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Animal Behaviour > Fear and Anxiety > Flashcards

Flashcards in Fear and Anxiety Deck (36):
1

Is fear and anxiety normal?

can be normal and adaptive, can be abnormal and maladaptive

2

Which part of the brain responds to fear? What system is this part of?

Amygdala in limbic system

3

What are the 3 components of the fear response?

Behavioural, neurological, hormonal

4

What is the purpose of the normal fear response? What properties identify a normal response?

Occours in réponse to an identifiable stimulus perceived as a threat
Animal focusses on stimulus, fear espouse is directed towards it
Stops when stimulus removed
In proportion to the degree of threat posed

5

What is a phobia?

Excessive response to a fear stimulus or response to a non-fearful stimulus
May persist after stimulus has been removed
Limits normal behaviour

6

What defines anxiety?

Animal anticipates something scary, no stimulus present at the time
May be associated wit ha specific fear eg. anxiety in the dark if scared of fireworks

7

What are the physical signs of the fear response?

Panting
Salivation
Dilated pupils
Whale eye
Urination/Defecation
Anorexia
Piloerection

8

What postural changes may be seen in a fearful dog?

Crouched, ears lowered, tail lowered

9

What postural changes may be seen in a fearful cat?

Crouched/flattened
Ears flattened
Paws and tail tucked in
If unable to escape -> piloerection

10

What fear related behaviours are specifically seen in dogs?

Freeze/hide/flee
Fight - defensive aggression
Appeasement behaviours
Displacement behaviours eg. digging/licking/scratching (illogical panic/stress behaviour)

11

What did Kendal Shephard make?

Ladder of aggression
- starts with licking/yawning -> biting

12

Who created the ladder of aggression?

Kendal Shephard

13

Which behaviour in dogs is often misinterpreted?

Rolling over to show belly - not belly rub!

14

Why might the ladder of aggression not fit real life situations?

If lesser signals have been ignored or told off may miss them out in future as they haven't helped in the past

15

What anxiety related behaviour may be seen?

Increased vigilance and scanning
Aimless wandering/pacing
Urine marking
Destruction/chewing
Change in grooming - Increase or decrease

16

What factors influence the fear response shown by an individual animal?

Stimulus
Genetics
Previous experience (socialisation period, environmental referencing)
Pain may stop normal response to fearful situation eg. escape -> aggression as a backup

17

How may stress in neonatal life impact stress responses later in life?

Low levels vHPA axis activation but higher levels ^HPA activation

18

What theories are important when understanding development of behaviour problems?

Learning theory
Habituation - not learning because response will reoccur if stimulus not encountered for a while
Sensitisation
Generalisation
Classical conditioning
Conditioned emotional response

19

What factors will decide whether an animal sensitises or habituates to a stimulus over time?

Stress levels
Predisposition
Medical issues eg. hyperthyroidism, deafness
Strength of initial stimulus
Fear/confidence of individuals

20

Give some causes of anxiety

Genes/personality
Medical problems eg. pain/hyperthyroidism/cognitive dysfunction
Chronic stress
Unpredictability eg. allowed to jump up when clean, not when muddy

21

What are common triggers of fear and anxiety related problems?

Loud noises
Strangers
Handled ar vets
Aggression to familiar people
Anxiety of other animals
Separation related stress

22

What forms of noise related fear problems can exist?

Fear
Anxiety
Phobia

23

How may animals respond to a noise if fearful? Which of these responses are good?

Hiding - good
Seeking comfort from owner - bad, ^risk of separation anxiety
Pacing panting whining
BARKING - not aggression, still fear
Panic - destruction or bolting

24

How should owners react to a noise stimulus?

Normally - don't comfort or tell off

25

How can noise related fears be treated in the short term?

Establish effective coping strategy eg. sound proofed hiding place, adaptil, encourage relaxation and chewing
Anxiolytic medication? eg. Diazepam

26

How can noise related fears be treated in the long term?

Desensitisation and counter conditioning to noises
Long term anxiolytic medication eg. SSRIs, TCAs

27

Do cats suffer noise related fear?

Yes but owners don't notice

28

How does aggression develop as a strategy?

Try and move away, then freeze, then show appeasement behaviour, then defensive aggression
If aggression is the only thing to work will repeat the behaviour

29

What is the best reinforcement in the world?

Relief from feeling fearful or anxious

30

What can fear and anxiety increase the likelihood of?

Dog feeling threatened and defensive when approached and handled
Showing and resource guarding behaviour

31

Why can aggression occur towards familiar people?

When an animal is in a situation where they feel threatened

32

What are the underlying causes if separation related problems?

- over attachment to one person (eg. Illness when young -> constant attention)
- inability to cope when no one at home
- fear of being left after scary event occurring when dog has been left alone
- punishment for destruction or toileting when owner returns home
- fear of confinement

33

What signs are shown of separation related distress in dogs and cats?

Dogs- vocalisation, destruction and escape, toileting, panting and pacing
Cats - inappropriate urination and marking
Over grooming - a form of self appeasement

34

What form of stress is common for cats?

Social stress - especially multicat households

35

What are the symptoms of social stress in cats?

Obesity, hiding, spraying tension and aggression, increased susceptibility to medical problems eg. FIC IBS asthma

36

What are the four steps to treating fear and anxiety problems?

1. Reduce exposure to scary stimulus
2. Teach alternative response eg. Settle relax, move away, hide
3. Desensitise and counter condition in controlled conditions
4. Medication in addition to behaviour modification