Non-accidental injury in pets: Implications and actions
It may be hard to comprehend why someone would deliberately hurt an animal and then seek veterinary attention. Such deliberate harm is often referred to as non-accidental injury (NAI), the diagnosis of which is a difficult challenge, both emotionally and intellectually.
Furthermore, whilst the primary responsibility of those in veterinary practice is to their animal patients, when dealing with cases of suspected NAI, consideration should also be given to the ‘Link’, the interrelationship between violence to people and violence to animals.
This session will review the different types of abuse, highlight the diagnostic pointers for NAI and provide guidance of what to do if NAI is suspected. Whilst reporting cases of suspected abuse, of animals or humans is not a mandatory requirement of veterinary professionals, every practice should have a protocol for dealing with such cases, including the provision of support for all members of the practice team.
- •To be familiar with the different types of abuse
- •To recognise the diagnostic pointers for non-accidental injury (NAI) and consider it as a possible differential
- •To know what to do if confronted with a case of suspected NAI
- •To be aware of the link between violence to people and violence to animals