Once again March is pet awareness month. Pet anxiety has long been an issue for many owners with pets experiencing anxiety due to different triggers. Since lockdown even more pets have been seen to suffer anxiety related issues. Causes of pet anxiety can including separation, going to a new home, going to kennels/cattery, vet visits, changes in family unit (new pets, loss of companions, new baby) and noise related phobias, to note but a few. Pets can express anxiety through a number of presentations including: becoming withdrawn, yawning or lip smacking, showing defensive behaviour growling, barking and even biting or scratching in severe cases (which can be directed at other animals and/or humans), they may urinate and/or defecate inappropriately, show flight responses running away or digging which may observed as destructive behaviour.
For some pets the triggers for their anxiety may be clear but for others they may not. If you are concerned that your pet may be showing signs of anxiety then please call us at Holmer Veterinary Surgery for advice. Anxiety can be debilitating to the sufferer, with risk of injury to other animals and/or humans in some cases. For the more intense cases referral to a behavioural specialist to help better understand the individuals triggers and work on rehabilitation are likely to be needed. The drug company 'Ceva' has produced client information to help owners better understand pet anxiety in dogs and cats , including offering products which may help alleviate symptoms of pet anxiety, used either alone or as part of a more intense personalised therapy program.