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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

There is now a large body of research in veterinary behavioral medicine that is clinically relevant and could enrich patients’ and practitioners’ lives. Too often, however, this research is published in journals that may not be readily available to veterinarians in private practice. Four important topics in the area of veterinary behavioral medicine for which belief has not kept pace with the published data are the unmet need for behavioral medicine in veterinary practice, the veterinary experience as a contributor to fear and distress in dogs and cats, social signaling in dogs and the ongoing “dominance” debate, and punishment as an intervention to change behavior. The present article seeks to provide a critical overview of recent research that is shifting existing paradigms on these topics and should alter the way veterinarians observe and care for patients.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical features and outcome in dogs and cats with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—103 dogs and 23 cats.

Procedures—Records of patients with OCD were analyzed for clinical features, medication used, extent of behavior modification, and outcome.

Results—Most dogs affected with OCD had been obtained from breeders. Male dogs significantly outnumbered females (2:1). Female cats outnumbered male cats by 2:1 in a small sample. Most affected dogs lived in households with 2 or more humans and other dogs or cats, and had some formal training. Client compliance with behavior modification was high. A combination of behavior modification and medication resulted in a large decrease in intensity and frequency of OCD in most animals. Clomipramine was significantly more efficacious for treatment in dogs than was amitriptyline. Only 1 dog and 1 cat were euthanatized because of OCD during the study.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—OCD in dogs does not appear to be associated with lack of training, lack of household stimulation, or social confinement. In cats, OCD may be associated with environmental and social stress. Obsessive-compulsive disorder appears at the time of social maturity and may have sporadic and heritable forms. With appropriate treatment (consistent behavior modification and treatment with clomipramine), frequency and intensity of clinical signs in most dogs and cats may decrease by > 50%. Success appears to depend on client understanding and compliance and the reasonable expectation that OCD cannot be cured, but can be well controlled. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1445–1452)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association