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Cog Dog Radio

Supporting Dogs at the Vet: What Research Says with Dr Jessica Hekman

We all want to help our dogs experience less stress at the vet, and there is actually some scientific data to support two ideas that some might already be doing naturally: avoiding lobbies and staying with dogs through procedures. Break down the research, and also get into some of the culture of vet med with geneticist and veterinarian Dr Jessica Hekman.

Find Jessica at
http://www.dogzombie.com/ and functionalbreeding.org

Hekman, Jessica P., Alicia Z. Karas, and Nancy A. Dreschel. “Salivary cortisol concentrations and behavior in a population of healthy dogs hospitalized for elective procedures.” Applied animal behaviour science 141.3-4 (2012): 149-157.

Perego, Roberta, Daniela Proverbio, and Eva Spada. “Increases in heart rate and serum cortisol concentrations in healthy dogs are positively correlated with an indoor waiting‐room environment.” Veterinary Clinical Pathology 43.1 (2014): 67-71. – dogs in veterinary clinic vs dogs outside, same wait time, group A had higher cort levels

Mariti, Chiara, et al. “The assessment of dog welfare in the waiting room of a veterinary clinic.” Animal Welfare 24.3 (2015): 299-305. – behaviorist vs owner observations; “The behaviourist’s evaluations were strongly correlated with the time spent by dogs showing signs of stress and moderately correlated with the number of displayed signs, whilst owners’ evaluations were not closely correlated to those factors. Dogs rated as highly stressed by the behaviourist were more prone to display resistance (halting, refusing to budge) when moving from the waiting room to the consultation room. The results of this pilot study support the idea that the welfare of dogs in the veterinary waiting room is often impaired, and that owners are unable to accurately assess stress in their dogs in such situations.”

Juodžentė, Dalia, Birutė Karvelienė, and Vita Riškevičienė. “The influence of the duration of the preoperative time spent in the veterinary clinic without the owner on the psychogenic and oxidative stress in dogs.” Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 80.7 (2018): 1129-1133. – Dogs waiting for 12 hours prior to surgery had higher cort levels (and another measure, oxidative stress index) than dogs brought in 10 min before surgery.

Csoltova, Erika, et al. “Behavioral and physiological reactions in dogs to a veterinary examination: Owner-dog interactions improve canine well-being.” Physiology & behavior 177 (2017): 270-281. – 2 groups of dogs getting PE. Owners present for both, allowed to touch group 1 but not group 2. Group 1 had more lip licking, higher HR, and temp, also more attempts to jump off the table.

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