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Desensitization and Counterconditioning - When and How?

  • Title: Desensitization and Counterconditioning - When and How?
  • Description:
    Vet Clin of No Amer: Sm Anim Pract - 2018 - Vol 48(3), pp 433-442. Author: Sabrina Poggiagliolmi

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  • Category: Behavior

  • Abstract / Overview:

    Dogs and cats can present to a veterinary hospital because they manifest anxieties, fears, and phobias.

    These conditions can be so severe to negatively affect the patient’s quality of life and the human-animal bond because some patients can become aggressive, destructive, and vocal and even hurt themselves.

    The clinician has several available tools to help the affected patient; the most implemented tools in veterinary behavioral medicine are systematic desensitization and counterconditioning.

    The goal of any desensitization and counterconditioning plan should be to make patients less or not reactive toward one or more specific triggers by learning new and more acceptable responses in their presence.