Flashcards in Fear and Anxiety Deck (36):
Is fear and anxiety normal?
can be normal and adaptive, can be abnormal and maladaptive
Which part of the brain responds to fear? What system is this part of?
Amygdala in limbic system
What are the 3 components of the fear response?
Behavioural, neurological, hormonal
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
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
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
What are the physical signs of the fear response?
What postural changes may be seen in a fearful dog?
Crouched, ears lowered, tail lowered
What postural changes may be seen in a fearful cat?
Paws and tail tucked in
If unable to escape -> piloerection
What fear related behaviours are specifically seen in dogs?
Fight - defensive aggression
Displacement behaviours eg. digging/licking/scratching (illogical panic/stress behaviour)
What did Kendal Shephard make?
Ladder of aggression
- starts with licking/yawning -> biting
Who created the ladder of aggression?
Which behaviour in dogs is often misinterpreted?
Rolling over to show belly - not belly rub!
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
What anxiety related behaviour may be seen?
Increased vigilance and scanning
Change in grooming - Increase or decrease
What factors influence the fear response shown by an individual animal?
Previous experience (socialisation period, environmental referencing)
Pain may stop normal response to fearful situation eg. escape -> aggression as a backup
How may stress in neonatal life impact stress responses later in life?
Low levels vHPA axis activation but higher levels ^HPA activation
What theories are important when understanding development of behaviour problems?
Habituation - not learning because response will reoccur if stimulus not encountered for a while
Conditioned emotional response
What factors will decide whether an animal sensitises or habituates to a stimulus over time?
Medical issues eg. hyperthyroidism, deafness
Strength of initial stimulus
Fear/confidence of individuals
Give some causes of anxiety
Medical problems eg. pain/hyperthyroidism/cognitive dysfunction
Unpredictability eg. allowed to jump up when clean, not when muddy
What are common triggers of fear and anxiety related problems?
Handled ar vets
Aggression to familiar people
Anxiety of other animals
Separation related stress
What forms of noise related fear problems can exist?
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
How should owners react to a noise stimulus?
Normally - don't comfort or tell off
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
How can noise related fears be treated in the long term?
Desensitisation and counter conditioning to noises
Long term anxiolytic medication eg. SSRIs, TCAs
Do cats suffer noise related fear?
Yes but owners don't notice
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
What is the best reinforcement in the world?
Relief from feeling fearful or anxious
What can fear and anxiety increase the likelihood of?
Dog feeling threatened and defensive when approached and handled
Showing and resource guarding behaviour
Why can aggression occur towards familiar people?
When an animal is in a situation where they feel threatened
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
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
What form of stress is common for cats?
Social stress - especially multicat households
What are the symptoms of social stress in cats?
Obesity, hiding, spraying tension and aggression, increased susceptibility to medical problems eg. FIC IBS asthma