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Many options exist to implement animal welfare in the work place of small animal practice. Simple measures can be taken to minimize fear and stress while handling patients. Animal owners can contribute to reduce their animal’s fear when visiting the veterinary clinic. Appropriate analgesia involving both the owners’ awareness and procedural pain management are of great importance. ...
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The paper discusses ten top welfare issues that should be addressed in companion animal practice.
by Dorothea Döring, Michael H. Erhard
Ten animal welfare ideas to apply in small animal practice
Volume 26(4), Winter 2016
Dr med vet Dorothea Döring
FTA Verhaltenskunde ZB Verhaltenstherapie
Lehrstuhl für Tierschutz, Verhaltenskunde, Tierhygiene und Tierhaltung
Dept of Veterinary Science
Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich
Dorothea Döring qualified as a DVM in 1993 from the Free University in Berlin. After a year in various companion animal practices, she returned to FU in Berlin and worked as a scientific collaborator at the Institute for Animal welfare, animal behaviour and laboratory animal science until 1999. During that time she obtained her specialist certificates in animal behaviour and in behavioural therapy.
In 1999 she joined the Department for animal welfare, ethology, hygiene and husbandry at the LM University in Munich, where she currently works as a scientific collaborator. She give lectures in ethology, animal welfare and behaviour and provides consultations in behavioural therapy.
Her scientific fields of interest include animal welfare and ethology of companion and laboratory animals.
This lecture was held during the 2016 FECAVA symposium
on animal welfare in Vienna, Austria in June 2016.
Many options exist to implement animal welfare in the work place of small animal practice. Simple measures can be taken to minimize fear and stress while handling patients. Animal owners can contribute to reduce their animal’s fear when visiting the veterinary clinic. Appropriate analgesia involving both the owners’ awareness and procedural pain management are of great importance.
Veterinarians can promote animal welfare by advising owners about purchase, animal husbandry and non-violent training methods. They should particularly provide information on sensitive periods during ontogenesis and on breeds with specific physical impairments causing pain, suffering or harm to the animal, since these issues have a special impact on animal welfare. Bite prevention and behavioural therapy are further important consulting areas.
Keywords: behaviour, counselling, small animal practice, welfare
Animal welfare requires cat-friendly handling techniques and measures to reduce fear at the veterinary practice.
Most dog bites are caused by familiar dogs, often by the family dog, and children are frequent victims.
Advice on non-violent training methods
Painful training devices or measures are not necessary and forbidden in some countries.
Some behavioural problems are an expression of the animals’ suffering, e.g. separation anxiety, stress.
Advice on socialisation
Adequate socialization of companion animals is essential for their well-being.
Advice on animal husbandry
Many pets are fed inappropriate food, leading to welfare problems.
Golden hamsters are strictly nocturnal and are solitary. They are unsuitable for children who want to play with them or pet them during the daytime.
Pain recognition and managment
Owners not always realize when their pet is in pain.
Prepare the pet for the practice visit
Owners should be explained how to familiarise their pet with the transport carrier.
Stress in dogs
The majority of dogs exhibit fear at the veterinary practice.
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