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Stress During Hospitalization in Dogs and Cats: Consequences and Prevention

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Congrès : 32nd World Small Animal Veterinary Congress, 2007 - Sydney, Australia

Modern and effective veterianry medicine and surgery leads the vet to
hospitalized some dogs and cats. This is a stressful event for both the pet and its owners. It is usually possible to control the owners? stress by explaning the oncoming treatment and examination and by showing the place where the pet will be kept and in which condition it will stay. Such arguements are poorly helpful for the dogs and cats that will display different kind of stress-related reactions including physical and behavioural modifications. These reactions will make the medical work more difficult to perform, the nurses and vets will be at risk to be bitten or scratched, the reactions of the animals to different drugs (e.g. anaesthetic agents) will be modified, the immune system will be impaired and the pet will remeber its stay in hospital as a fearful experience making the future veterinary examination a nightmare. Moreover, it also impairs the recovering of a physiological equilibrium which is the condition to cure the patient, and it will be highly detrimental to the efficacy of the treatment.
Since vets are more and more concerned about distress in hospitalized animals, it makes sense to use the current scientific results about precocious detection and effective prevention of such reactions in both dogs and cats.
Because the two species are deeply different, we shall describe separately
the medical approach of stress-related reactions in each of those.

32nd World Small Animal Veterinary Congress, 2007 - Sydney, Australia

 

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