Archive | April, 2011

Stress in animals with ESL

24 Apr

This website has a list is of great signs of stress in animals.  In case that website goes away, here is the info in list form:


Signs of Stress in Companion Animals

Long term care (LTC) settings can be stressful places for animals as well as people at times. It is important for staff and residents to learn to recognize the signs of stress which may be exhibited by animals living in their facility. Failure to recognize stress signals can affect the long-term physical and mental well being of both the animals and humans in this environment. Please note that some of the signs listed below may also be caused by health-related problems. Consultation with a veterinarian may be advised.

Signs of Stress in Dogs
  • Panting and salivating
  • Pacing
  • Shedding
  • Diarrhea/ bowel movements
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Licking the lips
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Trembling
  • Shaking (as if the animal were shaking off water)
  • Yawning
  • Whining, excessive vocalizing
  • Nipping
  • Growling when approached to be handled
  • Sweaty paws(leaving sweaty paw prints on the floor)
  • Increased or decreased activity
  • Excessive scratching or licking repeatedly
  • ‘Spacing out’ by turning away or avoiding eye contact
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding behind the handler
  • Hiding under furniture or behind nursing station; refusing to interact with residents/staff or voyage beyond nursing station area
Signs of Stress in Birds
  • Depression
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Excessive activity
  • Feather picking
  • Increased pecking
  • Increased elimination
  • Inactivity or sluggishness
  • Lack of desire to socialize
  • Abnormal vocalization
  • Ruffled feathers
  • Sitting at the bottom of the cage, listlessness
Signs of Stress in Cats
  • Restlessness, distraction, agitation
  • Listlessness, unusual passivity
  • Defensive vocalizations
  • Excessive shedding
  • Dilated pupils
  • Biting
  • Inappropriate urination/defecation
  • Clinging
  • Hiding and refusing to interact with humans or other animals
Signs of Stress in Rabbits
  • Eyes enlarge and show whites
  • Body tenses with tail up
  • Ears laid back tightly
  • Growling or squeaking
  • Rabbit pushes hand away
  • Lack of vitality or interest
  • Flinches when touched
  • Breathing becomes rapid
  • Biting animals
Causes of Stress in Animals
  • Unusual noises
  • Unknown places
  • Confusing or inconsistent training or handling
  • People exhibiting strange or unusual behavior
  • Unpredictable or rough handling
  • Unusual odors
  • Being crowded by people or other animals
  • A resident or staff member being nervous or acting in a strange way from the animals perspective
  • Extreme indoor and outdoor temperatures
  • Housing or resting area in an inappropriate place, not able to get adequate rest as a result
  • Requiring the animal to be up and active 24 hours a day to match the staff shifts of facility
  • Too many animals (whether the same or a different species) within the same general area causing crowded territory issues (How many is too many? The animals will tell you!)
  • Inadequate exercise or mental stimulation
  • Inadequate diet for species
  • Humans ‘anthropomorphizing’ animal behavior thus causing behavior problems
  • Inappropriate or excessive feeding of animals
  • Visiting animals from outside the facility coming into their territory

“Embrace quietness”

2 Apr



“Cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Wait for attention and then your words will be charged with dynamite.”
~Elbert Hubbard



Stuffed eyeballs

2 Apr

So Brodhi has had this stuffed toy for probably over 4 years- it is a shaggy yellow ball with sewn on eyeballs- like a little monster. Luna has been getting more and more confident and starting to play with toys around the house. I got her very excited about this toy the other day and she ripped it’s eyeballs off.

I considered it a victory because she has been so contained with play and in that moment she just let it go in her play bliss. I wouldn’t mind buying some new toys either. So the eyeballs fly off and she keep playing the the shaggy ball. Brodhi comes over because he notices that all of a sudden we have a new toy in the house. I let him pick up the eyeballs and he plays with them softly and gently in the way that Brodhi does for probably 5-10 minutes.

I love both of them- they have very different personalities and they make me laugh every day. I threw away the eyeballs of course as they are not really a safe dog toy, but I did keep the ball.  Now it is just a shaggy faceless monster.

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