Doggy doc off to learn new tricks

DO DOGS feel guilt? Why do some dogs eat grass? Do dogs prefer one toy to another?

These are just some of the questions that will be answered by animal behaviourist Dr Gaille Perry at the annual Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) conference in Darwin next week.

The conference is expected to attract hundreds of vets from across Australia, including Booval veterinarian surgeon Andrea Schafer-White.

Dr Schaffer-White said she had not been to the annual conference before and was looking forward to gaining more knowledge of clinical practice and drugs.

“There is a lot to be learnt from such a conference,” she said.

“The veterinary industry is always evolving and we cover such a diverse range of medicine so it's essential to keep up-to-date of the latest trends.

“I love interacting with patients and clients, but surgery is my real passion.

“I hope to gain valuable improvements to my skills as a surgeon because no two days are ever the same.”

Dr Perry said people saw their animals as a big part of their families and their lives, so there was a quest for more information about animal behaviour particularly in dogs.

“Fortunately there is a large amount of research (being conducted) across the world to gain a better understanding of why animals respond the way they do,” Dr Perry said.

“There are also studies going on to better understand dog body language which is an important development as we have little formal research in this area.

“In light of the benefits (humans get from) owning a pet, finding out all we can about their behaviour... is important to enhancing our relationships with them.”

Dr Schaffer-White moved to Ipswich 10 years ago and works with eight other vets in the Booval practice.

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