Title: Puzzling Behavior Changes… Could it Be Pain?
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We’ve all seen dogs and cats displaying behaviors that are hard to understand. The cat or dog that is suddenly fearful of people, places or events that were previously easily tolerated. Dogs that suddenly refuse to go on walks or car rides they had previously loved. Cats or dogs that are suddenly aggressive to other pets – or even people – in the family for no apparent reason. Dogs that suddenly panic when left alone after years of tolerating their owners’ absences well. As trainers, behaviorists, behavior consultants, or even as pet owners, we tend to look at the behavioral consequences in order to understand the “why” of a behavior. Mentally, we ask ourselves, what’s changed? What’s different? With any behavior change – and especially with those puzzling behaviors that seem so odd or out of character for the pet – we need to get in the habit of considering if the change could have it’s origins in pain. It’s our job as behavior and training experts to be able to visually and physically recognize behaviors that are not normal or which could be related to pain. However, clinical observation goes hand-in-hand with taking a thorough history. Many owners are not aware of what information we would find helpful or important in solving their pet’s behavior puzzle. Clients become accustomed to their pet’s normal which to the new observer appears quite abnormal! While some manifestations of pain are obvious – limping, whining or yelping when touched – others are not nearly so straightforward. Unless we are veterinarians, we don’t know all the ways pain can manifest, nor do we know how to evaluate an animal to isolate and identify potential sources of pain. That’s exactly why we’ve teamed with our friend and colleague Dr. Jen Rommel, a veterinarian with a behavior consulting practice in Stevensville MD to present this webinar course –
Sponsor: Pet Pro Webinars
Speaker(s): Dr. Jennifer K Rommel, DVM. Faciliated by Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB and Dan Estep, Ph.D.