Today's Veterinary Practice

TVP_JUL-AUG2018

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.

Issue link: https://todaysveterinarypractice.epubxp.com/i/997103

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 25 of 87

PEER REVIEWED 24 JULY/AUGUST 2018 todaysveterinarypractice.com on multiple factors, including its genetics and the individual cat's own experiences, especially during the sensitive period of development between 2 and 9 weeks of age. 10 If a kitten is handled positively and frequently by multiple people during this stage, the cat will be more amenable to handling later in life. 11 It is understood that cats have long-term memory and previous negative experiences can impact how the cat later responds ( FIGURE 1 ). 12,13 Although no studies have been done in cats, there is evidence to suggest in dogs that negative veterinary experiences as puppies can impact their long-term welfare, leading to chronic fear or anxiety. 3 For example, if a cat has unrecognized pain during its last veterinary visit and did not receive analgesia, the cat may associate the next visit at the practice with pain. This is also true if fear occurred. The cat may even react early on, hissing and lunging before the examination begins, in an attempt to protect itself. STRESSORS, EMOTIONS AND ASSOCIATED BEHAVIORS Preventing feline stressors greatly reduces the negative emotions (e.g., fear) and the subsequent behaviors that people may consider unfavorable. 14,15,16 See TABLE 1 for the relationship between stressors, negative emotions, and behavioral responses. Feline Stressors The major stressors that have been noted to impact the welfare of feline patients are novel environment, olfactory and auditory stimulation, physical restraint, separation from owners and other pets, and lack of optimal analgesia. 2 These stressors more often start before the cat arrives at the clinic. If the cat is hospitalized, there are further stressors due to long term placement in an unfamiliar environment and because the cat is away from their people and perhaps other pets. It can take from 2 days to several weeks for a cat to adapt to the hospital environment. 17 Any stressor can negatively impact the cat, but multiple stressors are cumulative. 18 Additionally, response to stressors can also cause physiologic changes and it is important to differentiate these results from medical problems. Changes include increased heart and respiratory rate, elevated TABLE 1. The relationship between stressors, negative emotions, and behavioral responses Stressors Carrier, owner behavior (e.g., chasing cat, shoving into carrier), car ride, practice smell, sounds, and sites, cat communication not being understood, restraint, caging Negative Emotions Fear/anxiety / Frustration / Pain Behavior Reponses Inhibited (freezing) / Avoidance (fleeing) / Aggression (fighting) / Other

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Today's Veterinary Practice - TVP_JUL-AUG2018