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Fredriksson, Elin, 2023. Veterinärers och veterinärstudenters syn på funktionshindrade sällskapsdjurs välfärd. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



Film clips of disabled companion animals have increased in the media. Many people tell stories via the films about how the animals were rescued from suffering and abandonment or how they made wheelchairs for the animals so that they could move and feel good. The behavioral needs of animals are something that the general public often do not have much knowledge about. Pet owners often turn to veterinarians when they have questions about the health and welfare of their animals. However, there is a lack in veterinary education about behavior in particular, which can lead to misjudgement by veterinarians. The purpose of this study was to investigate what veterinarians and veterinary students think about the welfare of disabled companion animals and how they assess the welfare of these animals. This study also investigated what they thought about the content of animal welfare and animal welfare legislation in the education. Four veterinarians and four veterinary students were interviewed in this study.
The results show that there is no great difference between veterinarians' and veterinary students' thoughts and assessment of the welfare of disabled companion animals. The most common concerns veterinarians and veterinary students have about the welfare of disabled companion animals is each individual's ability to adapt to the disability and its behavioral needs. However, it is not possible to conclude what the majority of Sweden's working veterinarians think about the welfare of disabled companion animals or what they base their assessment of these animals' welfare on, as there was a small number of veterinarians who were interviewed in the study.
In the past, veterinarians have been more focused on physical health in the assessment of welfare, but the results in this bachelor's thesis indicate that it is now a combination of the animal's physical and mental health, as well as the individual's expected adaptation and suitability to the disability. There also seems to be a growing interest in the natural behaviors of animals among future veterinarians. The results of this study indicate that veterinary education in Sweden has developed with the content of animal welfare in recent decades, however there is still a need to improve the content of animal behaviour and animal welfare in the education. While in other countries there are still deficiencies with these subjects in veterinary education. Considering the lack of behavior in education, it could be beneficial for veterinarians to collaborate more with ethologists, who have more knowledge of animal behavior, when assessing animal welfare.
More research is needed on the welfare of disabled companion animals as well as further research with a larger number of veterinarians to determine if there are large differences between veterinarians' assessment of the welfare of disabled companion animals and how the welfare of these animals is affected by disability. This study is a beginning to understanding about the increasing problem of disabled companion animals in society.

Main title:Veterinärers och veterinärstudenters syn på funktionshindrade sällskapsdjurs välfärd
Authors:Fredriksson, Elin
Supervisor:Yngvesson, Jenny and Johansson, Johanna
Examiner:Andersson, Maria
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK005 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme, 180.0hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:funktionshindrade sällskapsdjur, djurvälfärd, amputation, veterinärer, naturligt beteende
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Deposited On:05 Jul 2023 10:44
Metadata Last Modified:06 Jul 2023 01:03

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