Level Two: History taking, evaluation and implementation of a programme of treatment
The goal of Level Two is for the candidate to demonstrate an extensive understanding and knowledge of clinical animal behaviour and the treatment of behavioural disorders in animals and an ability to apply this knowledge to specific cases, through involvement in the collection of background information relating to the case history, and the explanation and implementation of common programmes of treatment within the overall treatment package recommended by the supervisor.
This goal is achieved through active participation in ongoing supervised consultations, with the candidate practically demonstrating an ability to collect initial background details relating to the case, to critically evaluate, devise and implement straightforward programmes of treatment that are likely to substantially contribute to addressing the behavioural disorders identified by the supervising clinical animal behaviourist (supervisor), to critically assess the effectiveness of the overall package of treatment, and to liaise with the client and other individuals involved in each case.
The candidate must also demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the diagnosis arrived at by the supervising clinical animal behaviourist and its appropriateness, with references to the information collected on the background to the case, the presenting signs and differentials. Areas where further information is desirable should be identified.
Specifically candidates must:
- Demonstrate an ability to extract relevant information about the background to the case and presenting signs from the client and other relevant individuals (1,3,5,6,8).
- Demonstrate appropriate action that is likely to address areas of concern or deficiency when basic information relevant to the identification and treatment of the behaviour is lacking (5,6,7).
- Critically evaluate the rationale behind the recommended treatment and how it addresses the problems identified (1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9).
- Demonstrate competency in the appropriate use of a range of behavioural modification techniques and training aids, including systematic desensitization, counter-conditioning and the use of clickers, etc (3,4,6,7).
- Demonstrate effective communication skills, both in the provision of initial advice to the client and subsequent liaisons with the client or veterinary surgeons involved in the case via letters and reports (5,6).
- Demonstrate an ability to effectively assess the understanding of clients and others involved in the case and to rectify areas of misunderstanding, confusion or concern (5,6).
- Demonstrate an ability to identify and set realistic goals and time scales for the assessment and successful delivery of an effective programme of treatment (5,6,8).
- Critically evaluate the role of chemo-therapeutic intervention in the treatment of the behavioural disorder, to include the role of nutrition, pharmacology, pheromones (2,4,6,8,7,9).
- Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and relevance of environmental factors and their manipulation in the treatment of behavioural disorders (1,2,3,4,8).
- Demonstrate appropriate judgment and an appreciation of the value of further referral (2,5,6,7,8).
- Identify any professional, ethical or other issues arising from the consultation and take the appropriate action necessary to address these (5,6,7,8).
- Identify relevant legal and safety issues that need to be considered before, during and after the consultation and ensure that these are appropriately addressed (2,5,7).
(NB Numbers after skills refer to the areas of related background knowledge, listed in the academic requirements, from which they draw)
Candidates will have to give both written reports and verbal feedback on the consultations in which they have participated, of which they are expected to have participated in, written up and had their performance and competency assessed over a minimum of 15 consultations. Of these, a maximum of 12 of these cases can be with any one supervisor.
Written reports should accurately reflect the key issues and areas addressed in the consultation and should be written up in the style of a short case history (click on link for an example) using the headings:
- Background (including owner perspectives),
- Presenting signs (i.e. a description of the various behaviours that the animal performs, and the context in which they are performed, that may be relevant to the case, and any relevant physiological factors),
- Differentials (i.e. evidence for and against different explanations of the behaviour),
- Behavioural diagnosis (i.e. the most likely cause, motivation and context of the behaviour),
- Goals (i.e. what any programme of behavioural modification should aim to achieve),
- Treatment Programme,
- Follow up.
Included in these reports should be references to the most relevant scientific and veterinary literature and any letters or reports written on the case by the candidate and sent to the client or referring veterinary surgeon. In addition, for each species for which competency is to be claimed, at least one consultation should be written in the style of a long case history and include extensive and comprehensive references to the literature.
Verification that the candidate has demonstrated the specific skills should be recorded by the supervisor on the relevant form (Supervised Experience Requirements: Level Two - History taking, evaluation and implementation of a programme of treatment), in the appropriate place.
Candidates should also seek to ensure that some of the consultations they participated in involved a team approach, which might have involved liaising with others such as a veterinary surgeon who has no special expertise in animal behaviour, an animal trainer, or a Chartered Psychologist.
Click the links to download:
- Form - for Level Two: History taking, evaluation and implementation of a programme of treatment (to be completed by supervisor)
- Examples of short case histories: (1) dog, (2) rabbit