Issues with Animal Handling and Restraint in the Veterinary Setting

October 3, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Debbie Martin, LVT, VTS (Behavior), animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, co-owner of Team Education in Animal Behavior, discusses issues that come with handle and restraint of animals in the veterinary setting.

Debbie Martin, LVT, VTS (Behavior), animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, co-owner of Team Education in Animal Behavior, discusses issues that come with handle and restraint of animals in the veterinary setting.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Veterinarians encounter multiple issues with handle and restraint with dogs and cats, that’s primarily my focus, but with all species of animals, I think we see our challenges. One of those is that, I think that what we find is that the restraint itself creates more fear, anxiety, and stress in these patients, and we often use a little more restraint than is necessary because we’re worried about maybe the animal moving or getting out of position and not being able to perform our procedures. And so, when we over-restrain, just like if you went to the dentist and the dental hygienist had an extra person come in and actually hold you down in the chair while they cleaned your teeth, you could see how your blood pressure would increase pretty quickly, just because you have a loss of control. Understanding how our patients feel and having empathy for that is going to be really important so that we’re not using too much restraint in order to get some of the things done.”