Editor’s note: This article has been adapted from Canine Anxiety, published in the November 2013 issue of Clinician’s Brief.
Dogs and cats commonly exhibit anxiety and fearful behaviors that often manifest as separation anxiety, storm and noise phobias, or aggression.
A short-term stress response is healthy because the animal is alert and ready to take action, such as retreating from a stranger. However, prolonged stress, such as season-long storm phobias, can result in physical and emotional pathologic conditions and potentially shorten the patient’s lifespan.1
Chronic stress may manifest itself as immunosuppression that can lead to recurring infections, or altered blood flow that may lead to problems such as gastric ulcers.2,3