The use of behaviourally-active medication in companion animals part 1

Caroline Warnes, Emma Brown, Tamsin Durston
Saturday, April 2, 2022

Behaviour cases are common in general practice and veterinary nurses can play a vital role in their identification and management. Full behavioural assessment and implementation of a behaviour modification protocol remains essential, but increasingly animals may also be prescribed psychoactive medications. This three-part article aims to give veterinary nurses a comprehensive introduction to the principles of using behaviourally-active medication in companion animals. Part 1 contains an overview of the main types of behaviourally active drugs available for treating dogs and cats in the UK, and the different types of behavioural problems that they can potentially help. This will be followed in Part 2 by a more detailed look at the decision-making process for using short-acting behaviourally-active medications, supported by case examples. Part 3 will outline ways in which veterinary nurses can contribute to improving the behavioural welfare of their patients generally, including through identifying and supporting those animals that will benefit from behaviourally active medication.

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