Simple Summary: The effects of stress on health outcomes in animals are well documented. Veterinary clinicians may be able to improve their patients’ care by better understanding how to recognize and reduce stress in those patients. This review will describe the physiology of the mammalian stress response and known health consequences of psychogenic, rather than physical, stress; as well as methods of measuring stress in animals. While the review will address stress in a range of domestic species, it will specifically focus on dogs.
Abstract: Evidence to support the existence of health consequences of psychogenic stress has been documented across a range of domestic species. A general understanding of methods of recognition and means of mitigation of psychogenic stress in hospitalized animals is arguably an important feature of the continuing efforts of clinicians to improve the well-being and health of dogs and other veterinary patients. The intent of this review is to describe, in a variety of species: the physiology of the stress syndrome, with particular attention to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; causes and characteristics of psychogenic stress; mechanisms and sequelae of stress-induced immune dysfunction; and other adverse effects of stress on health outcomes. Following that, we describe general aspects of the measurement of stress and the role of physiological measures and behavioral signals that may predict stress in hospitalized animals, specifically focusing on dogs.
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Hekman, J.P.; Karas, A.Z.; Sharp, C.R. Psychogenic Stress in Hospitalized Dogs: Cross Species Comparisons, Implications for Health Care, and the Challenges of Evaluation. Animals 2014, 4, 331-347.
Hekman JP, Karas AZ, Sharp CR. Psychogenic Stress in Hospitalized Dogs: Cross Species Comparisons, Implications for Health Care, and the Challenges of Evaluation. Animals. 2014; 4(2):331-347.
Hekman, Jessica P.; Karas, Alicia Z.; Sharp, Claire R. 2014. "Psychogenic Stress in Hospitalized Dogs: Cross Species Comparisons, Implications for Health Care, and the Challenges of Evaluation." Animals 4, no. 2: 331-347.