Intro to Animal Behavior
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Intro to Animal Behavior
Why do we need to be concerned with animal behavior?
may be a sign of disease
to restrain correctly
to prevent problems
to provide correct husbandry
problems cost money
problems may result in death of the pet
Why can behavior problems result in the death of a pet?
owners may take the animal to the vet to euthanize
turn animals loose
take them to a shelter where they will more than likely be euthanized
Do animals do things for no reason?
Are most behavior problems, problems for the animal? Who are they problems for?
What is the number one reason why people own animals for pets?
What are other reasons besides companionship that people own animals for pets?
What is the organization that specializes in behavior for veterinarians?
American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB)
What are the organizations vet techs can join to become a specialist in animal behavior?
Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians (AVBT)
Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicans (SVBT)
Which vet tech organization for animal behavior requires a certification?
Which vet tech organization for animal behavior is open to everyone, even students?
What is the organization for obedience training for dogs?
Association of Professional Dog Obedience Trainers
What society is not just limited to DVMs but people with master degrees and PhD's can join?
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB)
What society certifies animal behaviorists?
Animal Behavior Society (ABS)
How many veterinary schools have behaviorists on staff?
8 out of the 28 schools
Which schools are the closest to us?
Penn and NC State
Many behavior problems are...
left to non-DVMs to resolve (obedience trainers)
Why are dogs usually given up?
too many pets
no home for littermates
Why are cats usually given up?
too many in the house
no home for littermates
What are specific complaints people have about the behavior of their pets?
jumps on people
pesters to go out
chases people and cars
Dogs are less likely to be given up if they have had _____ and _____.
Cats are less likely to be given up if they have had _____ and _____.
owner reads more about normal animal behavior
What is behavior?
the way an animal responds to stimuli in its environment
Is a stimulus needed to elicit any behavior?
What is a stimulus?
any change in an animal's internal or external environment
What is behaviorism?
a branch of psychology
stresses importance of learning behavior
What is ethology?
study of animal behavior in the wild
What are the 2 expressions of behavior? Which one do we have more control over?
genetics and envirnoment
What is the physiology behind animal behavior?
animal's receptors must be sensitive to the stimulus and it must exceed the animals threshold
What are the different receptors that affect behavior?
Describe the route through the body that the animal picks up the stimuli.
receptor picks up stimulus
impluse is sent to CNS
info is integrated in the cerebrum
impulses from the cerebrum to the hypothalamus or muscles
a behavior is then seen
What are neurotransmitters?
chemicals which carry impulses fromo neuron to neuron within the CNS
What are the different types of neurotransmitters?
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
How does the endocrine system affect animal behavior?
involved in sustained, cyclical behaviors, moods, and attitudes
Describe the physiology of how the endocrine system affects an animals behavior.
Hypothalamus is part of both CNS and endocrine systems
sends impulse to pituitary gland (hypophysis)
trophic hormones from pituitary gland go to the adrenal, testes, and ovaries
What are different types of communication animals exhibit for their behavior?
olfactory cues (odor)
What are some visual cues animals give us to warn us about their behavior?
marks in environment (urine)
How may animals exhibit pain?
lack of grooming
eating less or not at all
What are pheromones?
odiferous chemicals that animals release into the environment
What is reproductive behavior regulated by?
What types of reproductive behavior does the endocrine system regulate?
What are the two types of ovulation?
What is parturition?
the act of giving birth
What are the three stages of parturition?
passage of the fetus
expulsion of the placenta
What are the two types of neonatal behaviors?
What is an altricial young?
born very immature and depends on the mother for everything (example: dog)
What is a precocial young?
more mobile and can walk and move around (example: horse)
What is imprinting?
when babies learn what kind of animal it is and how to act
How does stress on a neonate benefit its development?
speeds up the development of the CNS
What is a wild animals concept of space?
: area where they travel, hunt, and search for water
: animal will defend and mark
: how close an animal will allow a human to come before running away
: how close an animal will allow a human to come before attacking
What are the different types of stressors in an environment?
physical and psychological
the effect of physical, physiologic, or emotional factors that induce an alteration in the animals homeostasis of adaptive state
Which body systems help an animal adapt to stress?
CNS and endocrine
Which nervous system is affected by acute stress?
sympathetic nervous system
What is an alarm reaction?
What can chronic stimulation cause?
exhaustion and problems
What is chronic stimulation?
continually exposed to the same stress
What mediates the reaction to stress in the body?
What levels in the body will increase if an animals is stressed?
What is released in the body due to chronic stimulation?
ACTH - releasing factors stimulates the pituitary and ACTH is released
What are some examples of chronic stressors?
lack of stimulation
barriers to normal behavior
unable to escape fearful stimulus
What is stress syndrome?
cortisol normally allows an animal to adapt to stress
over stimulation causes exhaustion which leads to disease, death, and behavioral effects
What are some different types of behaviors animals exhibit due to being stressed?
psychogenic problems (vomiting and diarrhea)
escape and/or running away
sterotypies - nonfunctional repetitive behaviors (pacing)
What are some signs of stress in dogs?
loss of appetite
What are some signs of stress in cats?
listlessness (not doing anything)
What is biophilia?
people need to be in contact with nature and animals in order to reach their optimal potential
What medical benefits do animals give people?
increased survival after a heart attack
decreased recurrence of coronary disease, BP, stress, medical visits, anxiety, pre/post op, analgesic use in hospital
What are the pyschological benefits do people with pets have?
reduce feelings of loneliness
eases times of stressful transitions
increases feelings of comfor, happiness, security, and self worth
contributes to sense of well being
What social benefits do pets provide their owners?
provides social support and identity
offers extended social networks and social interactions
source of recreation
What effects do human contact have on animals?
research on many species
effects positive if socialized, young, and gentle
What are some physiological effects do humans have on neonates?
increased CNS development
increased weight loss
improved immune response
more resistant to stress
What are some effects animals especially cows have when interacting with people?
increased milk yield
increased reproductive success
decreased pain and fear reactions
slows signs seen with aging
What are some health effects do animals have who interact with people?
decreased post-surgical mortality
decreased severity of atherosclerotic lesions (chicken)
decreased death and pericarditis due to E coli (pig)
What factors influence of the effects of contact with the animal?
quality and type of contact
What must the quality and type of contact be in order for their to be a positive result?
negative effects if the contact is rough
What happens if an animal is not socialized?
will see fear and aggression
How do we implicate positive contact in practice?
gentle contact before, during, and after illness, injury and surgery