Puzzling Behavior Changes…. Could it Be Pain?

Instructor:  Dr. Jennifer K Rommel, DVM.  Faciliated by Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB and Dan Estep, Ph.D., CAAB
We’ve all seen dogs and cats displaying behaviors that are hard to understand.  The cat or dog that is suddenly fearful of people, places or events that were previously easily tolerated.   Dogs that suddenly refuse to go on walks or car rides they had previously loved.  Cats or dogs that are suddenly aggressive to other pets – or even people – in the family for no apparent reason.  Dogs that suddenly panic when left alone after years of tolerating their owners’ absences well. As trainers, behaviorists, behavior consultants, or even as pet owners, we tend to look at the behavioral consequences in order to understand the “why” of a behavior.  Mentally, we ask ourselves, what’s changed?  What’s different?

With any behavior change – and especially with those puzzling behaviors that seem so odd or out of character for the pet – we need to get in the habit of considering if the change could have it’s origins in pain.  It’s our job as behavior and training experts to be able to visually and physically recognize behaviors that are not normal or which could be related to pain. However, clinical observation goes hand-in-hand with taking a thorough history. Many owners are not aware of what information we would find helpful or important in solving their pet’s behavior puzzle. Clients become accustomed to their pet’s normal which to the new observer appears quite abnormal!

While some manifestations of pain are obvious – limping, whining or yelping when touched – others are not nearly so straightforward.  Unless we are veterinarians, we don’t know all the ways pain can manifest, nor do we know how to evaluate an animal to isolate and identify potential sources of pain.

That’s exactly why we’ve teamed with our friend and colleague Dr. Jen Rommel, a veterinarian with a behavior consulting practice in Stevensville MD to present this webinar course – “Puzzling Behavior Changes… Could it Be Pain?”

In this important course Dr. Rommel will share case histories of dogs and cats whose owners contacted her for help with their pets’ behavior, only to find that the underlying reason or a major contributing factor for the behavior(s) of concern was pain.   

From these examples, you’ll learn from Dr. Rommel what questions veterinarians ask and what “hands on” techniques they use to look for painful symptoms.  Just as important, you’ll discover what we as non-veterinarians should be on the look-out for that indicate further veterinary involvement is needed.

You’ll come away from this course better equipped to recognize when a pet’s behavior could stem from pain, so you can avoid wasting time with behavior modification techniques that are doomed to fail, and could put the pet’s well-being at risk.  What a win-win opportunity – don’t miss it!  

The course is completed and attendees have access to the replays below as well as references, pain scales and handouts for clients.

Did you miss this live course?  Here’s what some live attendees said:
“One of the best.  Dr. Jennifer was really easy to listen to. She broke down examples and had good case histories.” K. Haley

“Thorough.  My most important take away was to ask lots of questions about CHANGES in behavior and to observe closely.” L. Benshoff

“Excellent presentation. Thank you! Very useful! Loved the PPT. Also really got a lot out of the conversation-style presentation.”  C. Ashen-Young

“Nice overview of pain effects. My most important take home was the importance of detailed questioning of the owner regarding how the pet used to act (i.e. a year ago, month ago, etc) as compared to how it acts/behaves now – what has changed?” M. Kohler

“I learned a lot and am glad that I registered for it. Information was clearly presented and the case studies helped illustrate key points.” G. Rojas

As soon as you register you will have 1 week to complete the course.

This course has been approved for the following CEU credits;


CBCC-KSA Knowldege:1.25

You can earn CEUs by submitting emailed answers to questions asked by the instructors during the recorded class. We’ll provide the details once you register.

Still have questions about the course? Email us at info@animalbehaviorassociates.com

Registration Fee: $47.00 Register for the course using the Paypal button below

Course has been approved by CCPDT for the following continuing education credits 1.25 CEUs for behavior consultants

PLEASE NOTE: Pro members of our Behavior Education Network have access to this webinar at no charge, as part of their member benefits. Pro Members – log into BEN for access to this course. Not a BEN Member? Join TODAY!