Sarah Heath

  • Webinar recorded on Tue 25th April, 2017
  • 1 hours 14 mins
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Until recently the emotional health of patients has been largely overlooked in the veterinary context. However, one of the daily challenges in general practice is to deal with physical health issues which are influenced by emotional health and to consider medical differentials when presented with patients displaying behavioural clinical signs. Exclusion of medical factors is especially relevant when behavioural symptoms are sudden in onset, symptoms show an unexpected form of progression and there is a poor response to conventionally accepted forms of behavioural modification. Similarly, the potential for an underlying emotional component should not be ignored especially if physical disease is recurrent, patients show concurrent alterations in behavioural responses and there is a poor response to conventionally accepted forms of medical therapy. The interplay between physical and emotional health also needs to be considered when making medical and surgical decisions and considering treatment strategies.

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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