At the end of November, Nicola completed the training for the third block of her clinical animal behaviour course. The first two days focused on pain and the impact this can have on behaviour. Indeed, sometimes the only sign of a painful condition can be a change in your pet’s behaviour, such as being more sound sensitive than usual or being uncharacteristically moody. Did you know that nearly 70% of patients referred for behaviour problems can have pain contributing to their issues?

The most common type of pain to be playing a role is chronic pain, such as that which can arise from trigger points in the muscle, nerve pain or osteoarthritis. We studied how chronic pain develops and what we can do to manage it, including pain relieving medications, acupuncture and physiotherapy.

The last two days were spent analysing various behavioural studies that have been performed, and going through cases. Going through actual behavioural histories and making treatment plans for these cases was an extremely useful way to integrate the knowledge gained through the past several months of the course and to put it into context.

Our speaker, the wonderful Samantha Lindley, veterinarian and founder of Longview Veterinary Services for behavioural services and chronic pain management, was fabulous as always and the course delegates benefited hugely from the breadth of her knowledge and experience. The link for the Longview Veterinary Services website is below:

Of course, having only visited in summer previously, it was also wonderful to see Loch Long on the beautiful frosty mornings we’ve been having lately. It is definitely an added bonus when continued education courses are held in such a great location. The lovely staff at the hotel even invited us to join in the St Andrews Day ceilidh on the Saturday night!

If you are ever looking for a relaxing getaway with your faithful hounds on the West Coast of Scotland, Knockderry, where the course was held, is a wonderfully cosy retreat in a stunning location. They adore having dogs around and the food is also incredible. Guests are often greeted at the door by gentle Rosie, the beautiful Border Collie you can see on the hotel’s logo below. You van find the link to their homepage here:

Nicola is now looking forward to getting back to the clinic and using the knowledge gained from this course to continue to improve the mental health and well-being, as well as the physical comfort, of our much loved furry friends.