Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Reducing stress (visits to practice)

Contributor(s): Karen Overall, Lisa Radosta

Introduction

  • Most dogs are fearful and/or anxious at the veterinary clinic. Simple changes can make a big difference in the stress level of canine patients resulting in less restraint Handling dogs: to minimize stress, less bites and happier patients and clients.
  • Strategies include flexibility in location and structure of the physical examination, type of restraint and judicous use of anti-anxiety medications.
Print off the owner factsheet on Low stress veterinary visits Low stress veterinary visits to give to your client.

Fear associated with veterinary visits

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Physical examination findings

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Changing the way we practice

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General interventions

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Preparing for and engaging in the veterinary visit

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.​
  • Lind A K, Hydbring-Sandberg E, Forkman B et al (2017) Assessing stress in dogs during a visit to the veterinary clinic: Correlations between dog behavior in standardized tests and assessments by veterinary staff and owners. J Vet Behav Clin Appl Res 17, 24-31 VetMedResource.
  • Hammerle M, Horst C, Levine E et al (2015) 2015 AAHA Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines. JAAHA 51 (4), 205-221 PubMed.
  • Kuhne F, Hössler J C, Struwe R et al (2014) Behavioral and cardiac responses by dogs to physical human-dog contact. J Vet Behav Clin Appl Res (3), 93-97 VetMedResource.
  • Mariti C, Gazzano A, Moore J L et al (2012) Perception of dogs’ stress by their owners. J Vet Behav Clin Appl Res (4), 213-219 VetMedResource.
  • Döring D, Roscher A, Scheipl F et al (2009) Fear-related behaviour of dogs in veterinary practice. Vet J 182 (1), 38-43 PubMed.
  • Pizzorusso T (2009) Neuroscience. Erasing fear memories. Science 325 (5945), 1214-1215 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Overall K L (2013) Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats. Elsevier.
  • Hernander L (2008) Factors influencing dogs’ stress level in the waiting room at a veterinary clinic.  SLU Student Report 190, pp 29 ISSN 1652-280X.


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