Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
ABC OF SA RABIES TALK: Don’t forget to book your seat for our Talk on Rabies presented by Prof Andrew Leizewitz.
This talk is aimed at veterinarians, animal behaviour consultants, nurses, receptionists, dog trainers, animal welfare workers, shelter staff/volunteers, and kennel owners etc. in fact, anyone that comes into contact with animals. There are only 200 seats so act fast!
ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR CONSULTANTS OF SA
A TALK ON RABIES
How do you differentiate a rabid dog from one with a panic disorder, displaced aggression or claustrophobia?
What are your responsibilities picking up stray animals?
Once infected, humans are incurable! What you need to know will be in the presentation where questions can be asked.
PROFESSOR ANDREW LEISEWITZ
Qualified as a veterinarian at Onderstepoort in 1987
Attained Honours (1990) and Master degrees (1995) in Veterinary Medicine
Teach and Research emphasis on a small animal dermatology, immunology and infectious diseases
Published 23 scientific papers, authored several text book chapters and supervised 14 post-graduate students
Rated with the National Research Fund as a category C1 researcher
Based in Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases at Onderstepoort
DATE: Thursday 12th July 2012
VENUE: INDABA HOTEL and CONFERENCE CENTRE
TIME: 19:00 for 19:30
COST: R85 for ABC members
R100 for non-members
Refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP for catering purposes: Joanne Broom firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Cesar Millan: “The Dog Whisperer”
*Review submitted to National Geographic by A. Luescher, DVM, PhD Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
I reviewed the four preview-videotapes kindly submitted to me by National Geographic. I very much appreciate having gotten the opportunity to see these tapes before the program goes on the air. I will be happy to review any programs that deal with domestic animal behavior and training. I believe this is a responsibility of our profession.
I have been involved in continuing education for dog trainers for over 10 years, first through the “How Dogs Learn” program at the University of Guelph (Ontario Veterinary College) and then through the DOGS! Course at Purdue University. I therefore know very well where dog training stands today, and I must tell you that Millan’s techniques are outdated and unacceptable not only to the veterinary community, but also to dog trainers.
The first question regarding the above mentioned tapes I have is this:
The show repeatedly cautions the viewers not to attempt these techniques at home. What then is the purpose of this show? Is it an infomercial for Cesar Millan? I think we have to be realistic: people will try these techniques at home, much to the detriment of their pets.
Millan’s techniques are almost exclusively based on two techniques:
Flooding and positive punishment. In flooding, an animal is exposed to a fear (or aggression) evoking stimulus and prevented from leaving the situation, until it stops reacting. To take a human example: arachnophobia would be treated by locking a person into a closet, releasing hundreds of spiders into that closet, and keeping the door shut until the person stops reacting. The person might be cured by that, but also might be severely disturbed and would have gone through an excessive amount of stress. Flooding has therefore always been considered a risky and cruel method of treatment.
Positive punishment refers to applying an aversive stimulus or correction as a consequence of a behavior. There are many concerns about punishment aside from its unpleasantness. Punishment is entirely inappropriate for most types of aggression and for any behavior that involves anxiety. Punishment can suppress most behavior but does not resolve the underlying problem, i.e., the fear or anxiety. Even in cases where correctly applied punishment might be considered appropriate, many conditions have to be met that most dog owners can’t meet: The punishment has to be applied every time the behavior is displayed, within 12 second of the behavior, and at the correct intensity.
I would just like to point out three particularly disturbing episodes. In one, a Great Dane is dragged onto a slippery floor by a choke chain. Again, punishment and flooding is used. The dog was under extreme stress. The photographer did an excellent job at documenting the excessive drooling. In another sequence a Viszla is corrected for showing fear by inflicting pain. Would you hit your frightened child if it was afraid, say, of heights? The most disturbing sequence was the Entlebucher Mountain Dog with compulsive disorder that was “treated” with a prong collar. The dog’s behavior could be compared to stereotypic rocking in a child. The method Millan used to approach this problem would be like hitting this severely disturbed child each time it rocks. I bet you could suppress rocking behavior, but certainly no-one would suggest that that child was cured.
The last episode (compulsive disorder) is particularly unsettling because compulsive disorder is related to an imbalance in neurotransmitter levels or receptors, and is therefore unequivocally a medical condition. Would it be appropriate to treat obsessive compulsive disorder in people with punishment? Or have a layperson go around treating such patients?
Most of the theoretical explanations that Millan gives regarding causes of the behavior problems are wrong. Not one of these dogs had any issue with dominance. Not one of these dogs wanted to control their owners. What he was right about was that calmness and consistency are extremely important, but they don’t make the presented methods appropriate or justifiable.
The title “The Dog Whisperer” is particularly ironic. The title is of course taken from the horse whisperer. The training techniques of the horse whisperer are based on an understanding of equine behavior, and are non-confrontational and particularly gentle. Cesar Millan anything but “whispers”!
I think this series, if aired, would be a major embarrassment for National Geographic. It is not stimulating or thought-provoking, since none of the presented techniques are new. They are outdated and have long been abandoned by most responsible trainers, let alone behaviorists, as inappropriate and cruel. I very much hope National Geographic will pull the plug on this program.
My colleagues and I and innumerable leaders in the dog training community have worked now for decades to eliminate such cruel, ineffective (in terms of true cure) and inappropriate techniques. It would be a major blow for all our efforts if National Geographic portrayed these very techniques as the current standard in training and behavior modification. National Geographic would be in a difficult situation because they would promote an individual practicing veterinary medicine without a license (at least compulsive disorder is a medical condition, and the diagnosis of any behavior problem is considered practicing veterinary medicine in the model veterinary practice act). I also would not be surprised if the large national animal welfare organizations were to sue National Geographic for promoting cruelty to animals. I can guarantee to you that they would have the support of all professional organizations involved in dog behavior and training.
Friday, May 4, 2012
The Animal Behaviour Consultants
of Southern Africa (©®™)
Is proud to announce that we are hosting an exciting talk on
TRACKS AND TRACKING DOGS
Presented by Dr Hannes Strydom
DATE: 24th May 2012
VENUE: South African Guide Dogs Association
TIME: 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm
COST: Members R50:00
CONTACT:` Staci Lyons for Booking at.
Please confirm booking to assist us in planning for light refreshments.
Should you have a problem contacting staci you are welcome to give me
A shout on email@example.com
Friday, April 13, 2012
This article was stolen from a friends facebook page but it is indeed a very possible scenario!!!!
Friday, April 6, 2012
Behaviour & Learning Centre
ANNUAL X-COUNTRY / OBSTACLE EVENT
TO BE HELD ON 14/04/12
PLEASE INVITE ALL YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS!
THE COURSE IS SUITABLE FOR ALL DOGS OF ALL AGES: FROM BEGINNERS, TO ADVANCED DOGS. FROM PUPPIES TO THE GOLDEN OLDIES – ALL WILL HAVE FUN!
DATE: 14th April 2012
TIME: 9:00 AM for 9:30 AM
COST: R20 per dog
VENUE: Paws Abilities
Behaviour & Learning Centre
ON SALE: Refreshments, home baked doggie treats, and wholesome home baked biscuits, doggie toys & other fun stuff for both dogs and people.
All Well-Behaved, Social, (Non-aggressive)
Dogs that are Under Control are very Welcome!
NOTE! DOGS MUST BE KEPT ON LEASH AT ALL TIMES!
CONTACT LOUISE FOR MORE DETAILS firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile 082-890-0905 Consulting rooms (011) 969-6103
Or Leigh at 082-7064374 or Mandy at 082-495-2050
Friday, February 17, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The South African Veterinary Council policy on tail docking in Dogs
The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) is the statutory body that regulates the veterinary and Para-veterinary professions. The SAVC is empowered by the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act of 1982 to set and maintain professional standards for these professions. All veterinarians are obliged by law to register with Council in order to work as veterinarians. Council is committed to the promotion of health and well-being for all animals. The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA), on the other hand, is a professional organisation with voluntary membership. The SAVA is officially represented on the SAVC.
What is tail docking?
Tail docking is the amputation of a dog’s tail at varying lengths to suit the recommendations of a breed standard. Docking involves the amputation of the puppy’s tail with a scalpel. Sometimes rubber bands are used, although this method has never been used by veterinarians. The cut goes through the skin, cartilage and bone. This procedure is usually performed without any anaesthetic, or with a local anaesthetic, at three to five days of age. A small number of dogs are born naturally without a tail.
What does the SAVC say about tail docking?
The SAVC has decided that as of I June 2008 it will no longer condone routine tail docking of puppies by veterinarians.
The reasons for the decision are as follows:
Tail docking, even if performed with local anaesthesia, causes pain and stress to young puppies. Recent research in pain management indicates clearly that puppies, even at a few days of age, have a fully developed nervous system and a well-developed sense of pain. Sometimes, tail docking results in serious complications such as bleeding, infection and even the death of the puppy. There can also be complications later in life such as neuroma (nerve tumour) formation. One of the complications of the tail docking is that bitch licks out stitches in the act of anal stimulation for puppy defecation thus leaving an open wound which heals with a sensitive stump.
Tail docking does not provide any benefit to puppies. Traditionally, some breeders considered a docked tail necessary to fulfil the working functions of the dog. Today many working breeds are kept as house pets and only a small percentage are used for field work, which is a recreational activity for people and not an essential function. If dogs of breeds that are customarily docked are left with intact tails, they are not more likely to get tail injuries than dogs of other breeds. Dogs need their tails for balance and body language. If a procedure that causes pain has no immediate or future benefit for the animal and may lead to complications, it is unnecessary and should not be performed.
The history of tail docking of puppies:
The practice of tail docking started hundreds of years ago, when people were far more complacent about the welfare of animals than they are today. It became common in the Middle Ages in Britain and Western Europe. Many theories have been proposed for the beginning of the practice. This includes prevention of back injury, increasing the speed of the docked dog and prevention of tail damage due to fighting and also to prevent injury from thorny bushes. Hundreds of years ago a docked tail was an indication of a working dog for the purpose of tax rebates. Some breeds are born without tails or with a stumpy tail due to a genetic abnormality through artificial selection. Normal littermates of these breeds were usually docked to give the breed a uniform appearance. Today, there is no justifiable reason to dock a puppy’s tail.
How do vets feel about tail docking?
Many veterinarians reluctantly perform tail docking in order to ensure that the procedure is at least done by a veterinarian, and to minimise the pain and suffering caused to the pups. Some vets refuse to perform the procedure because of welfare reasons; and on personal principle, while there are some vets still willing to continue doing it. Most vets condemn the practice. Since vets have ceased to perform the procedure certain unscrupulous breeders dock using elastrator bands and knives or blades.
What the decision means
Veterinarians who perform tail docking, unless for justifiable medical reasons, will be liable for prosecution under the Animal Protection Act no 71 of 1962. Veterinarians found guilty under this act, will automatically be investigated for unprofessional conduct by the SAVC under the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act, 1982.
The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA), as the body primarily responsible with applying the tenets of the Animal Protection Act has in the past not enforced the relevant clause in the Act due to the fact that the SAVC has in the past “condoned” the performing of the procedure. This created a legal loophole that would have made successful prosecution of any person based on the Animal Protection Act unlikely to succeed.This has now changed with the SAVC decision. Although the SAVC decision only directly affects veterinarians, lay people who perform the procedure will now also be liable under the Animal Protection Act.
Why hasn’t the SAVC said anything about tail docking in sheep?
The SAVC has invited input from veterinarians on all procedures such as tail docking in other species, dehorning, declawing, removal of vocal chords and other similar procedures. Each of these has different risks and benefits, all of which will be carefully considered before the SAVC decides whether the procedure should be condoned or not. If the benefit of a procedure outweighs the risk to the animal, then it is in the animal’s best interest to have the procedure done. If the procedure provides no benefit or a very small benefit compared to the risks, then the procedure should not be performed. Tail docking in sheep is done for different reasons than in dogs, thus it cannot be judged on the same basis in different species.
How you can help
You can help the SAVC implement the decision by doing the following:
- Do not buy puppies without tails.
- Insist that the breeder from whom you buy your dogs does not dock tails.
- Encourage your dog club or organisation to stop advocating tail docking.
For more information, contact the SAVC at Tel: 27 (012) 342 1612 or email@example.com
The Australian Veterinary Association is acknowledged for use of material from their pamphlet on tail docking.