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Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 22; doi:10.3390/vetsci4020022

Minimising Stress for Patients in the Veterinary Hospital: Why It Is Important and What Can Be Done about It

College of Public Health, Medicine and Veterinary Science, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
Academic Editor: Patrick Butaye
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 12 March 2017 / Accepted: 18 March 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract

Minimising stress for patients should always be a priority in the veterinary hospital. However, this is often overlooked. While a “no stress” environment is not possible, understanding how to create a “low stress” (sometimes called “fear-free”) environment and how to handle animals in a less stressful manner benefits patients, staff and the hospital alike. Many veterinary practitioners believe creating a low stress environment is too hard and too time consuming, but this need not be the case. With some simple approaches, minimising patient, and hence staff, stress is achievable in all veterinary practices. This article provides a background on why minimising stress is important and outlines some practical steps that can be taken by staff to minimise stress for presenting and hospitalised patients. Useful resources on recognising signs of stress in dogs and cats, handling, restraint, behaviour modification, medications, and hospital design are provided. View Full-Text
Keywords: stress; low stress handling; behaviour modification; behavioural management medications; animal welfare; hospital design stress; low stress handling; behaviour modification; behavioural management medications; animal welfare; hospital design
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lloyd, J.K.F. Minimising Stress for Patients in the Veterinary Hospital: Why It Is Important and What Can Be Done about It. Vet. Sci. 2017, 4, 22.

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