By Helen Burns | Dated May 31, 2021 | 0 Comments
Foraging is an innate behaviour to all animals and is a great way to provide our pets with enrichment to look after their mental well being (and hopefully stop them […]
By Helen Burns | Dated July 30, 2020
Do you ever wonder what goes on when we disappear through the swinging door with your pet? What magical tricks do we have up our sleeves to reassure and settle your four legged family member, so that we can do what we need to do?
Well, there is certainly no magical trick, and there’s no one-size-fits-all technique, particularly for dogs compared to cats. But we do have a wealth of experience across our team, and we draw on it regularly!
The tricks start with the waiting room and consulting rooms. You may have noticed that we try to separate dogs and cats both as they walk through the entry doors and sit in the waiting room. By distancing the dogs and cats visually we can reduce stress, and each separate part of the clinic has a diffuser that releases relaxing pheromones specific to that species.
My personal favourite is just taking your dog for a little stroll around the inside of the hospital. Gordon Vet is a tardis! There are lots of rooms and corridors which are perfect for a distracting stroll, with plenty of good sniffing points along the way. And which dog doesn’t fall in love with someone who takes them for a walk? Often a little walk is all that is needed to break down the fear and build the trust that is needed for us to examine our patient.
If that isn’t enough, we also have our trusty treat jar, and staff who are always happy to help out feeding treats.
To reduce the stress for cats we may often take them to a quiet room, and we bring out one of our most valued and used items – the towel! For stressed cats, a towel can serve many purposes. Firstly we can wrap cats up into what we affectionately call a ‘kitty burrito’. It’s just like wrapping up a newborn baby, and both makes them feel secure and tucks all the sharp bits away for our safety. Sometimes a kitty burrito isn’t even needed. With many small dogs and cats, simply placing a towel over their head, combined with a cuddle from a nurse is enough to make them feel safe and secure. At times we may also pop a muzzle on them if they are likely to bite, to ensure that we can focus on the important job at hand, rather than trying to focus on avoiding a bite.
In those situations where we need to do something that requires them to be very still, if our patient is in significant pain or where our patients are very stressed, we may use sedation or anaesthesia.
Ultimately our aim is to ensure that our patients feel calm and relaxed, so that the experience of visiting the vet isn’t stressful for them, and so that we can do what is needed to keep them happy and healthy.