Vet: The search for treatments for pet mental health grows in the shadow of the pandemic: Anxiety and stress | pet world

In addition to the onset of summer and the holidays, January, the first month of the year, is remembered in white – the so-called “White January” – chosen to warn of the campaign related to mental and emotional health issues of people and human institutions.

But it’s not just humans who need attention when it comes to mental health. As with teachers, a pet’s emotional needs are just as important as their physiological needs.

to me g 1Bauru (SP) veterinarian Philip Gonçalves, 37, who specializes in psychiatry and animal psychology, explained that pets, whether they are dogs or cats, have faced mental health-related moments since the pandemic began.

This is because many professionals have had to commit to working at home, known as the home office, due to the pandemic, which was released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020. Not only close to the family, teachers have strengthened their relationships with pets and increased the moments of coexistence and interaction that generated Depending on the pet.

However, with vaccination progressing and pandemic rules loosening, and the facts in cities across the state, it has been possible to gradually return to face-to-face action. As a result, many “four-legged friends” developed emotional needs with the breakup.

“Initially, pets were not accustomed to having a teacher inside the home, which created estrangement and dependency. From the second half of 2020, when the market has already started to come back with face-to-face work, teachers are back to their usual routine. This is where the The pet suffers from separation,” he says.

Vet Felipe Gonçalves reports a 60% increase in calls for animal mental health treatment since October 2020 – Photo: Felipe Gonçalves/Personal Archive

According to the vet, if sudden changes cause mood swings in humans as well, it couldn’t be any different. Therefore, Felipe has reported a 60% increase in office visits since October 2020. Among the major events, Felipe highlights stress and anxiety, disorders that can affect a pet’s health.

“I have enjoyed seeing dogs and cats with anxiety and stress. The teachers perceive by the manifestation of a change in behaviour, from the mildest, with instances of aggression, to the most extreme self-mutilation,” he comments.

Also, according to Felipe, 90% of teachers are not used to or do not know how to perceive a pet’s behavioral changes, a reference to mental health issues. This is because physical difficulties are seen more calmly.

“Mental changes are more subtle, so the teacher’s reading needs to be improved. It’s easy to tell if a young animal is limping or has a fever. Their communication is gestural, but very little auditory,” he says.

For teachers, Felipe recommends paying attention to such signs as excessive licking of the claws, sudden mood swings and aggressiveness.

“I already had a patient in the office who broke his paw, desperate to reach the teacher,” he said with a sigh.

Since it is a new discipline in the animal world, the vet points out that most teachers seek training, which sometimes does not address issues related to the animal’s psychological behavior.

With this in mind, the doctor devised a method that seeks to combine treatment, training techniques, and necessary medication. According to Felipe, this way the pet speeds up the discharge and maintains the bonds of the teacher and the pet together.

To ensure the pet’s mental health, Felipe stresses that teachers take an active role in the procedures. Therefore, walks, interactions, games, body massage, emotion and energy expenditure in general, provided to the dog or cat are essential.

“Dogs and cats are social animals by nature. So, contact with other species, humans or with nature itself is key to contributing to mental health. He concludes that an animal is not a stuffed animal, it has needs for well-being and relationship.”

* Under the supervision of Paula Patriarca

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