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Proceedings of the 11th International Veterinary Behaviour Meeting

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This book contains the proceedings from the 11th International Veterinary Behaviour Meeting. Keynote Presentations include 'Use of Psychopharmacology to Reduce Anxiety and Fear in Dogs and Cats: A Practical Approach' by Barbara L. Sherman, 'A Multimodal Approach to Resolving Tension Between Cats in the Same Household: A Practical Approach' by Sarah E. Heath, 'The Importance of the Welfare of Research Animals to Maximise the Quality of Behavioural Research: Do We Measure True Behaviours?' by Patrick Pageat and 'Making Animal Welfare Sustainable - Human Behaviour Change for Animal Behaviour: The Human Element' by Jo White and Suzanne Rogers.

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Predicting Aggressive Behaviour: Which Factors Influence Biting and What is the Use of Temperament Tests?

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Predicting Aggressive Behaviour:

Which Factors Influence Biting and

What is the Use of Temperament

Tests?

Barbara Schoening*

Practice for Behavioural Consultations, Hamburg, Germany

Conflict of interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.

Keywords: dog, aggressive behaviour, temperament tests, health status

Introduction

Dogs that have bitten are a common problem in behavioural counselling.

Knowledge of the probability of an individual dog reacting aggressively, and which factors might promote or release a bite, are helpful for prevention, diagnosis and therapy rationale.

Materials and Methods

Over 16 years, 830 adult dogs of different breeds were tested in Hamburg,

Germany, using a validated behavioural test for aggression (Schoening, 2006;

NMEL, 2017). Dogs were scored between 1 (no aggression) and 6 (offensive biting without preceding threats). Breed, sex, bite history, medical history, obedience level, and negative-based or positive-based training were also recorded.

 

No Better Than Flipping a Coin: Reconsidering Canine Behaviour Evaluations in Animal Shelters*

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No Better Than Flipping a Coin:

Reconsidering Canine Behaviour

Evaluations in Animal Shelters*

Gary J. Patronek1† and Janis Bradley2

Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary

Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, Massachusetts, USA; 2National

Canine Research Council, Amenia, New York, USA

1

Conflict of interest: Gary J. Patronek is a paid consultant to the National Canine

Research Council, a subsidiary of Animal Farm Foundation. Janis Bradley is an employee of the National Canine Research Council.

Keywords: animal shelter, dog behaviour evaluation, aggression, dog personality, sensitivity, ­predictive value

Introduction

Our aim was to use existing data and established principles of diagnostic test evaluation to calculate the likelihood of reliably predicting problematically aggressive behaviours in adoptive homes among dogs residing in shelters based on exposing the dogs to a series of provocative stimuli (tests) in a semi-controlled environment (behaviour evaluations).

 

Having Bitten is No One-way Ticket for Dogs: Rehabilitation Possibilities and Principles

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Having Bitten is No One-way

Ticket for Dogs: Rehabilitation

Possibilities and Principles

Barbara Schoening1*, Luisa Fechner2 and Susanne David3

Practice for Behavioural Consultations, Hamburg, Germany; 2Horta da Valada,

Estrada de Sta. Águeda, Portugal; 3Hamburger Tierschutzverein von 1841 e.V.,

Hamburg, Germany

1

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: dog, aggressive behaviour, rehabilitation training, temperament test

Introduction

Rehabilitation is the coordinated application of medical, social and pedagogical means influencing the physical and mental condition of an individual for the better. For dogs with a biting history, rehabilitation means to further the well-being of the dog and in parallel reducing the risk this dog poses for others.

Materials and Methods

In the last five years, 300 dogs with biting history were brought to the

Hamburg ­humane shelter and underwent a special training, using positive, non-­confrontational training methods. Following a review of the dogs medical and behavioural history, the dogs learned alternative behaviours for conflict situations via desensitisation and shaping processes. Training of bite inhibition, and improved tolerance levels for frustration, and inhibitory control complemented, when necessary. Training took between 6 and 12 months.

 

Evaluation, Management and Welfare of Aggressive Shelter Dogs

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Evaluation, Management and

Welfare of Aggressive Shelter Dogs

Maria Cristina Osella*

Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology (IRSEA),

Quartier Salignan, France

Conflict of interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.

Keywords: dog, aggressive, shelter, evaluation, management, welfare

Disclaimer: This study was conducted according to current Italian animals ethics legislation.

Introduction

In Valle d’Aosta (Italy), a veterinary behavioural assistance was required for the management of aggressive dogs in the regional shelters. This project included the evaluation of 14 dogs, the guidelines for the new introductions, and the facility

­reorganisation. The aim was to reduce the animal and human risks and to increase the dogs’ welfare.

Materials and Methods

Fourteen aggressive shelter dogs (males, 1–12 years old, different breeds) were housed after severe aggression and multiple bites incidences (Dehasse, 2002). All dogs were clinically and behaviourally assessed. The evaluation included phases of observation and physical approach based on tests reported in the literature (Michelazzi et al., 2010). Rehoming was considered for each dog based on its b

 

Keynote Presentation: Use of Psychopharmacology to Reduce Anxiety and Fear in Dogs and Cats: A Practical Approach

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Keynote Presentation: Use of

Psychopharmacology to Reduce

Anxiety and Fear in Dogs and Cats:

A Practical Approach

Barbara L. Sherman*

College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh,

North Carolina, USA

Conflict of interest: The author has served on the Behaviour Advisory Boards for Elanco

Animal Health, Lilly Animal Health, Novartis Animal Health, Shearing-Plough Animal

Health, Virbac Animal Health and Zoetis Animal Health.

Funding: National Science Foundation (#557751)

Keywords: anxiety, fear, behavioural drugs, dogs, cats

Abstract

Anxiety and fear responses indicate impaired welfare in dogs and cats and often lead to erosion of the human–animal bond. In combination with simple behaviour modification regimes, psychopharmacologic agents may be given strategically to attenuate anxiety and fear responses (Hart and Cooper, 1996). The purpose of this review is to elucidate pharmacologic regimes that may be used strategically to manage such negative emotional states in dogs and cats, particularly in specific situations, such as travel, confinement and veterinary visits (Gruen et al., in press; Mills and Simpson, 2002). The goal is for dogs and cats to be less anxious, less fearful, to have the capacity to learn new behavioural responses and to improve welfare. The application of specific drugs in a number of categories, including benzodiazepines, serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitors, and alpha 2 agonists, will be described, the literature briefly summarised, and case examples provided.

 

Preventing Travel Anxiety Using Dexmedetomidine Hydrochloride Oromucosal Gel

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Preventing Travel Anxiety Using

Dexmedetomidine Hydrochloride

Oromucosal Gel

Marta Amat1*, Susana Le Brech1, Camino GarcíaMorato1, Déborah Temple1, Marta Salichs2, Bibiana

Prades2, Tomàs Camps1 and Xavier Manteca1

School of Veterinary Medicine (Autonomous University of Barcelona),

Barcelona, Spain; 2ECUPHAR Veterinaria S.L.U., Barcelona, Spain

1

Conflict of interest: Marta Salichs and Bibiana Prades work for Ecuphar.

Keywords: dog, travel anxiety, dexmedetomidine hydrochloride, oromucosal gel

Introduction

Dogs frequently show anxiety when travelling by car. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of dexmedetomidine hydrochloride 0.1 mg/ml oromucosal gel (Sileo®, Ecuphar/Orion), an alpha-2 agonist, to reduce anxiety in dogs during transportation by car.

Material and Methods

A triple blind crossover design was used. Twelve beagle dogs were included in the study. The duration of the transport by car was 10 minutes, and the route was the same for all dogs. Each dog was subjected to two test situations: treatment and control. Two hours before the treatment phase each dog received a dose of

 

Oromucosal Dexmedetomidine Gel for Alleviation of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs During Minor Veterinary or Husbandry Procedures

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Oromucosal Dexmedetomidine Gel for Alleviation of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs During Minor Veterinary or

Husbandry Procedures

Mira Korpivaara1*, Mirja Huhtinen1, John Aspegren1 and Karen Overall2

Orion Corporation, Research and Development, Turku, Finland; 2Biology

Department, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

1

Conflict of interest: Mira Korpivaara, Mirja Huhtinen and John Aspegren are employees of Orion Corporation Orion Pharma Finland. Karen Overall was a paid consultant for this study. Orion Corporation funded the study.

Keywords: behaviour, oromucosal dexmedetomidine, veterinary anxiety

Introduction

The primary objective was to evaluate the efficacy of dexmedetomidine gel in

­improving the ability to perform a physical examination and a minor veterinary or husbandry procedure in dogs suffering from fear at the veterinary surgery.

Material and Methods

Seventy-four client-owned dogs were enrolled into a randomised, double blinded, placebo-controlled study. Eligibility of dogs was confirmed at a baseline visit. This was a multicentre, dose-titration study. Two dexmedetomidine gel doses (125 μg/m2 and 250 μg/m2) were compared to placebo for efficacy and safety. Investigators assessed the ability to perform the intended procedure at the treatment visit using a scale from 1 (procedure could be easily performed) to 5 (not possible).

 

Avalanche Dogs Can Locate ‘Buried Victims’ by Perceiving the Human Breath Under the Snow

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Avalanche Dogs Can Locate

‘Buried Victims’ by Perceiving the

Human Breath Under the Snow

Silvana Diverio1*, Laura Menchetti1, Martina Iaboni1,

Giacomo Riggio2, Costanza Azzari3, Anselmo Cagnati4,

Walter Di Mari5 and Michele Matteo Santoro6

Laboratory of Ethology and Animal Welfare (LEBA) Department of

Veterinary Medicine, Perugia University, Italy; 2Veterinary Consultant, Rome,

Italy; 3Veterinary Consultant, Turin, Italy; 4ARPA (Veneto Regional Agency for the Environment Protection), Arabba, Italy; 5GdF (Military Force of Guardia di Finanza), Direzione Veterinaria e Cinofili, Rome, Italy; 6SAGF - Alpine

Rescue of Guardia di Finanza, Predazzo, Italy

1

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: behaviour, working dog, human scent, body postures, avalanche

Introduction

Which components of the human scent steer dogs in finding a buried victim? The aim of this study was to evaluate if rescue dogs can locate a ‘buried victim’ only by perceiving the human’s breath under a layer of snow in an avalanche simulation context, and which dog’s body postures are associated with a successful search.

 

Responses of Anxious Dogs to a Simple Behaviour Modification Protocol While Waiting in a Veterinary Hospital

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Responses of Anxious Dogs to a Simple Behaviour Modification

Protocol While Waiting in a

Veterinary Hospital

Barbara Sherman1*, Jalika Joyner1, Sherrie Yuschak1,

Katherine Walker2, Justin Kuhn2, John Majikes2,

Hongyu Ru2, Sean Mealin2, Rita Brugarolas2,

David Roberts2 and Alper Bozkurt2

College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh,

North Carolina, USA; 2College of Engineering, North Carolina State

University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

1

Funding: The study was funded by the National Science Foundation (#557751), the NC

State Veterinary Scholars Program and Fund for Discovery.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: anxiety, behaviour, dog, heart rate, panting

Introduction

Signs of anxiety are commonly demonstrated by dogs awaiting care at a veterinary facility. Our hypothesis was that a simple owner-implemented behaviour modification protocol would attenuate behavioural and physiological signs of anxiety compared to untreated controls.

 

Link Between Chronic Gastric Diseases and Anxiety in Dogs

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Link Between Chronic Gastric

Diseases and Anxiety in Dogs

Muriel Marion1*, Patrick Lecoindre2, Nathalie Marlois3,

Catherine Mège4, Claude Béata5, Guillaume Sarcey6 and Gérard Muller7

Cabinet médico-chirurgical Montolivet, Marseille, France; 2CVC Clinique

Vétérinaire des Cerisioz, St Priest, France; 3Clinique Vétérinaire de l’Albarine,

Ambérieu en Bugey, France; 4Clinique Vétérinaire Les Grands Crus,

Chenôve, France; 5Consultant Vétérinaire, Toulon, France; 6Clinique vétérinaire Saint Roch, Gap, France; 7Clinique Vétérinaire de Lille St

Maurice, Lille, France

1

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: chronic gastric disease, anxiety, dog

Introduction

Anxiety in dogs manifests as a collection of physical and behavioural signs. The clinical signs that are often reported include trembling, panting, urination and defaecation (Overall et al., 2001; Tiira et al., 2016). Aggressiveness, destructive behaviour, wandering, running away, inhibition and vocalising are some of the frequently reported behaviours.

 

Interaction of Health and Behaviour Problems in Dogs

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�Interaction of Health and Behaviour

Problems in Dogs

Maya Braem Dube1*, Lucy Asher2, Hanno Würbel1 and Luca Melotti1

Division of Animal Welfare, Veterinary Public Health Institute, Vetsuisse

Faculty, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland; 2Centre for Behaviour and

Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK

1

Funding: The study was funded by the Margaret and Frances Fleitmann Foundation.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: dog, behaviour problem, health

Introduction

The interaction between health and behaviour problems plays an important role in veterinary behaviour medicine. Physical problems, such as pain (Barcelos et al.,

2015) or gastrointestinal problems (Bécuwe-Bonnet et al., 2012) have been shown to be linked to behaviour problems. The aim of this study was to investigate this

­association further.

Material and Methods

 

Keynote Presentation: A Multimodal Approach to Resolving Tension Between Cats in the Same Household: A Practical Approach

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�Keynote Presentation: A Multimodal

Approach to Resolving Tension

Between Cats in the Same

Household: A Practical Approach

Sarah E. Heath*

Behavioural Referrals Veterinary Practice, Upton Chester, UK

Conflict of interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.

Keywords: behaviour, cats, inter-cat conflict, stress

Introduction

Cats are increasing in popularity in many Western countries, and multi-cat households are very common. While many of these households are successful and harmonious, it is recognised that some owners encounter difficulty, either regarding the presentation of behavioural responses which cause them concern or regarding the physical diseases seen in one or more of the cats. Common physical disease presentations from multi-cat environments include idiopathic cystitis

(Kruger et al., 2009) and infectious disease (Speakman, 2005). Also, obesity has been shown to be influenced by feedings styles (German and Heath, 2016) which in turn may be affected by the presence of more than one cat in the household.

 

Effect of a Synthetic Feline Pheromone for Managing Unwanted Scratching in Domestic Cats

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�Effect of a Synthetic Feline

Pheromone for Managing Unwanted

Scratching in Domestic Cats

Valarie V. Tynes1*, Alexandra Beck2, Xavier De Jaeger2 and Jean-Francois Collin2

Ceva Animal Health, Lenexa,Kansas, USA; 2Ceva Santé Animale,

Libourne, France

1

Conflict of interest: All authors are employed by Ceva Animal Health who funded this research.

Keywords: behaviour, cat, claw marking, feline interdigital semiochemical, pheromone, scratching

Introduction

Scratching of objects in the environment is a normal behaviour for domestic cats but is often problematic for pet owners. Even in the presence of a scratching post, many cats will continue to scratch household furnishings (Landsberg, 1991;

Wilson et al., 2016). When scratching a surface, cats produce a visible mark as well as a chemical message (a semiochemical released from their interdigital area).

The present study tested a solution containing a synthetic analogue of the feline interdigital semiochemical (F.I.S.)1 to determine if it could effectively redirect cat scratching behaviour towards a scratching post. The coloured product when applied on a post actually mimics both the chemical (F.I.S.) and visual (lacerations) cues naturally left by scratch marks, to encourage cats to scratch again on the post. Authors hypothesised that the application of the product to a scratching post would stimulate the use of the post while concomitantly limiting or even stopping scratching on undesired surfaces.

 

Relationship Among Cat–Owner Bond, Cat Behaviour Problems and Cat Environment Conditions: A Study with 1553 Spanish Cat Owners

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�Relationship Among Cat–Owner

Bond, Cat Behaviour Problems and Cat Environment Conditions:

A Study with 1553 Spanish Cat

Owners

Natalia Bulgakova1*, Sandra Burgos1, Paula Calvo1,

Jonathan Bowen1,2 and Jaume Fatjó1

Chair Affinity Foundation Animals and Health, Universitat Autònoma de

Barcelona, Spain; 2Royal Veterinary College, University of London, UK

1

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: cat–owner bond, cat behaviour problems, cat welfare

Introduction

Owners’ bonds with their cats may affect awareness of cats’ well-being and adherence to behavioural treatment. Our aim was to explore relationships between the cat–owner bond, cat welfare conditions and cat behaviour problems.

Materials and Methods

We conducted an online survey, which included the Cat Owner Relationship

Scale1 (CORS), a cat welfare scale, and a cat behaviour problem assessment. Cat owners were recruited through social media networks. We analysed correlations between scores for CORS, welfare and behaviour problems. We also analysed all

 

Keynote Presentation: The Importance of the Welfare of Research Animals to Maximise the Quality of Behavioural Research: Do We Measure True Behaviours?

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�Keynote Presentation:

The Importance of the Welfare of

Research Animals to Maximise the

Quality of Behavioural Research:

Do We Measure True Behaviours?

Patrick Pageat*

IRSEA and E.I. Purpan, Quartier Salignan, France

Conflict of interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.

Keywords: welfare, ethology, research, development, socialisation

Despite the remarkable development of ethology, welfare science and behavioural medicine, our understanding of many behaviours is still limited. This lack of knowledge is much deeper when we try to discuss underlying mechanisms, development and functionality. The access to such information requires studying the target species in controlled conditions, which do not represent the actual environment of pet, farm or wild species. Moreover, the versatility of behaviours, as well as the inter-individual variability, lead the researchers to develop protocols that associate physiological and behavioural parameters. The resulting risk is that researchers describe behaviours and physiological variation that are based on the unnatural environment to that species. Additionally, it is possible that these environments may limit the animal and reduce its welfare, thus affecting our knowledge and results of the study. The purpose of this lecture is to discuss possible ethical strategies to prevent or limit such bias.

 

Keynote Presentation: Making Animal Welfare Sustainable – Human Behaviour Change for Animal Behaviour: The Human Element

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�Keynote Presentation: Making

Animal Welfare Sustainable – Human

Behaviour Change for Animal

Behaviour: The Human Element

Jo White1,2* and Suzanne Rogers2

Progressive Ideas, www.progressiveideas.co.uk; 2Human Behaviour

Change for Animals, www.hbcanimalwelfare.com

1

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: human behaviour change, animal behaviour, animal welfare

Those working in veterinary behaviour medicine and animal welfare continue to deliver groundbreaking work that provides a greater understanding of the possible reasons why animals behave as they do, together with insights into human–animal relationships and animals welfare needs. However, the challenge of ensuring that these important findings are delivered at the coal face by those interacting and impacting upon animals is pivotal, if ongoing and emerging animal welfare issues are to be positively addressed.

For many years the veterinary profession, animal welfare organisations and compassionate individuals have worked to improve the lives of animals in many settings; including farming, working, companion, research, entertainment and animals in the wild. While a great deal has been delivered that has improved animal welfare, issues of suffering, abuse and neglect continue, with the cause in the majority of cases being the human animal’s behaviour. So why is it that many of those interacting with animals, either do not follow the available advice given by veterinarians, animal behaviourists and other experts, to improve their animals life? Alternatively, in contrast, follow the advice or behaviour of people who use approaches that lead to negative outcomes for the animal and its welfare?

 

Impact of Exploratory Material and Stocking Density on Tail and Ear Biting in Suckling and Weaning Piglets

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�Impact of Exploratory Material and

Stocking Density on Tail and Ear

Biting in Suckling and Weaning

Piglets

Christine Leeb*, Kerstin Aper and Christoph Winckler

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: piglets, exploration, density, tail-biting, ear-biting

Introduction

Increasingly, farmers and retailers are working towards solutions to keep pigs with intact tails. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the impact of additional material (hay in a rack additional to sisal rope) on tail and ear biting in suckling and weaned piglets. In addition, the effect of reduced stocking density was examined for weaners.

Materials and Methods

Three batches (each six litters) of undocked piglets were included. Suckling piglets received either a rope (C) or additionally hay in a rack (H). Weaners were kept with the same type of exploratory material allocated to groups with normal (N)

 

Ontogeny of Selected Behaviours in Piglets of Slovak Large White Improved Swine Breed

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�Ontogeny of Selected Behaviours in Piglets of Slovak Large White

Improved Swine Breed

Lenka Lešková*, Andrea Jurková and Jana Kottferová

University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Košice, Slovakia

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Keywords: behaviour, ontogeny, piglets

Introduction

Industrial farming helps meet the growing needs of the population. However, it also leads to numerous concerns regarding animal welfare. Various behaviour problems may be observed due to restricted movement, feeding and lack of stimuli. The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in the behaviour of piglets during their development from birth to weaning under extensive conditions.

Materials and Methods

A litter of five females and four males of Slovak Large White Improved swine breed was evaluated. The sow and piglets were kept in extensive conditions (deep straw bedding and no restriction of movement). The piglets had ad libitum contact with the sow. The behaviour of the piglets was recorded by a video camera and evaluated using the Noldus Observer XT Analysis software. Observations were carried out on a weekly basis in the first 5 weeks post-partum. Events such as feeding, sleeping, rooting, play and agonistic interactions were recorded. The percentage of time spent on each behaviour was noted for each week of age.

 

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