Clinical Ethology is a specialty within Veterinary Medicine that focuses on the investigation, prevention and treatment of behavioral problems that animals may present, as detailed by the Ethology Service of the Complutense University of Madrid (@unicomplutense).
Helping owners to solve problems that dogs, cats, birds or horses may present, among other animals, is the objective of this service, which also aims to collaborate in the attempt end animal abuse and neglect that, on occasion, may have its origin in abnormal behavior or not understood.
In which cases should you go to an ethologist?
The role of the ethologist remains poorly understood, despite the fact that the interest in understanding the behavior of animals is not new. Many scientists have focused their studies in this field, including the Austrian doctor Konrad lorenz, considered one of the fathers of Ethology. Today, many veterinarians are also ethologists, as well as other professionals who are dedicated to the dog training or training.
If we go into matter, this specialty is part of a first diagnosis, when a pet owner comes to seek help for a problem for which he cannot find a solution.
A cat that runs away in terror and hides when it sees someone it does not know or directly attacks; a dog that has a really bad time when there is a storm or if he hears firecrackers; a pet that suffers the unspeakable when we leave it alone at home; a dog that becomes scary due to its obvious aggressiveness at specific moments … These are just a few common reasons for consultation with an ethologist, who will have to study each case to find the reasons that trigger this behavior that makes coexistence with the pet difficult.
The ethologist may indicate the need for go to the vet because I suspected that there may be a undiagnosed disease after that behavior and the opposite can also happen, that is, it is the doctor who directs you to an ethologist when not finding a physical cause that justifies the animal’s attitude.
In consultation, after a complete study of the behavior and the manifestations that it causes, the ethologist will indicate the guidelines to follow, based on the learning principles, that they manage to modify the behavior. In many cases, it also usually indicates the need to go to a professional trainer that helps, in practice, to comply with the techniques and guidelines set.