Signal Processing, University of Surrey, Surrey, UK;

(3) Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

"Previous research has shown the direction of head and withers vertical asymmetry can be used for distinguishing primary from compensatory fore-limb lameness in horses. However, it is unknown if the same compensatory mechanisms also occur in dogs. This study investigated the vertical movement asymmetry of the head and withers in 9 sound and 32 lame dogs (graded 1-4 (0-5 scale) by veterinarian visual assessment (15 fore-, 8 hind-, 9 mixed-limb [fore- and hind-])). An optical motion capture system was used...."...

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August 2023

Emma Scales-Theobald (1), Giovanni Lo Iacono (1), Alasdair Cook (1), Constanza B. Gómez Álvarez (2).

(1) School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Surrey, UK;

(2) Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

"Early detection of osteoarthritis remains the most effective method of managing osteoarthritis. This research aimed to measure locomotion patterns at walk, trot and sprint, and investigate their relation to ability to scratch and sleep behaviour in healthy and osteoarthritic (OA) lame dogs using an externally validated second-by-second dog activity tri-axial accelerometer worn at home for 2 months. The sample included dogs from 30 different breeds; OA dogs (n=30): mean age=9.06 years ±2.85 years and healthy matched control dogs (n=30): mean age = 8.83 years, ±2.94 years...."...

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Dr Emma Scales-Theobald Research Poster
Dr Emma Scales-Theobald Research Poster

30th March 2023

Dr Emma Scales-Theobald Research Poster

"Zoetis has presented the results of two studies looking at the impact of Librela (bedinvetmab) and Solensia (frunevetmab) on the quality of life (QoL) of dogs and cats with osteoarthritis (OA).

For the studies, the owners of 68 dogs treated with Librela and 44 cats treated with Solensia answered 22 questions in the case of dogs and 20 questions in the case of cats on VetMetrica, a digital HRQL instrument."...

Dr Emma Scales-Theobald Research Poster

March 2023

"Syringomyelia (SM) and Chiari malformation associated pain (CM-P) are prevalent in the Cavalier King Charles spaniels (CKCS). This predilection is in part related to selection for a brachycephalic head shape with craniofacial hypoplasia. CKCS with a traditional head shape are less likely to be affected. We hypothesized that risk of disease could be predicted by 3D modelling of CKCS headspace. 


  • Develop precise and non-invasive 3D scanning system for evaluation of head conformation

  • Discriminate healthy and unhealthy CKCSs, based on the 3D model of the headspace. 

  • Better define the face of CM-P and SM."...

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Head Space Project Update Nov 22.jpg

November 2022

"In the Head Space Project, we aim to create an objective assessment of head shape using facial recognition technology to better define the face of CM-P and SM. To achieve this, we first built a dedicated 5-camera system which can gather 3D data to generate a 3D model of the complete head.

Dr Emma Scales-Theobald is a Research Fellow at University of Surrey, spending most of her time researching Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in canine and feline osteoarthritis and other canine osteoarthritis research. However, she very kindly donates personal time and expertise to the Canine Chiari Group."...

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