Pia Haubro

I am Professor of Large Animal Surgery at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at Uppsala. I perform experimental and clinical research in the large animal clinic, including retrospective studies on clinical efficacy, with an overall aim of development effective surgical methods documented by objective clinical methods.


Surviving Surgery!

I have spent a great deal of the last 30 years in surgery theaters doing surgery on horses, cows and pigs, teaching and researching within my favorite topics – trauma, inflammation and pain.

During these years, I have nurtured a broad international network. As a result, I am currently supervising a number of projects in Sweden and Denmark related to topics of pain and inflammation: including tendon sheath pathology in horses; objective lameness and ataxia scoring in horses; and pain score systems in cattle and horse, including pain faces.

As a result of my work with pain faces, my latest international project investigates the possibility of a new approach of screening for pain in horses: using automated decoding of facial expressions via video films. My collaborators in this endeavor are leading computer vision scientists from the Machine Learning Lab at University of California in USA. They have developed machine learned technology for automated decoding of human expressions of emotions, including pain. For our interdisciplinary project, we will produce a set of videos including horses with and without pain. These videos are then subsequently used to “train” a machine learning system to discriminate between horses in mild to moderate pain, and horses without pain. This project may also open the road for automated recognition of pain in a number of other relevant species, including cattle, swine and rodents.

In addition, in close contact with my SLU colleagues Marie Rhodin and Elin Hernlund, I also collaborate on additional research projects that include veterinarians at the Dept. of Equine Sciences at Utrecht University as well as engineers at the Robotics, Perception and Learning Dept at KTH in Stockholm.


Pregraduate: Lectures, practicals and examination in most subjects in the large animal surgery curriculum for veterinary students.

Postgraduate: Lecturer at courses and seminars on inflammation, intensive therapy and traumatology for practicing veterinarians, the Education of Equine Veterinary Specialists, Copenhagen and Ph.D. Courses.


  • Automated decoding of facial expressions of pain in the horse (UC Davis, UC San Diego)
  • EquineML using RGB-D sensors for recognizing pain behaviors (Hedvig Kjällström, KTH)
  • Merging objective motion analysis with and systematic pain scoring to investigate orthopedic pain in cows and horses (Marie Rhodin, ABF, UDS as well as Utrecht University)
  • MALDI-TOF for rapid diagnosis of joint disease in horses (Pringle, KV, SVA, UDS)
  • Quantification of LPS in plasma and serum. Translocation of LPS and other microbial products in cattel and horses. With Danscher, AM, and University of Manitoba, Canada and KV researchers
  • Further, I have a number PhD project in collaborations with researchers from Copenhagen University, Aarhus university, KTH in Stockholm and Utrecht University.
  • Does it hurt? - Identifiction of orthopaedic pain in large animals (PhD student Ask, K)
  • EquineML (PhD student Sofia Broomé, KTH)
  • Sepsis and the diagnostic value of circulating endothelial cells in the equine (PhD student Lindberg, AHL)
  • Quantification of pain in horses and cattle, equine pain faces (PhD student Gleerup, KB)
  • Quantification of pain in cattle, especially regarding lameness (PhD student Raundal, P)
  • Objective evaluation of ataxia in horses (PhD student Olsen, E.), together with Royal Vet. College London, UK.
  • Scientific base for an equine health database (PhD student Hartig, W.)
  • Objective lameness evaluation, using a single 3D accelerometer (PhD student Nissen, AG)
  • Equine Corneal Inflammatory Diseases (PhD student Henriksen, Michala de L.) together with Dr. Dennis Brooks, University of Florida


Academic Qualifications

Degree of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) 1980, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, DK

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1985. Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, DK. Thesis: “Portal endotoxemia”.

Doctor of Veterinary Science (DVSci) 2000. Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, DK. Thesis “Bovine endotoxicosis: Aspects of relevance for ruminal acidosis in cattle”.


1980 - 1983:    PhD scholarship, Dept. Clinical Studies, Large Animal Surgery,  KVL, DK.

1983 - 1986:    Research assistant, Institute of Toxicology, Ministry of the Environment, Mørkhøj, Denmark.

1986 - 1988:    Assistant professor at Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Dept. Clinical Studies, DK.

1988 - 1991:     Post-doc research, section of Large Animal Surgery, KVL.

1991 - 1997:     Associate professor, same department.

1997 - 2000:    Head of Research School for Animal Production and Health

2000 - 2001:    Associate professor, Large Animal Surgery

2001 - 2004:    Department Chair, Department of Clinical Sciences, KVL   

2004 – 2012:   Full professor of Large Animal Surgery, Faculty of Life Sciences, Copenhagen University, Denmark

2012     Full professor of Large Animal Surgery, Faculty of Animal Sciences, Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala, Sweden

Positions of trust

Former member of several Danish Research Councils, SJVF and FSS. Former member of FORMAS, the Swedish Research Council. Former Head of Research School for Animal for Animal Production and Health, with more than 45 PhD students. Former head of the research committee of Dept. Large Animal Sciences. Copenhagen University. Former head of the Danish Council for Hoof Health. Present member of Forskarrådet, SLU, Sverige (since 2012). Present member of the Danish Animal Ethics Council (since 1998).

The Abildgaard Award, KVL, 2004 for excellent leadership.

Årets Dyrevelfærdspris 2006, for contributions to animal welfare.

Publikationer i urval

.. related to pain or movement asymmetry

Rhodin M, Egenvall A, Andersen PH, Pfau T (2017) Head and pelvic movement asymmetries at trot in riding horses in training and perceived as free from lameness by the owner. PLOS ONE 12(4): e0176253.

Gleerup, K. B., Forkman, B., Lindegaard, C. and Andersen, P. H. (2015), An equine pain face. Vet Anaesth Analg, 42: 103–114.

Gleerup, Karina Bech; Andersen, Pia Haubro; Munksgaard, Lene; Forkman, B. (2015) Pain evaluation in dairy cattle. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 171: 25-32

.. related to endotoxin
Lindegaard C, Thomsen MH, Larsen S, Andersen PH. Analgesic efficacy of intra-articular morphine in experimentally induced radiocarpal synovitis in horses. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. 2010;37(2):171-185.

Lindegaard C, Gleerup KCB, Thomsen MH, Martinussen T, Jacobsen S, Andersen PH. Anti-inflammatory effects of intra-articular administration of morphine in horses with experimentally induced synovitis. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2010;71(1):69-75.

Danscher AM, Enemark HL, Andersen PH, Aalbæk B, Nielsen OL. Polysynovitis after oligoofructose overload in dairy cattle. Journal of Comparative Pathology. 2010;142(2-3):129-138

Jacobsen S, Andersen PH. The acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) as a marker of inflammation in horses. Equine Veterinary Education. 2007;19(1):38-46.

Jacobsen S, Andersen PH, Aasted B. The cytokine response of circulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells is changed after intravenous injection of lipopolysaccharide in cattle. Veterinary Journal. 2007;174(1):170-175.

Jacobsen S, Niewold T, Thomsen MH, Nanni S, Olsen E, Lindegaard C and Andersen PH. Serum amyloid A isoforms in serum and synovial fluid in horses with lipopolysaccharide-induced arthritis. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 2006;110(3-4):325-30.

Jacobsen, S., Toelboell, T., Andersen, P.H. 2004. The clinical and hematological responses to lipopolysaccharide in dairy cows are dose-dependent and display significant inter-individual variation. Vet. Res., 36, 13-25.

Thoefner, M.B., Pollitt, C.C., van Eps, A.W., Milinovich, O. Wattle, G.J., Trott, D.J. and Andersen, P.H. (2004) Acute Bovine laminitis: a new induction model using alimentary oligofructose overload. J. Dairy Science. 87: 2932-2940

Jacobsen, S; Andersen, P. H; Tølbøll, T; Heegaard, P. M. H. (2004): Dose dependency and individual variability of the lipopolysaccharide- induced bovine acute phase protein response. J. Dairy Sci. 87: 3330-3339

Andersen, P.H: Bovine Endotoxicosis – Some Aspects of Relevance to Production Diseases. A Review (2003) Acta Vet. Scand: Suppl 98 141- 155.

Andersen, P.H., H. Houe and A. Fomsgaard: Prevalence of antibodies to lipid A in Danish cattle. J. Vet. Med. A. 1996, 43: 271 -27.

Andersen, P.H., N. Jarløv, M. Hesselholt and L. Bæk. Studies on in vivo Endotoxin Plasma Disappearance Times in Cattle. J.Vet.Med.A. 1996, 43: 93 -101.

Andersen, P.H., N. Jarløv and A. Basse: Chronic Catheterization of an Hepatic vein, the Portal Vein and a Mesenteric vein in Cattle Using a Totally Implantable Cathe¬ter System. Scand. J. Lab. Anim. Sci. 1995, 22: 255 - 262

Andersen, P.H., M. Hesselholt and N. Jarløv: Endotoxin and Arachidonic Acid Metabolites in Portal, Hepatic and Arterial Blood of Cattle With Acute Ruminal Acidosis. Acta Vet. Scand. 1994, 35: 223 - 234.

Andersen, P.H.: Portal Infusion of Low-Dosage Endotoxin: A Model Simulating Translocation of Ruminal Endotoxin in Cattle. Acta Vet. Scand. 1994, 35: 111 - 114

Andersen, P.H. and B. Bergelin: Effect of the feeding regimen on the concentration of free endotoxin in the rumen fluid of cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 1994, 72: 487- 491.

Katholm, J and P.H. Andersen. Acute coliform mastitis in dairy cows: endotoxin and biochemical changes in plasma and colony-forming units in milk. Vet. Rec. 1992 131: 513-514.

Jarløv, N., Andersen PH and M. Hesselholt. Pathophysiology of Experimental Bovine Endotoxicosis: Endotoxin-Induced Syntehsis of Prostaglandins and Thromboxane and the Modulatory Effect of Some Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Acta Vet. Scand. 1992 33: 1-8.

Andersen, P.H: Aspects of bovine endotoxaemia of possible relevance to lesions in the ruminant digit. In: Update in Cattle Lameness,  1990, ed. R.D. Murray, ISBN 0951627007, 59 -70.

Andersen, P.H. and N. Jarløv: Investigation of the possible role of Endotoxin, TXA2, PGI2 and PGE2 in experimentally induced rumen acidosis in cattle. Acta vet. scand. 1990 31: 27 - 38.

..related to evaluation of clinical performance and objective clinical methods:
Pihl, Tina Holberg,  Andersen PH, Mads Kjelgaard-Hansen, Nina Brinch Mørck, Stine Jacobsen (2012). Serum amyloid A and haptoglobin in serum and peritoneal fluid of healthy horses and horses with acute abdominal pain. Veterinary Clinical Pathology (in press).

Rosenmeier, J.G, Strathe, AB, Andersen, PH. 2012. Evaluation of coronary band temperatures in healthy horses. Am.J.Vet.Res. Vol 73, p 719-723.

Lindegaard, C; Ekstrøm, C; Wulff, S; Vendelbo, J; Andersen, PH: Nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon (NSE) in 142 horses (2000-2009). Analysis of factors associated with decision of treatment and short term survival."  Accepted 2011 by Equine Veterinary Journal (manuscript ID: EVJ-GA-10-407.R1.)

Christophersen, MT, Tnibar, A, Pihl, TH, Andersen, PH & Ekstrøm, CT 2011, 'Sporting activity following colic surgery in horses', Equine Veterinary Journal, vol 43, nr. Suppl. 40, s. 3-6.

Thomsen MH, Persson AB, Tolver A, Sørensen H, Andersen PH. Agreement between accelerometric symmetry scores and clinical lameness scores during experimentally induced transient distension of the metacarpophalangeal joint in horses. Equine Veterinary Journal. 2010;42 (Suppl.38):510-515.

Thomsen MH, Tolver Jensen A, Sørensen H, Lindegaard C, Andersen PH. Symmetry indices based on accelerometric data in trotting horses. Journal of Biomechanics. 2010;43(13):2608-2612.

Professor vid Institutionen för kliniska vetenskaper (KV); KV, Stordjurskirurgi
Telefon: 018-671898
SLU, Institutionen för kliniska vetenskaper
Box 7054
Besöksadress: Ulls väg 26, Uppsala