Life’s a Bitch for Puppies Too

When I started out in veterinary practice, I had the opportunity to care for army dogs and horses at the local army barracks. The best thing about it was that there were never any surprises. The animals I had to see were always lined up and ready when I arrived, and the dogs in particular were temperamentally very similar, rather like their human handlers I guess. This is why I like studies using military dogs. It eliminates much of the inevitable variability between pet dogs, their owners and their environments. This allows the collection of less cluttered and cleaner data sets. A potential disadvantage, of course is that the dogs may all be the same breed and sometimes from the same, potentially small, genetic pool. This could mean that the results of the study may not reliably reflect what one would expect to find in the general dog population.

Copyright © 2017 Kerstin Hasper. Used with permission.

 

But, I argue that studies looking at the maternal care of puppies are always interesting, especially when the results can be compared with other similar studies.

 

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Fake News, Politics and Self-Confidence: Why Animals Don’t Feel Pain Anymore

We live in an amazingly connected world where information propagates into every nook and cranny across the globe in an instant, something we could never have imagined just a couple of decades ago.

We Stand United – NYC Rally on Night Before Trump’s Inauguration. By mathiaswasik

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Critical Periods (Sensitive Periods) in Puppies – Revisited Again

Recently, we reviewed a new study on critical and sensitive periods in puppies (Morrow et al., 2015) HERE and came to the conclusion that is was an important addition and update to Scott and Fuller’s seminal work done in the 1960’s.

COAPE - Centre of Applied Pet Ethology

Puppy-fest collage. HUGE THANK YOU to Catherine Burniston, Claire Martin, Connie Versteeg, Elinore Vickery, Esther Platell Vd Kleijn, Jane Ardern, Jillandsteve Tubbs, Jo Crawford and Kerstin Hasper. Copyright © 2017.

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Pets, Fear and Fireworks: The Fallout and Terrible Consequences of Fear and Anxiety for Our Pets. Part 1, The Neurophysiology of Fear

With Halloween and firework season fast approaching and New Year coming up fast behind, now is the time for dog owners to start preparing themselves and their dogs for the parties, bangs and flashes. There is already plenty of good information available about the behavioural and environmental management and rehabilitation of dogs* around fireworks, and cats**, so this is not covered again here. This blog is divided into 4 parts.

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Pets, Fear and Fireworks: The Fallout and Terrible Consequences of Fear and Anxiety for Our Pets. Part 2, Beyond Fear, Anxiety Disorders

In the first article, we looked at how the ‘fear system’ works as a normal, adaptive neurophysiological network essential for the survival of an organism. In this article, we explore the neuropathology of how the ‘fear system’ goes wrong and the serious consequences this has on the animal’s welfare when it does.

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Pets, Fear and Fireworks: The Fallout and Terrible Consequences of Fear and Anxiety for Our Pets. Part 3, Using Prescription Medication

In the first and second article of this series, we looked at how the normal ‘fear system’ works and how this emotional system can become a long-standing, maladaptive anxiety and depression disorder. In this third article of the series, we take an evidence-based approach to selecting and using prescription pharmaceuticals as part of a well-constructed behavioural therapy plan for dogs whose lives have been ruined by fireworks.

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Pets, Fear and Fireworks: The Fallout and Terrible Consequences of Fear and Anxiety for Our Pets. Part 4, Using Alternative, Non-Prescription Therapies

In Part 3 of this article, we presented an evidence-based summary of how and why psychoactive prescription medicines can – and in some dogs – should be used to manage fear and anxiety around fireworks. We described fear as an experience generated in the brain, so any effective therapy, regardless of what it is and how it is delivered, MUST ultimately interact with specific receptors in the brain that modulate the fear circuits in some way.

In this fourth and final part of this series on fear and fireworks in pets, we take a broad look at products that are marketed as ‘alternative remedies’, or ‘therapies’for managing fear in pets.

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