Canine behaviour medicine in UK small animal practice

Chantalle Christos, Louise A Buckley
Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Despite the advancements in the field of veterinary behaviour medicine, problem behaviours remain a leading cause for canine relinquishment and euthanasia in the UK and so should be of concern to veterinary professionals. This review aimed to critically evaluate the literature on the perceptions of the veterinary care team, including the veterinary practitioner and the veterinary nurse, of their roles in canine behaviour medicine. Additionally, the review discussed barriers to the delivery of behavioural medicine in practice and subsequently examined the benefits of applying a behaviour-centered approach to care. Despite revisions to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons curricula, inadequate behavioural training during undergraduate studies was identified as a primary barrier to the provision of behaviour support in practice by veterinarians and veterinary nurses. Furthermore, veterinary professionals frequently identified a lack of time to discuss, educate and diagnose behavioural problems. However, should the barriers to the provision of behavioural medicine be addressed, current literature suggests that the benefits of applying behaviour medicine to practice may include financial growth for the practice, workplace safety, improved perception from clients and ultimately improved animal welfare.

Figure 1. Benefits and barriers to the delivery of behaviour medicine in general veterinary practice.
Figure 1. Benefits and barriers to the delivery of behaviour medicine in general veterinary practice.

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