There is a complex connection between behavioral medicine and systemic conditions, whose interactions are clearly established. These conditions include those that affect the urinary, dermatological, neurologic, and gastrointestinal systems. It is important for all practitioners of animal behavior to take some interest in overall health.
Pain and illness quite often contribute to anxiety, phobias, and aggression, as well as hyperactivity and cognitive dysfunction. Without properly identifying and addressing these concerns, behavior modification will be delayed or in some cases, ineffective. Behavioral medicine techniques such as management of crisis triggers, stress reduction therapies and specific relaxation- based activities could reduce stress and improve the mental health of dogs allowing them to have a reduction in signs of other illnesses. This lecture explores the relationship between pain, illness, and behavior as well as the parts of the brain that are involved in controlling the relationship.