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Veterinary drug therapies used for undesirable behaviours in UK dogs under primary veterinary care

Pegram, Camilla; Craven, Annabel; Packer, Rowena; Jarvis, Susan; McGreevy, Paul; Warnes, Caroline; Church, David; Brodbelt, David; O'Neill, Dan

Authors

Camilla Pegram

Annabel Craven

Rowena Packer

Susan Jarvis

Paul McGreevy

Caroline Warnes

David Church

David Brodbelt

Dan O'Neill



Abstract

Undesirable behaviours (UBs) in dogs are common and important issues with serious potential welfare consequences for both the dogs and their owners. This study aimed to investigate the usage of drug therapy for UBs in dogs and assess demographic risk factors for drug-prescribed UBs within the dog population under primary-care veterinary care in the UK in 2013. Dogs receiving drug therapy for UB were identified through the retrospective analysis of anonymised electronic patient records in VetCompass™. Risk factor analysis used multivariable logistic regression modelling. The study population comprised 103,597 dogs under veterinary care in the UK during 2013. There were 413 drug-prescribed UBs recorded among 404 dogs. The prevalence of dogs with at least one UB event treated with a drug in 2013 was 0.4%. Multivariable modelling identified 3 breeds with increased odds of drug-prescribed UB compared with crossbred dogs: Toy Poodle (OR 2.75), Tibetan Terrier (OR 2.68) and Shih-tzu (OR 1.95). Increasing age was associated with increased odds of drug-prescribed UB, with dogs ≥ 12 years showing 3.1 times the odds compared with dogs < 3 years. Neutered males (OR 1.82) and entire males (OR 1.50) had increased odds compared with entire females. The relatively low prevalence of dogs with at least one UB event that was treated with a drug in 2013 could suggest that opportunities for useful psychopharmaceutical intervention in UBs may be being missed in first opinion veterinary practice. While bodyweight was not a significant factor, the 3 individual breeds at higher odds of an UB treated with a behaviour modifying drug all have a relatively low average bodyweight. The current results also support previous research of a male predisposition to UBs and it is possible that this higher risk resulted in the increased likelihood of being prescribed a behaviour modifying drug, regardless of neuter status.

Citation

Pegram, C., Craven, A., Packer, R., Jarvis, S., McGreevy, P., Warnes, C., …O'Neill, D. (in press). Veterinary drug therapies used for undesirable behaviours in UK dogs under primary veterinary care. PLoS ONE, 17, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0261139

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 1, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 12, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 15, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 24, 2022
Journal PLOS ONE
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0261139
Public URL https://rvc-repository.worktribe.com/output/1548420
Publisher URL https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0261139

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