Minimizing Stress to Avian Patients During the Veterinary Visit

Save the Date

Save the Date for a free, interactive, R.A.C.E.-approved continuing education webinar

Presenter: Alicia McLaughlin, DVM

Date: Sunday, July 14, 2019

Time: 3 pm EDT (New York); What time is that in my time zone?

Registration opens June 13.

Lecture outline

Lecture topics will include:

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  • Why is it important to minimize stress associated with veterinary visits?
    • Fear is damaging to patients.
    • Fear is damaging to client-patient and client-veterinary relationships.
    • Clients are beginning to change their expectations of the veterinary visit.
    • Minimizing fear improves the quality of medicine provided.
  • Challenges that must be overcome include:
    • Underlying concurrent disease
    • Minimal prior training, poor socialization, and frightening past experiences
    • Owner cooperation (success is significantly influenced by client buy-in)
  • Practical tips for clinical implementation
    • Hospital design
    • Staff training
    • Client training
    • Working with patients in a a clinical setting
      • Training in the exam room or hospital
      • Working with the untrained, frightened parrot
      • Rethinking the use of force
      • When to reach for sedation
        • Avian fatigue assessment score
        • Sedation protocols
        • Client communication
      • Use of wellness plans to improve compliance
    • The future of avian medicine


The impact of stress on physiologic and psychologic health is increasingly well known.  Many veterinarians strive to reduce stress during hospital visits for both their patients and clients in an attempt to minimize the harmful effects of stress.  Minimizing stress is more challenging to accomplish in avian patients compared to domestic species due to a variety of factors, including: frequent poor socialization, insufficient prior training, neophobic tendencies, aversive past experiences, and lack of routine veterinary care.  The pet owner, veterinarian, and veterinary staff all play different roles in either exacerbating or relieving patient stress during the hospital visit.  Sensitivity to avian body language, a clear understanding of behavior science, skillful use of desensitization and counterconditioning techniques, use of the minimal amount of force or restraint necessary to accomplish procedures, and use of conscious sedation as a management technique sooner rather than later can significantly improve the patient experience.

This webinar will provide a brief overview of concepts important to the Avian Fear Free™ veterinary visit, along with a number of practical case studies. A set of Fear Free ™ modules focusing on avian patients is currently in production and will be available as a hospital resource by the end of next year.  Interested practitioners can visit for more information on the Fear Free™ veterinary educational programs.


About the presenter

Alicia McLaughlin received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State University. She completed a veterinary internship in exotic animal medicine at the Center for Bird & Exotic Animal Medicine in Bothell, WA and is now an associate veterinarian at this practice. Dr. McLaughlin has been involved in veterinary research and leadership throughout her career, and has authored or co-authored articles in both professional journals and national conference proceedings. Dr. McLaughlin is passionate about providing low stress veterinary visits for all of her patients.  She is a certified Fear Free™ veterinarian, and is spearheading the development of an avian-focused Fear Free™ course. [MORE]


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Webinar FAQ

How do I enter the “webinar room”?

After registration opens in June, you will receive a confirmation email from LafeberVet. To access the webinar on July 14, simply select the URL.

When entering the webinar “room” on July 14, you will be prompted to download webinar service software. This software can be downloaded immediately before the webinar or right now to ensure a pleasant, viewing button

Do I need special equipment to view and listen to a webinar?
All you need is a computer (or similar device) with an internet connection. Provided your computer has speakers (can you listen to music?) you will be able to view and listen to the webinar.

What web browsers are recommended?
Recommended browsers include Internet Explorer 8 or greater, Mozilla Firefox 3 or greater, Google Chrome or Safari 4 or later. Adobe® Flash® Player 11.3 or later must be installed.

What if I’d like to view the course on a mobile device?
Apps for viewing the webinar are available for Apple devices and Android devices.

Will I be able to ask questions?
If you attend the live webinar, you will be able to ask questions by typing into a chat box on the webinar screen. The speaker will read out and answer as many of the questions as possible.

What happens if I miss the live webinar?
The webinar will be recorded, and the recorded version will be available for viewing within 3 business days of the live presentation.

Additional questions or concerns?
Please contact LafeberVet at

RACE approval

This interactive program 776-36829 is approved by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) Registry of Continuing Education (R.A.C.E.) to offer a total of 1.00 CE credits to any one veterinarian and/or 1.00 veterinary technician CE credit. This RACE approval is for Category Two: Non-Scientific Clinical using the delivery method of Interactive-Distance. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board’s CE requirements. RACE does not “accredit” or “endorse” or “certify” any program or person, nor does RACE approval validate the content of the program.