The interplay between pain and behaviour is a crucial topic within behavioural medicine. The individual nature of the pain sensation in relation to the emotional and cognitive aspects must be considered and the premise that “pain is always what the patient says it is” is as relevant to veterinary patients as it is to their human animal counterparts. In order to accurately detect pain in behavioural cases it is essential that the information that companion animals give about their emotional state is recognised and understood. An ability to read body language signals and to notice the, often subtle, changes in gait, muscle mass and coat is necessary in order to investigate the complex bilateral relationship between pain and behavioural expression.
- 1. Identify the potential roles of pain in behavioural presentations
- 2. Interpret behavioural signs which can be indicative of pain
- 3. Consider the importance of pain management in behavioural medicine
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