The University of Edinburgh
Animal Welfare in the Clinic
The University of Edinburgh

Animal Welfare in the Clinic

Taught in English

1,552 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Hayley  Walters
Cathy Dwyer

Instructors: Hayley Walters

Intermediate level

Recommended experience

11 hours to complete
3 weeks at 3 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • Describe the theories and concepts of animal welfare and animal behaviour.

  • Explore different animal welfare approaches, techniques, and skills in different clinical areas.

  • Investigate how to implement good animal welfare practice in a clinical setting in relation to specific species.

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April 2024


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There are 4 modules in this course

In this first week, we look at animal welfare as a science, how we can use evidence to make objective measures to determine whether an animal is experiencing positive or negative welfare, and why it is so important in the veterinary clinic. We’ll also look at what constitutes normal cat, dog, and rabbit behaviour, what motivates canine aggression and what we can do if an owner reports aggressive behaviour in their dog.

What's included

17 videos4 readings2 assignments4 discussion prompts

This week we are examining what owners can do to help their animal companions better cope in the clinic BEFORE they arrive, what clinic staff can do to help reduce anxiety for the pet once they have entered the building, and we will define the terms ‘trigger stacking’ and ‘building a welfare bank account’. How to improve patient welfare and reduce stress in the waiting room and consulting room will also be explored this week by examining the latest scientific evidence, and we will also discuss the techniques and benefits of low stress handling, how to perform a low stress examination on a cat, dog, and rabbit, and how to handle a cat or dog that is behaving aggressively.

What's included

14 videos2 readings1 assignment3 discussion prompts

This week we are going to delve into what we can do to make the preparation room, also known as the treatment room, less worrying for our patients. We will discuss pre-emptive, multi-modal analgesia prior to going for surgery, and the difference between light anaesthesia and nociception. We’ll also consider what we can do to make the operating room, and the kennels or recovery area more welfare focussed, and the ways in which we can improve the clinic experience for the long-term inpatient.

What's included

8 videos3 readings1 assignment3 discussion prompts

This week we are talking about pain in rabbits, cats and dogs – how to recognise it, how to score it, how to treat it, and why, physiologically, treating acute pain is so vital. We’ll also study pain pathways, multimodal analgesia, the post operative advice we can give to owners to ensure good welfare continues when they take their animal home, and what owners can do to enrich the lives of their pets if they must be strictly rested for an extended period of time.

What's included

14 videos4 readings1 assignment4 discussion prompts


Hayley  Walters
The University of Edinburgh
3 Courses203,518 learners

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