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Olby, Sara, 2017. Presence of behavioural problems in previously active dogs subjected to convalescence. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Clinical Sciences



Behavioural problems have previously been studied in several different species. Stereotypic behaviours, defined as abnormal repetitive behaviours have mostly been studied in captive wild animals while displaced behaviours, defined as misdirected normal behaviours, mostly have been studied in companion animals. Neither stereotypic behaviours nor displaced behaviours are wanted by owners and might also indicate a lower welfare of the individual performing the behaviour. Convalescence is defined as the time while a patient is recovering from an injury or illness. For dogs, convalescence is often related to a period of lowered activity and confined space. The aim of the study was to investigate the presence of behavioural problems in previously active dogs after the onset of convalescence. An online survey was conducted on Swedish dogs used to an active life by competing or training in agility and/or rally obedience. All dogs had experienced convalescence due to a musculoskeletal injury. A total of 75 dogs were used in the results. The results showed that presence of behavioural problems, both stereotypic and displaced behaviours, increased after the onset of convalescence. A majority of the owners did not believe they got the help they wished for from the veterinarian staff regarding how they could activate their dogs during convalescence. The results indicate that previously active dogs might alter their behaviour, by starting to display new behavioural problems, in order to cope with the new situation the convalescence implicates. The altered behaviours could indicate a lowered welfare during convalescence for dogs. Most dogs displaying behavioural problems were convalescent longer than three months, indicating that time might be an important factor. However, further studies are needed in order to verify these first results as well as to clarify if the results differ between dogs of different ages, with different activity levels and of different breeds.


Problembeteenden har tidigare studerats hos flera olika arter. Stereotypa beteenden, definierat som onormala repetitiva beteenden, har främst studerats hos vilda djur i fångenskap medan ”felplacerade beteenden”, definierat som missriktade normala beteenden, har främst studerats hos sällskapsdjur. Varken stereotypa beteenden eller felplacerade beteenden önskas av ägarna och kan även vara tecken på en lägre välfärd hos individen som uppvisar beteendet. Konvalescens är den tid som en patient återhämtar sig från skada eller sjukdom. Hos hundar innebär konvalescens ofta en period med lägre aktivitetsnivå och begränsade ytor. Syftet med studien var därför att undersöka om förekomsten av problembeteenden hos tidigare aktiva hundar förändras i och med konvalescens. En online undersökning genomfördes av svenska hundar som var aktiva inom agility och/eller rallylydnad och därmed vara vana vid en aktiv livsstil. Alla hundar hade genomgått en period av konvalescens orsakat av en skada i rörelseapparaten. Totalt 75 hundar inkluderades i resultatet. Resultatet visade att förekomsten av både stereotypa och felplacerade beteenden ökade i och med konvalescensen. Majoriteten av ägarna ansåg att de inte fick den hjälp de önskat från personalen inom djurhälsovården gällande hur de kunde aktivera sin hund under konvalescensen. Resultatet indikerar att tidigare aktiva hundar kan förändra sitt beteende, genom att visa nya problembeteenden, till följd av konvalescens för att hantera den nya situationen. Det förändrade beteendet i form av ökade problembeteenden, kan indikera på en minskad välfärd under konvalescens. De flesta hundar som uppvisade problembeteenden var konvalescenta längre än tre månader, vilket indikerar att tid kan vara en viktig faktor. Det krävs dock vidare studier för att säkerställa resultaten samt för att se om andra faktorer kan påverka resultaten så som hundens ålder, tidigare aktivitetsnivå och ras.

Main title:Presence of behavioural problems in previously active dogs subjected to convalescence
Authors:Olby, Sara
Supervisor:Bergh, Anna
Examiner:Olsén, Lena
Volume/Sequential designation:2017:22
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK003 Veterinary Nursing - Bachelor's programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
Keywords:dog, convalescence, stereotypic behaviour, behaviour problem, veterinary nursing
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Deposited On:16 Aug 2017 12:59
Metadata Last Modified:16 Aug 2017 12:59

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