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Gentle Leader Head Collar Suppresses End-stage Tail Chasing

Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 8:48:45 AM EST by Cam Day

Gentle Leader Head Collar Suppresses End-stage Tail Chasing

I would like to share with you an interesting finding about end-stage tail chasing in English Bull Terriers.

It involves the use of a Gentle Leader Head Collar to suppress, but not cure, the behaviour.

You should view the video of a case below.

English Bull Terriers (i.e. the ‘Roman Nose’ bull terriers) show the worst case tail-chasing with self-mutilation behaviours of all breeds.

In the past they were often regarded as being untreatable but nowadays targeted remedies are very effective.

These dogs often present in a miserable state in a state of extreme duress where their life is driven to chase their tail to the exclusion of any other activity.

Quality of Life score is abysmal and welfare is seriously affected. They need an immediate remedy and the Gentle Leader appears to help in the early stages to improve quality of life and welfare.

I find that they are so driven to chase their tail that holding them by the collar to stop that is very hard – they are just so strong – and the video below shows that clearly. (I was having trouble holding this dog!!)

What about the Gentle Leader?

I have now used this in about three cases of end-stage tail chasing in English Bull Terriers. Not a large number of cases.

In each case it provided IMMEDIATE relief of the tail chasing. It didn’t cure it but suppressed it.

The video below shows:-

1.       The dog’s raw state with profound tail chasing

2.       Placement of the Gentle Leader Head Collar stopped the behaviour immediately

3.       Removal of the Gentle Leader cause immediate resumption of the tail chasing

4.       Placing the collar again created an immediate suppression of the behaviour.

It’s interesting and to be honest I don’t know why it works but it only works if the head-band is quite a tight fit (as recommended by the Gentle Leader manufacturers).

I contacted the owner 7 days later and she reports the dog was 98% cured in 48 hours.

It was a combination of medications that created the change but the Gentle Leader provided immediate relief to allow time for the medications to have their effect.

The Gentle Leader was not needed after 48 hours.

Causes of tail chasing can be many.

It can be compulsive, pain related, or neurogenic in origin and some think it may be seizure activity.

Some can be ‘trained’ not to tail chase (I have never seen that work for English Bull Terriers) using pulsed, reward-based cognitive therapy.  This appears effective some Maltese Terriers and Fox Terriers.

But for the bad cases a careful selection of medications is often needed.

Here’s the video!!!!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H9beLOvets

Keep misbehaving but please leave your comments below

Cam


Tags:

Social media for vets – an experiment described!

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 11:41:07 AM EST by Cam Day

How creative use of social media can increase web traffic by a factor of 8

Colleagues,

What’s the value of social media for veterinarians? Maybe I am a bit geeky but I love playing with technology and with websites everything is measurable.

Recently I performed two ‘twitter experiments’ to share pet behaviour remedies. Both experiments were along the theme of a ‘Twitter essay in 10 parts’.

Because Twitter is based around posts of 140 characters or less it was an interesting and even humorous challenge.

The first essay was entitled ‘A Short 10 Point Essay on Dog Separation Anxiety’

The second was ‘A Ten Step Essay to Remedy Cat Soiling’

You can see the Twitter Essays here:-

The results were interesting because we achieved an 8-fold increase in web traffic in seconds.

Here’s the process we followed in case you want to have fun with your own social media.

METHOD

Step 1 Search for a hashtag (#)that hasn’t be used yet  which simply describes the essay. In this case #SEPANX and #CATSPRAY. (See discussion if you don’t know what this means.)

Step 2  Prepare the sequential Tweets offline and add the hashtag to each one.

Step 3 Add hyperlinks to more information on your web.

Step 4  Edit the tweet and links so it fits into 140 characters. (That’s hard.)

Step 5  Determine how many are browsing your site.

Step 6  Send the Tweets

Step 7  Then review the result by looking at how many are browsing and looking at your Tweets.

It took about 30 minutes to write each essay and 5 minutes to send the tweets.

RESULTS

For both experiments the number online on our site was much the same at about 20 each time.

For the separation anxiety essay the number climbed to a maximum of 95 within 5 minutes and maintained that level for about 15 minutes.

For the soiling essay the number increased to 148 in 5 minutes and because we wanted to see if we could break through 150 we sent an additional tweet which then climbed the responders to 168.

The level was maintained for at least 20 minutes.

DISCUSSION

Our site gives us the ability to see not only how many people are online but what people are looking at while they are browsing. So it’s easy to see people are looking at the information we tweeted. Therefore it’s easy to measure the effects of such experiments immediately.

The use of Hashtags may require description. Hashtags are like user-created keywords. They allow users of social media to create searchable conversations. More information

In most social media software packages, you can search for hashtags to follow conversations or topics. Nobody ‘owns’ a hashtag. They are just something people use.

For example if you google #CATSOIL you will come across some of our tweets. If you search for #CATSOIL in Twitter or Tweetdeck you are likely to see all or our tweets.

So, hashtags are useful if a person misses some of your conversation. By clicking on a hashtag anyone can see all topics relating to that conversation.

The first essay on separation anxiety  increased traffic from 20 online browsers to 95 in about 5 minutes.  That level was maintained for about 15 minutes and we could see that users were accessing more than just the information tweeted. That is, they were investigating deeper into our site.

The second essay on cat soiling remedies increased traffic from 19 to 148, also in about 5 minutes.

We wanted to break through the 150 barrier so, one additional tweet was sent. That then pushed that number to 168 within 60 seconds.  That level was maintained for more than 20 minutes.

The business people amongst you will ask ‘did that put money in the bank’

Sadly the answer is NO at least not directly as far as we could ascertain.

CONCLUSION

This experiment shows that creative use of social media can increase web traffic by a factor of 8 within minutes and is an effective, simple brand awareness technique but not necessarily an income-generating technique.

But, a single essay gives short lived results.

It illustrates why some business operators employ staff to do nothing other than run their social medial campaigns.

Presumably sensible information sent by social media on a regular basis will not only build brand awareness but also income.

It’s all a numbers game.

Thanks for your time and keep misbehaving.


Cam

 

Give your clients free membership to PETHEALTH

Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 at 4:03:38 PM EST by
Did you know you can give

free PETHEALTH.com.au membership

to your clients?

Full Access Membership to PETHEALTH.com.au for Veterinary Clients

Considering membership? Many benefits!Did you know that with a Vets-Silver or Vets-Gold login you can give your clients free membership to PETHEALTH.com.au which gives them many benefits.

That happens with a Client Login facility activated viawww.VETBEHAVIOURIST.com.au

The Client Login is a simple gateway which allows your clients to get membership with PETHEALTH.com.au as a benefit of your www.VETBEHAVIOURIST.com.au company login.

When you sign up for a Vets-Silver or Vets-Gold login we will create a separate username and password (usually based on your clinic name) that you can provide to your clients.

Your clients then have access to PETHEALTH.com.au and that continues for as long as your own business login is active.

Here’s a cheat – you can give free access to your staff as well

Some features of the Client Login facility:-

  • It’s easy to confirm your client’s login details - write the Client Login Username and Password onto the cards we provide and give the card to your cleint.

  • Presently, there is no time-limit to the client login. Your clients benefit from the member’s access while your own Vetbehaviourist login is active.

  • It’s your choice whether you charge for the membership or not. If you want to see the normal charges for members’ access you can check them online at PETHEALTH.com.au.(Personally I think you should charge $26.00 – equivalent to one month’s membership.)

  • Client membership works hand-in-glove with the Smart-forms
    • Assess a case using the relevant Smart-form.
      • (With a Vet-Silver or Verts-Gold you can email hat Smart-form to me for review remembering you have 60 minutes of phone-support per month for this purpose.
    • The Client membership you provide then allows your client full access to all the solutions listed in the Smart Form. That’s a well-rounded service.

    • If you do need to refer the case, the Client Login also allows them a 10% discount in our fees if they choose the pre-pay option. (However please note the concept of www.VETBEHAVIOURIST.com.au is to get you to do the consultations – not me!!)

    • You can also allow your staff to use the Client Login facility to give them access to www.PETHEALTH.com.au

To activate a Client Login facility, activate a Vets-Silver or Vets-Gold login here for your clinic.

In the meantime – keep misbehaving.

Cheers

 

Dr Cam Day BVSc BSc MACVS
Animal Behaviour Veterinarian
Tags:

Give your cleints free membership to PETHEALTH

Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 at 3:36:16 PM EST by

Did you know you can give

free PETHEALTH.com.au membership

to your clients?

Full Access Membership to PETHEALTH.com.au for Veterinary Clients

Considering membership? Many benefits!Did you know that with a Vets-Silver or Vets-Gold login you can give your clients free membership to PETHEALTH.com.au which gives them many benefits.

That happens with a Client Login facility activated via www.VETBEHAVIOURIST.com.au

The Client Login is a simple gateway which allows your clients to get membership with PETHEALTH.com.au as a benefit of your www.VETBEHAVIOURIST.com.au company login.

When you sign up for a Vets-Silver or Vets-Gold login we will create a separate username and password (usually based on your clinic name) that you can provide to your clients.

Your clients then have access to PETHEALTH.com.au and that continues for as long as your own business login is active.

Here’s a cheat – you can give free access to your staff as well

Some features of the Client Login facility:-

  • It’s easy to confirm your client’s login details - write the Client Login Username and Password onto the cards we provide and give the card to your cleint.

  • Presently, there is no time-limit to the client login. Your clients benefit from the member’s access while your own Vetbehaviourist login is active.

  • It’s your choice whether you charge for the membership or not. If you want to see the normal charges for members’ access you can check them online at PETHEALTH.com.au. (Personally I think you should charge $26.00 – equivalent to one month’s membership.)

  • Client membership works hand-in-glove with the Smart-forms
    • Assess a case using the relevant Smart-form.
      • (With a Vet-Silver or Verts-Gold you can email hat Smart-form to me for review remembering you have 60 minutes of phone-support per month for this purpose.
    • The Client membership you provide then allows your client full access to all the solutions listed in the Smart Form. That’s a well-rounded service.

    • If you do need to refer the case, the Client Login also allows them a 10% discount in our fees if they choose the pre-pay option. (However please note the concept of www.VETBEHAVIOURIST.com.au is to get you to do the consultations – not me!!)

    • You can also allow your staff to use the Client Login facility to give them access to www.PETHEALTH.com.au

To activate a Client Login facility, activate a Vets-Silver or Vets-Gold login here for your clinic.

In the meantime – keep misbehaving.

Cheers

 

Dr Cam Day BVSc BSc MACVS
Animal Behaviour Veterinarian

Tags:

Panic Disorders in Dogs – The Ghosts of Traumas Past

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 12:50:02 PM EST by Cam Day

Panic Disorders in Dogs – The Ghosts of Traumas Past

In the last two weeks I have seen some interesting panic disorders in dogs, all of which have had the theme of ‘back yard scary ghosts’.

What is a panic disorder?

A panic disorder is the ugly parent of an anxiety disorder and is easily recognised. (More information)

Panicking dogs show severe autonomic signs of distress and almost always include:-

  • hyperventilation
  • trembling
  • excessive salivation
  • hypervigilance and hyperactivity
  • dilated pupils
  • posturing signals of ears being tucked back, tail tucked  and tenseness of facial musculature.

If the owners are present, the dogs usually demonstrate profound comfort seeking (which is different from attention seeking) usually by

  • climbing onto the owner’s lap
  • nuzzling
  • distressed vocalising
  • frantic clawing of the owners.

If the owners are absent, the dogs will often attempt to escape from the area they are confined in (usually the garden or backyard) or will try to ‘inscape’ into the home. The damage to fences or to back doors can be immense.

This is an attempt to flee from the ‘ghost’ causing the trauma.

But it’s the damage the dogs do to themselves that distresses the owners and you as a veterinarian who has to repair that damage.

Sometimes the ‘ghostly cause’ is obvious – thunderstorms and firework events are common traumas. However, in many cases the cause is not at all obvious and impossible to determine.

The latter we call ‘back yard panic disorders’ because we don’t know the ghost that’s causing the problem.

Here is an interesting case study  that describes the almost ‘forensic’ level you need to get to establish a diagnosis and cure.

Molly - back yard panic disorder of unknown originstaffordshireterriers

Molly is a 5 year old purebred Staffordshire Bull Terrier living on an acreage property with another male Staffordshire Bull Terrier of the same age. The owners are retired and mostly home.

The dogs are allowed to free-roam the property at night via an always-open dog door.

Molly’s panic is nocturnal only starting at about 1am.

During this time she comes into the owner’s bedroom and practices extensive comfort-seeking with clawing of the owners to wake them up. At such times she is hyperventilating, hypervigilant and inconsolable.

This behaviour started suddenly, three weeks before the consultation.  For years previously she has not demonstrated this behavioural problem. The panic did not occur during the day and was not shown by her in-contact Staffordshire Terrier.

So, what was the cause?

Simply put, we don’t know.

The features are that Molly is allowed garden access during the night, the panic disorder is only expressed at night and it started suddenly rather than being of slow and gradual onset.

So a ‘ghost of the night’ is affecting the dog and it appeared to be of a traumatic origin.

While there could be many causes,  our thoughts were mostly centred around interactions with nocturnal wildlife and particularly snakes.  Carpet pythons were known to be present.

A diagnosis of a post-traumatic panic disorder was made.

Treatment

In the absence of a defined cause, the dogs were prevented from accessing the garden at night to determine if the ‘ghost of the night’ was a ‘garden ghost’ or an ‘inside the house ghost’.

The dog was already being treated with a routine dose of fluoxetine (once daily) and diazepam given at night and this was continued.

An Adaptil diffuser was added to the bedroom.

The owners were asked to ring to report progress in 7 days and at 14 days.

Follow up

At 7 days, the owners reported a complete cessation of the nocturnal panic which occurred from the first night of confinement.  Diazepam was being used nightly.

Because we were not convinced the diazepam was needed, that was stopped at this time.

At 14 days the owner reported the panic disorder was eliminated apart from one minor issue of attention seeking on one night which was easily diverted.

A plan was implemented to review the need for fluoxetine in eight weeks but in the interim the owners were planning to test some garden access at night to see if the problem re-occurred with that change.

Conclusion

For this case the cause of the trauma is unknown. The concept of testing if the trauma was garden-related or ‘inside-the-house’ related was considered important.

If the panic had continued with night-time in-house confinement, further investigations would be needed to determine if there was a cause. Common ‘inside the house’ causes are high-pitched burglar alarms and smoke alarms and also home invasions. However none of those seemed to be the cause in this case.

While diazepam can be effective for panic disorders, that was tested by stopping the diazepam after 7 days. No detrimental effect of that change was noted.

We therefore concluded the trauma was an unknown event that occurred in the garden only.

We have a similar case we have just started working with involving a Staffordshire Terrier cross with panic-related escape behaviour. It is likely this dog is suffering repeated bite wounds from backyard insects but we will report more in that in our next bulletin.

More information

Anxiety disorders in dogs
Noise phobias in dogs
Escaping behaviour
Separation Anxiety
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