Sarah Heath

  • Webinar starts at 8:00 pm on Tue 6th June, 2017
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In order to offer an effective behavioural medicine service within general practice it is important to be able to accurately assess the emotional health of patients. In order to do this veterinary staff need to be able to understand the behavioural, postural and facial signals that are used by different species to convey information about their emotional state and level of emotional arousal. One of the common responses to discussion about emotional health in animals is to state that “they cannot tell us how they are feeling”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dogs and cats express their emotional motivations very clearly but using communication channels that humans are notoriously bad at noticing and understanding. Learning more about species specific communication is the key to accurately assessing emotional health.

Sarah qualified from Bristol University and spent four years in mixed general practice before setting up Behavioural Referrals Veterinary Practice in 1992. She is an RCVS and European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine. Sarah is an External Lecturer in small animal behavioural medicine at Liverpool University and a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist under the ASAB accreditation scheme. She sees clinical cases across North West England. In 2002 Sarah became a Founding Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (formerly the ECVBM-CA) and served as President from 2002 to 2008. She is currently Treasurer of the College. Sarah has a special interest in the interplay between behaviour and physical illness in dogs and cats and particularly in the role of pain. Sarah promotes the recognition of emotional health issues in companion animals and the role of the veterinary profession in safeguarding the welfare of animals in this context. She lectures extensively at home and abroad on behavioural topics and is an author, co-author and editor of several books including Behavioural Medicine for Small Animals and Feline Behavioural Health and Welfare, both published by Elsevier.

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