Canine and feline veterinary husbandry and behaviour


This is an important area of preclinical EMS in small animals. This module will take 5 to 8 hours. It is important because one of the most common reasons for relinquishment and euthanasia for otherwise healthy pets is behaviour which owners or society regard as problematic. Veterinary surgeons are well placed to make an impact on these situations, but it requires a good theoretical and practical understanding of normal canine and feline behaviour to be able to manipulate behaviour patterns so that they are no longer problematic.

Information sources

Manual of Feline Practice Chapter 1

Manual of Canine Practice Chapter 1

Manual of Canine Practice Chapter 12 Behaviour problems: a brief guide (especially the first few pages)

Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioural Medicine Chapter 5: Training the normal dog – the theory and practice

Manual of Feline Practice Chapter 18 Management of behavioural disorders

How to recognize pain in cats

Flash, bang, what? How to help pets frightened by fireworks

See also the Canine Ladder of Aggression

Suggested work

(1) Consider the behavioural implications of owners who adopt street dogs from mainland Europe (which is becoming increasingly common). This lecture will help you (but also covers some clinical stuff).

Adopting street dogs: health and behaviour concerns Speaker: Heather Bacon

(2) Produce a table of five common canine and four common feline normal behaviours that may confuse owners. Write down why owners may misinterpret these behaviours and in a third column write down the correct interpretation of the behaviour.

(3) Produce a table of five common canine and four common feline abnormal behaviours. For each identify likely causes and management options.

(4) Reflect on veterinary practices that you have been in. Are they dog friendly? Are they cat friendly? (you will need to read the chapters to answer this!).

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