Posted September 09, 2018 08:08:10 When a cat has a seizure or is in pain, it often does not show up for weeks, months or even years.
But some animals don’t have that option.
Animal design agency Animal Design Australia (ADAA) says there are more than 40,000 animals in Australia who have suffered a seizure, or a physical pain, because of an animal’s design.
Dr Simon Stolpe from ADAA said they were shocked by the number of seizures that were reported last year, and the fact that the number was still growing.
“We know that the overall number of animals that have suffered from a seizure in Australia has increased from almost 3,000 in 2015 to almost 8,000 last year,” he said.
“And that is due to more people going to hospitals because of the increase in the number, so it is a trend that is going on.”
Dr Stolpp said there were more than 400,000 pet owners who had suffered a severe seizure in the last 12 months.
“The number of pet owners that are suffering from a severe condition or who are suffering a seizure are all different.
There are so many variables that go into that,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“But the overall trend is that we are seeing more severe conditions in the home, which is why we need to be aware of that and take steps to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to reduce the likelihood of it happening.”
‘We have to work with the pet owner’ The ADAA believes the problem can be tackled with better training, socialisation and the adoption of more appropriate pet toys.
But the issue has received little attention from the public.
Dr Stelpe said that if a cat was a bit stressed, or it was having a seizure because of stress or because of pain, they would not be returned home.
“If they are having a good day and they are going through a good period of time, that cat will probably come back home and it’s a lot more likely that that cat would have been returned home than if it was a really, really distressed animal,” he explained.
Dr John Brown, CEO of the Australian Veterinary Medical Association, said the animal rescue movement needed to focus more on the welfare of animals and not only on saving the lives of pets.
“It’s really important to recognise that the majority of animals in our homes and in our community are really good dogs, cats, horses, ducks, geese, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks and they all need love and affection and a bit of affection from us,” he advised.
“They’re very good dogs and they’re very cute animals but we have to recognise the fact they need a bit more attention than we do, so they get a bit bit more love and they get treated.”
Mr Brown said people were also responsible for their own welfare.
“There’s a whole system that’s not going to be there if it’s not being seen, not being properly supported by the animal’s owner,” he added.
Animal design industry agrees the problem needs to be tackled more widely Source: Animal Design Association (ADAAA) / Al Jazeera Australia A pet owner is seen in this picture. “
That they’re not taking their pet to a vet that’s going to take their pet’s life, and that they’re getting the care they need and getting the attention that they need.”
Animal design industry agrees the problem needs to be tackled more widely Source: Animal Design Association (ADAAA) / Al Jazeera Australia A pet owner is seen in this picture.
The Australian Veterinary and Animal Hospital Association (AVAH) says it understands the importance of educating the public about animal welfare issues.
But it says the issue needs to move to the top of the agenda.
“While the current focus is on the owners, a lot of the time we’re not doing the right thing by the pet,” the AVAH’s head of veterinary care and welfare Dr John White said.
Dr White said that in order to reduce pet deaths, a number of measures needed to be introduced.
“What we need is an awareness campaign to get people to understand that this is a very serious issue and that it’s very important that they get involved,” he concluded.