CVMA | Patient Behaviour

Patient Behaviour

  • Behaviours that may be seen in abused animals
    • Dogs
      • Depression
      • Dullness
      • Timid with owner
    • Cats
      • Distressed
      • Fearful
  • Behaviours that may place animals at greater risk of abuse
    • The need for constant supervision
    • Urination and defecation in the house
    • Chronic illnesses that result in diarrhea and/or vomiting or significant financial burdens
    • Resistant, disobedient, noisy or destructive behavior
    • Aggressive behavior, especially dominance
  • Behaviours that may indicate abuse in children, and may have parallels in animals.
    • Fearful behaviour
    • Panic attacks
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Difficulty in training
    • Sudden changes in behaviour, such as:
      • Overly compliant (submissive behaviour)
      • Extremely demanding (attention-seeking behaviour)
      • Extreme passivity (learned helplessness)
      • Aggression (lack of impulse control)
  • Patient demographics
    • Non-accidental injuries appear to be more common in some populations, which may be related to difficulty in managing behaviours in these animals.
      • Young animals, usually less than 2 years of age
      • Male dogs
      • Breeds such as Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Staffordshire terriers

For more information please see Seksel,K The behavioural manifestations of cruelty/abuse