Neurobiology of Grief

Sunday, August 13, 2023
11am to 12:30pm EDT (USA and Canada)


How can we support animals who grieve? Join us to explore this question and more. Grief is a complex emotion that can be experienced not only by humans but also by animals.
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The webinar is suitable for pet owners, veterinary professionals, animal trainers, animal behaviorists, pet guardians, and anyone with an interest in the neuroscience of training and behavior. 

In this Webinar: 

The neurobiology of grief in humans involves a range of neural circuits and neurotransmitters that are thought to be similar across mammalian species. Studies have shown that dogs can experience grief in response to the loss of a companion animal or human family member, and this grief can manifest in a range of behavioral changes such as decreased appetite, lethargy, and changes in sleep patterns. Additionally, recent research has suggested that dogs may be capable of displaying empathy towards their owners, indicating that they may be sensitive to emotional states and capable of experiencing emotional contagion. Join us for this webinar exploring grief in animals, what it is, what it isn’t and most importantly how we can support animals experiencing grief.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the neural circuits and neurotransmitters involved in the processing and regulation of grief.
  • Explore the behavioral changes that dogs and other animals may exhibit in response to grief, such as decreased appetite, lethargy, and changes in sleep patterns.
  • Analyze the potential factors that influence grief in dogs, such as individual differences in personality, attachment style, and coping strategies.
  • Investigate the relationship between empathy and grief in dogs, and how dogs may display emotional contagion in response to their owners' emotional states.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the emotional lives of dogs, including their capacity for grief and the impact of social context on their emotional well-being.


This is an online event. 

You will be able to view the webinar even if you cannot join us on the live event date. The recording will be available for viewing for up to 12 months. This webinar will be recorded and sent out within two weeks after the live event.

1.5 CEUs pending:
  • KPA
  • PPAB
  • IAABC
  • CPDT
  • RACE

Tuition:

  • General Admission Tickets – after July 31, 2023: $59
  • Early Bird Tickets – before July 31, 2023: $45
  • Shelter/Rescue/Vet Student/Vet Tech Tickets - no expiration date: 30% off general admission ticket (discount code is SDFWBV)


Discounts are available for groups of 5 or more - please contact [email protected] for more information.

Cancellation policy: No refunds


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Meet the instructor

Kathy Murphy BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS

Dr Kathy Murphy (BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS) is a veterinary surgeon and neuroscientist. She graduated from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK in 1999, initially working in mixed clinical practice before studying for two post graduate clinical qualifications with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, and Laboratory Animal Science.

In 2009 she was awarded a highly prestigious Welcome Trust Research Training Fellowship to study for her PhD, in Behavioral Neuroscience, at The Queens College, University of Oxford, UK. She subsequently worked in the USA as Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine NYC, where her research into the long term effects of anesthesia on learning and memory contributed to a change to the safety advice for the use of general anesthesia in children.

She moved back to the UK in 2013, to take up clinical-academic positions at the University of Oxford and subsequently Newcastle University, and concurrently completed a Residency in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia with the European College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, during which she became increasingly interested in how pain re-models the nervous system and this can manifest as behavioral problems in pets.

Alongside these positions Dr Murphy founded, and is now Director of, Barking Brains Ltd (a neuroscience outreach platform for the animal behavior and training community), which focuses on translating neuroscientific information into practical and useful information for people interested in animal behavior. In order to maximize the impact of her diverse interests and skill set, Dr Murphy teamed up with Behavior Vets in 2022 when she took up the position of Chief Scientific Officer.

She is now able to focus on her new found passion for science communication and providing evidence based, up to date, accessible, scientific information to clinicians, animal professionals and their clients, about subjects related to pain, behavior, neurobiology and the many interrelated factors.

In addition to Dr Murphy's primary career roles she was Trustee and Veterinary Advisor to the Rottweiler Welfare Association for 14 years; is co-founder of Ethics First (a collective which lobbies for ethical decision making in clinical practice); is an Oversight Committee Member for the UK Dog Behavior and Training Charter; a guest lecturer in Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of Edinburgh, UK; lectures internationally; sits on numerous National and International boards, working groups and ethical review panels; is an ad-hoc reviewer for neuroscience, veterinary medicine and anesthesia and pain journals; and continues to collaborate on research projects.

Dr Murphy lives in the UK with her husband Elliot (ret. Search and Rescue handler and now scentwork and mantrailing trainer) and their 4 dogs: Nancy a Rottweiler mix, Zebedee and Nela the German Shorthaired Pointers and Albi a Weimaraner.
Patrick Jones - Course author