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7.2.4 Monitoring

Monitoring refers to the situation where an animal is observed for a period of time without necessarily initiating any other treatment. If there is little improvement or deterioration in signs, then intervention should be considered (treatment, salvage slaughter or euthanasia). If the animal shows improvement or spontaneous resolution of signs of illness, then routine care may be resumed.

Monitoring is an option for animals with mild sickness or injury below the threshold of symptoms where intervention is considered necessary. It may also be appropriate for cases for which restraint may cause undesirable levels of stress. If the animal deteriorates or fails to improve then intervention of some sort should be considered using information outlined in the previous sections of this chapter.

Key considerations supporting a decisikon to monitor an animal include:

  • Pain and distress are below the threshold for intervention.
  • Resources are available for monitoring.
  • Treatment may do more harm than good in terms of stress on the animal.
  • Disease will not worsen or spread to other animals.