What You Don’t Know About Pain in Animals Can Hurt

Consider the Following:

An unpublished Banfield study revealed a large proportion of dog and cat owners surveyed (1000 each) aren’t aware that changes in elimination, exercise tolerance, or eating and drinking habits could be signs of disease (JAVMA 2013,  243 (7): 952).

Pet owners don’t want their animals to suffer chronic pain, yet few recognize the signs and symptoms that this is in fact occurring (Hetts, personal conversation with one of the founders of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care).

What do you think of first when presented with a case of an animal that is showing sudden onset of fear or aggression toward an everyday event that was previously accepted and tolerated?  Do you look for evidence of an unobserved “bad” or traumatic experience?  Where does pain fall in your list of possibilities and how do you explore not-obvious causes, whether you are a veterinarian or other pet professional?

In a study of the use of NSAIDs for treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs, caregiver placebo effects (dogs were rated as improved although objective measurements of use of the limb remained unchanged or even worse)  were found 37% of the time for pet owners and 44% for veterinarians (JAVMA 2012, 241: 1314).

In hindsight, we can think of at least two signs of pain in our own dogs and cats we wished we would have recognized sooner.

How many times have you observed puzzling behaviors or behavior changes in an animal you have difficulty explaining the motivation, reason, or cause for?

No one knows how many pets are experiencing unrecognized or undiagnosed chronic or even acute pain.  Intuitively it would seem easy to tell when animals are in pain – they limp, they cry out, or they try to bite when you touch the affected body part.  But if you’ve ever experienced chronic or even short-term pain, you know that the people around you aren’t often aware of the extent of your discomfort.  It’s no different for animals.

In this webinar course – "Puzzling Behavior Changes:  Could it Be Pain"? –  Dr. Jen Rommel, a veterinarian with a thriving behavior consulting practice, will share numerous examples of behavior cases referred to her in which she discovered pain was an important underlying factor. 

You’ll discover what important observations to make during a behavior appointment, what crucial questions to the owner, and how non-veterinary behavior consultants/behaviorists/trainers and veterinarians can work together to identify and address painful conditions and improve the quality of life of the animals we are here to help.

Although we guarantee you will learn much, much more, if you take home even one tidbit of information  that will allow you to help just one animal experiencing unrecognized pain, the course will be well worth you investment – just ask the animal you were able to help.
Register today at PetProWebinars for this important course “Puzzling Behavior Changes: Could it Be Pain” presented on November 14th at 5pm MST.  And find out how you can also experience one month of all the educational offerings Behavior Education Network has to offer.

Can’t attend live?  No worries.  The recorded replay will be available within 48 hours of the live session. CEUs are pending.

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