This one-day workshop is aimed at veterinarians and nurses and will discuss the importance of considering emotional as well as physical health in our patients. It will apply understanding of emotional motivations and behavioural responses to the context of the general veterinary practice and show how it can help in decreasing distress in patients, owners and staff and, also lead to an effective preventative behavioural medicine service.

Delegates will be given examples of how dogs and cats communicate information about their emotional state and learn how to do an effective emotional assessment of their patients and a comprehensive stress audit of their practice.

Key Skills:

By the end of this workshop delegates should have an understanding of:

  • Emotional motivations and behavioural responses
  • Environmental optimisation for cats and dogs living in a domestic environment
  • Species specific communication and its role in understanding emotional health
  • Stress audits and their importance in the veterinary practice

This workshop is accredited for 7 NZVNA CPD points.

Speaker Biography

Sarah Heath

BVSc, Dip.ECAWBM(BM) CCAB FRCVS
RCVS Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine
EBVS ® European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine
Visiting Lecturer in Small Animal Behavioural Medicine, University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science

Sarah qualified from Bristol University and spent four years in mixed practice before setting up Behavioural Referrals Veterinary Practice in 1992. In 2018 she was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contributions to the profession in recognition of her work in establishing Behavioural Medicine as a veterinary discipline. She is an RCVS and European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine.

Sarah is an External Lecturer in small animal behavioural medicine at Liverpool University and the University of Surrey. She is a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist under the ASAB accreditation scheme and registered as a Veterinary Behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council.

In 2002 Sarah became a Founding Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (formerly the ECVBM-CA) and served as President from 2002 to 2008. She served as Treasurer of the College from 2011 to 2017 and is currently the chair of the Behavioural Medicine Credentialing Committee.

Sarah has a special interest in the interplay between emotional and physical illness in dogs and cats and particularly in the role of pain. She promotes the recognition of emotional health issues in companion animals and the role of the veterinary profession in safeguarding the welfare of animals in this context. Sarah lectures extensively, at home and abroad, on behavioural medicine and is an author, co-author and editor of several books including Behavioural Medicine for Small Animals and Feline Behavioural Health and Welfare, both published by Elsevier.

Canine and Feline Behaviour – Understanding and improving emotional health in your patients