Today's Veterinary Practice

SEP-OCT 2018

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

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PEER REVIEWED 38 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 todaysveterinarypractice.com home, or outside cats. Providing a "house of plenty" may minimize these risks. More information about addressing conflict is available at indoorpet.osu.edu . FOLLOW-UP All the information that clients need can sometimes overwhelm them. Try using a household evaluation checklist ( indoorpet.osu.edu ) to focus conversation on changes that the client perceives to be most important and is most willing to make. I try to follow up with clients in a couple of days to see what questions have come to their mind and what they have managed to do. I always ask, "How is your cat doing?" and "How are you doing?" I then contact them again in 1 to 2 weeks to learn how things are going and to provide support. If implementation of the changes has been successful, we move on to additional changes. In my experience, a time usually comes (and often quite quickly) when the client "gets it" and can continue on without additional coaching. PREVENTION The most effective approach to development of Pandora syndrome is prevention. Vulnerability to Pandora syndrome can develop after significant adverse experiences, particularly early in life. 13 This vulnerability may be unmasked by chronic perception of threat later in life and can be mitigated by effective MEMO. 1,39 The husbandry implications of this information are clear: to the extent that we can convince ourselves and our clients of the value of effective environmental enrichment for all cats, and then find and implement ways to provide it, we all—cats, clients, and veterinary staff—are likely to enjoy better health and well-being and may minimize the risk for Pandora syndrome. CONCLUSIONS Many confined cats seem to cope with less-than- optimal environments. However, underlying differences in neuro-endocrine-immune responses identified in some cats with Pandora syndrome may limit their adaptive capacity; these cats may represent a separate population with increased vulnerability to provocative environments. Moreover, as veterinarians we should be concerned with providing cats with an optimal environment, not just providing the minimal requirements for their survival. Providing an environment that is compatible with cats' behavioral needs often seems to mitigate the effects of at least some manifestations of Pandora syndrome in addition to promoting their general health and welfare. This is not to say that the absence of environmental enrichment causes Pandora syndrome in cats, only that it may unmask an underlying vulnerability in some cats. 40 Moreover, I do not advocate limiting MEMO for only those cats with health problems. Provision of effective environmental enrichment is built on the foundation of the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare 41,42 : 1. freedom from hunger and thirst 2. freedom from discomfort 3. freedom from pain, injury, or disease 4. freedom to express normal behavior 5. freedom from fear and distress Environmental enrichment is crucial for the health and welfare of all cats under our control. As their caregivers, it is our responsibility to provide enriched environments so that all cats can thrive in our care. Additional Resources ■ AAFP, a source of a variety of practice guidelines (catvets.com/ guidelines/practice-guidelines) and resources for veterinarians and cat owners (catvets.com) ■ The Cat Community, a new AAFP resource for cat owners (catfriendly. com) ■ The CATalyst Council, resources, including videos, about cat behavior, nutrition, healthcare, and welfare (catalystcouncil.org) Providing an environment that is compatible with cats' behavioral needs often seems to mitigate the effects of at least some manifestations of Pandora syndrome in addition to promoting their general health and welfare.

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