FRIDAY TOPICS 4/3
Room for One More: Introducing a New Dog or Cat to the Household
Introducing new pets to an existing pet household can be a daunting or intimidating task for dog and cat owners, and problems associated with these introductions are easier to avoid than they are to solve once they’ve occurred. Knowing how to guide your clients through this process will decrease the risk of conflicts and increase the integration success rate for your patients. This presentation will cover strategies and concepts critical to navigating this process successfully.
Multi-cat Households: Identifying and Addressing Problems Before the Fur Starts Flying
Social behavior of cats includes a significant amount of variation in terms of whether they live solitary or colony lifestyles. It is also common for conflicts to occur when more than one cat is sharing the same living space, as is often the case in domestic households. This presentation will cover information about normal social behavior of group living cats, including identification of several early markers of tension that may go unnoticed by pet owners. Methods of addressing these conflicts will also be covered during the presentation.
Chill out – incorporating conditioned relaxation techniques into behavioral therapy
Tension, stress, and hyperarousal are common obstacles for successful treatment of fear, anxiety, and aggression problems in dogs. Teaching a dog how to relax, both physically and physiologically, can be a helpful foundation exercise with widespread applications. This presentation will introduce a variety of ways to condition a reliable relaxation response using techniques that can be applied to many different patient temperaments and learning styles. Video examples will be provided to illustrate key points that maximize the success of this technique. Practical applications for incorporating this exercise into treatment plans for a variety of behavioral diagnoses such as noise phobia, resource guarding, and leash reactive behaviors will also be covered.
More than good recommendations (case-based)
In typical veterinary practice, the client recognizes a problem, brings the patient to the clinic or hospital, provides history information, authorizes care and then turns the patient over to the clinician for diagnostic testing or treatment. In the case of behavioral medicine, instead of turning the pet over to the veterinarian for care, the client remains directly involved in the entire process of diagnosis and implementation of treatment. Successful treatment relies on a working partnership between the clinician and the client. This depends on several factors including reliable observation skills from both individuals, open communication between the clinician and the client, and a client skill set that allows them to implement the recommendations consistently and correctly. These and other factors such as compliance, consistency, anthropomorphism, and communication will be covered within the presentation.
SATURDAY TOPICS 4/4
Pitfalls in Socialization
The consequences of insufficient socialization may include behavior patterns such as increased emotionality and a predisposition toward fear and anxiety based emotional states. We also know that the process of socialization is about more than "exposure", and that those social exposures need to be provided in just the right quantity and quality, and at the right time for maximum benefit. What happens when we miss the mark? Is it possible to create problems while trying to provide socialization experiences? This presentation will focus specifically on two such potential problems, traumatic experiences and conditioned arousal, and will outline how these complications may occur and how to avoid them.
More than just a naughty cat: Understanding feline nuisance behaviors
"Not quite a behavior problem, but not exactly well-behaved either..." Do you have any feline patients that fit that description? Normal cat behaviors aren't always appreciated, they may be creating discord in your clients' homes, and they may even be risking the surrender or euthanasia of your patients. Knowing how to respond to client questions about everyday behavior patterns, efficiently (!), can mean the difference between frustration and enjoyment, and potentially between life and death.
Stress Matters: Impact of Fear and Anxiety on Learning
The process of learning is affected by many different factors, including the emotional state of the individual. By reading the body language of dogs, we can better understand their emotional state and their ability to respond to training exercises. This presentation will cover many of the body language signals that dogs are likely to show when stressed, fearful or anxious. Perhaps even more importantly, information will be included about how this emotional state directly impacts the process of learning and the effect on a behavior modification plan or the animal’s response to specific exercises. Strategies such as adjusting reinforcement value, refining aspects of the stimulus gradient during desensitization and counterconditioning exercises, altering performance expectations, and setting realistic criteria for success will be covered.
Prescribing for behavior (case based workshop)
This presentation will use clinical cases to walk participants through the process of deciding whether medication use is appropriate for behavior cases, and how to make educated decisions between options. In addition to use of single pharmaceuticals such as fluoxetine and alprazolam, other treatments such as nutritional therapy, supplement use, herbal therapies, and combination therapies will be discussed as time allows.
About Dr. Pachel, DVM, DACVB
Christopher Pachel, DVM, DACVB received his veterinary degree from the University of MN in 2002 and worked as a general practitioner in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area prior to the start of his residency program. He operated a house-call behavior practice in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area from 2005 until 2010 and became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, also in 2010.
He is currently the owner of the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, OR, lectures regularly throughout the US and Canada, and has taught courses in veterinary behavior at multiple veterinary schools in the US. He has published research on feline water consumption preferences, wrote a book chapter on Intercat Aggression for the May 2014 issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, and is co-author of a book chapter on Pet Selection for Animal Assisted Therapy. Visit his website for more: www.drpachel.com