Abbie Viscardi

viscardi photoAssistant Professor of

Animal Behavior and Welfare

BSc 2013, University of Guelph
PhD 2018, University of Guelph

130 Coles Hall

Research Interests

Dr. Abbie Viscardi’s research program is focused on studying animal behavior and welfare, with specific emphasis on assessing and managing pain in livestock species. Her group aims to better understand how animals express and communicate pain, how we can effectively alleviate pain on-farm and methods to refine common husbandry procedures in food animals (such as surgical castration, tail docking and dehorning). She is most interested in using non-invasive techniques to assess pain, such as behavior and facial grimace analysis. This involves studying changes to specific facial features of animals, including cheek tightening, orbital tightening and ear position, in response to a painful event.

Dr. Viscardi encourages motivated undergraduate, veterinary and graduate students who are interested in animal behavior and welfare to contact her for available positions in her lab.


  • AP 780B: Animal Care and Welfare
  • Coach of the Animal Welfare Judging Team


  • 2021-2024, USDA, NIFA, AFRI (#2021-67015-34084)
  • 2021-2022, Foundation Cattle Welfare Research Grant, American Association of Bovine Practitioners
  • 2021-2022, CNAP Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Seed Pilot Grant
  • 2019-2021 Animal Welfare, National Pork Board (#19-084)
  • 2019-2020 Success for Young Investigators (SUCCESS-FYI), KSU-CVM

Selected Publications

Viscardi AV, Reppert EJ, Kleinhenz MD, Wise P, Lin Z, Montgomery S, Daniell H, Curtis A, Martin M, Coetzee JF. 2021. Analgesic comparison of flunixin meglumine or meloxicam for soft-tissue surgery in sheep. Animals 11:423. doi:10.3390/ani11020423

Kleinhenz MD, Viscardi AV, Coetzee JF. 2021. Invited Review: On-farm pain management of food animals. Appl Anim Sci 37:77-87. doi:10.15232/aas.2020-02106

Viscardi AV, Cull CA, Kleinhenz MD, Montgomery S, Curtis A, Lechtenberg K, Coetzee JF. 2020. Evaluating the utility of a CO2 surgical laser for piglet castration to reduce pain and improve wound healing: a pilot study. J Anim Sci 98:1-11. doi:10.1093/jas/skaa320

Viscardi AV, Turner PV. 2019. Use of meloxicam, buprenorphine, and Maxilene® to assess a multimodal approach for piglet pain management – part 1: surgical castration. Anim Welfare 28:487-498. doi:10.7120/09627286.28.4.487.

Viscardi AV, Turner PV. 2019. Use of meloxicam, buprenorphine, and Maxilene® to assess a multimodal approach for piglet pain management - part 2: tail docking. Anim Welfare 28:499-510. doi:10.7120/09627286.28.4.499.

Viscardi AV, Turner PV. 2018. Use of meloxicam and ketoprofen for piglet pain control following surgical castration. Front Vet Sci 5:299. doi:10.3389/fvets.2018.00299.

Viscardi AV, Turner PV. 2018. Efficacy of buprenorphine for management of surgical castration pain in piglets. BMC Vet Res 14:318. doi:10.1186/s12917-018-1643-5.

Viscardi AV, Hunniford M, Lawlis P, Leach M, Turner PV. 2017. Development of a Piglet Grimace Scale to evaluate piglet pain using facial expressions following castration and tail docking: a pilot study. Front Vet Sci 4:51. doi:10.3389/fvets.2017.00051.