At Brook Farm Veterinary Center we've modified our procedures, handling, and facilities to help your pet feel safe and comfortable while receiving care.
Our staff receives regular training on Fear Free® techniques and handling in order to ensure that we evolve as new research develops. We also create a relaxing environment by using calming colors and soft lighting wherever possible. Our team is fully trained to care for animals in the most fearless way possible, because we know that many animals fear going to the vet and we want to do anything we can to change that.
We use a gentle touch. We may initially avoid eye contact with your pet and focus on you instead in order to avoid intimidation. During your pet's exam, we may use gentle pressure to soothe your pet by using a towel or compression garment.
We have pet appeasing pheromones on site. Scentless pheromones are used throughout the entire practice in order to help pets feel safe and secure when encountering potentially stressful situations. These pheromones promote a sense of safety for pets by synthetically mimicking the scent their mothers emitted at birth.
What is Fear Free®?
Fear Free provides our team with online and in-person education. Their courses are developed and written by the most respected veterinary and pet experts in the world. These experts include, boarded veterinary behaviorists, boarded veterinary anesthesiologists, pain experts, boarded veterinary internists, veterinary technicians (behavior), experts in shelter medicine, animal training, grooming, boarding and more.
Fear Free has become one of the most transformative initiatives in the history of companion animal practice, providing continuing education about emotional wellbeing, enrichment and the reduction of fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) in pets.
Why we choose to be Fear Free?
Fear Free veterinary visits eliminate fear, anxiety, and stress and create an experience that is better and safer for all involved, including pets, owners, and veterinary healthcare teams. We want your pet to get excited to come and see us, verses being fearful, anxious and afraid so we’ll do everything we can to make that happen.
What is stress?
Stress caused by events that disrupt the body’s normal function
- Not necessarily maladaptive if body quickly returns to a normal baseline state
- Ongoing fear, anxiety and stress is detrimental to the patient’s health and well-being.
- How do we measure FAS (Fear, Anxiety and Stress)?
Level 1: Patient slightly stressed but quickly return to baseline with treats, gentle control
Level 2-3: Patients take longer to return to baseline and return is severely delayed without good recognition of increasing FAS and utilization of considerate approach and gentle control.
Level 4-5: Patients are severely stressed, likely to use aggression, and have compromised health and well-being. This can happen quickly and should be given immediate attention. Want to use Fear Free to avoid this.
We always use a considerate approach and gentle control.
- Considerate Approach (CA) encompasses the interaction between the veterinary team and the patient and inputs from the environment when veterinary care is being administered.
- Environmental inputs include those from the patients themselves, the physical environment, the client, and the veterinary team that may create FAS in the patientes
- Gentle Control (GC) is how the veterinary team comfortably and safely positions the patient to allow the administration of veterinary care.
Stressors - something that causes a state of strain or tension.
- Environmental: humidity, odor, noise, pheromones
- Physiological: unfamiliar people and pets, separation from owner
- Psychosocial: unfamiliar people and pets, separation from owner
As you can see there are a wide variety of stressors that our pets can experience and it’s important as a pet parent to understand your pet’s body language when they’re experiencing FAS.
- Stress response: physiological and behavioral responses that attempt to return the body to normal state of functioning
- Causes include actual or perceived threats or physical trauma
- Immediate signs are caused by the sympathetic nervous system
- Delayed stress response is caused by cortisol, a hormone from the adrenal glands
- Body Systems” Immediate Stress Response
- Increased heart rate
- Increased respiratory rate
- Blood shunted to musculature
- Memory consolidation/retrieval
- Decreased rational through
- Decreased pain perception
Should you question if your pet is experiencing signs of fear, anxiety or stress, give us a call at (845) 878-4833 and we’ll schedule you an appointment with our licensed veterinarians or veterinary technicians to discuss your options and help alleviate your pet’s symptoms.