Changing behaviours - don’t dismiss the pain factor
In human medicine, the link between physical and emotional health is well established. The same connection between physical, emotional and cognitive health is present in our non-human companions and it has been shown that pain is a significant differential when patients are presented with altered behaviour patterns. A paper published in 2020 reviewed the caseload of six behavioural referral centres based in UK, Spain and USA and showed that between 28 and 82 percent of the cases seen, depending on the centre, were shown to have a pain component. This link highlights the need for the veterinary profession to embrace behavioural medicine and to adequately consider pain when clients raise concerns about their pet’s behaviour. There are serious welfare implications of overlooking this connection since dismissing the pain factor can result in unnecessary suffering.
- 1.Recognise the potential for the pain to be a factor in behavioural presentations
- 2.Identify behavioural changes that can be linked to pain
- 3.Understand the welfare implications of dismissing the pain factor