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Why are Veterinary Behavior Services Needed?

A large number of pets suffer from a variety of emotional and mental health issues such as compulsive disorders, fear aggression, and separation anxiety to name a few. The ability to accurately diagnose and create adequate treatment plans for our pets is severely lacking and many pets continue to suffer either undiagnosed or inadequately treated. 


What Should Your Expectations Be? 
There is no guarantee that your pet’s behavior will be cured or that it will become one hundred percent better, and it would be unethical for anyone to make such a bold statement in regards to behavior. The change in behavior towards a progressive path is the combination of the pet’s genetics, underlying disease management, change in the pet’s environment/home life, and your ability to implement all the recommendations. In general, the longer a pet performs a behavior, the more time it takes to make behavioral changes. 


Do I Work with a Trainer? 
Creating a behavior modification treatment plan for your pet is always a team approach. This often includes a trainer. However, do not hire a trainer to help you unless we have discussed the specific trainer together as a team. We want to ensure your investment in a trainer is with someone who understands and can help with behavior modification. The experience in years or with antiquated techniques does not translate to someone who can help you and your pet succeed and in many scenarios can make the situation much worse. We can help you find the right trainer that meets your pet’s needs. 


Are Progress Visits Necessary After the Initial Behavior Consult? 

  • Progress visit(s) are scheduled between 6 weeks and 3 months depending on the diagnosis and plan. 

  • Progress visit(s) are an additional cost and are typically 30-minute appointments.

  • The more check in’s or rechecks you have with the professionals you are working with, the greater the progress with your pet. Changing behavior takes a collaborative, patient, and dedicated approach. The initial behavioral assessment is just that, the initial assessment and start of a plan for your pet and yourself. We are unable to give you everything your pet may need for their mental health for the rest of their life in this initial assessment, so it is important to continue your rechecks for your pet’s health. 

  • If your pet was placed on medication, a recheck of lab work after the initial baseline lab work will be indicated within a time window indicated to be performed at your RDVM  to ensure your pet's tolerance. 


What Do I Bring to the Initial Behavior Consult? 

  • Consults are 1hr length. This may seem like a long time, but this is usually the start of addressing your pet’s needs. Please use this consultation to ask pertinent questions concerning your pet’s mental and physical health as well as any clarifying questions you need to be addressed. 

  • Please bring any training equipment that you use with your pet on a regular basis and discuss any equipment that is not currently in your possession that has been used in the past. 

  • Please bring a video exhibiting your pet’s behavior(s) of concern. This can be multiple short videos <3-5min in length. If you think recording your pet could risk injury to a person or another animal, do not attempt to record the behavior. 

  • If your pet is on a particular nutrition plan or has special nutritional needs, please bring treats/food that your pet can eat during the appointment. 

  • In order to give your pet the attention it deserves, an appointment is scheduled for one pet at a time, so please do not bring other pets. Separate consultations should be scheduled if you have other pets in need. The appointment lengths do not allow for a thorough assessment of multiple pets. 

  • Please bring medical records from your previous veterinarian or primary care veterinarian. ○ It would be extremely helpful for us to have all the medical records prior to the visit so we can spend less time reviewing records and more time focusing on you and your pet 

  • Please bring any previous training plans from behaviorists, trainers, etc. 


What Will We Do During Initial and Subsequent Behavior Consultations? 

  • An extensive review of the questionnaire.

  • We will discuss and perform any diagnostics that may be necessary to rule in or out concurrent illnesses or underlying causes for behavioral issues. The cost of diagnostics is not included in the behavioral assessment cost, but they will only be performed with your consent. 

  • Review of diet and nutritional needs. 

  • Body condition scoring, assessment of exercise. 

  • Safety recommendations for the public and at home if indicated. 

  • Training discussion, recommendation of basic exercises. 

  • Change the home environment. 

  • Behavior modification plan. 

  • Pharmacologic needs assessment, alternative pharmacologic or additive support. 

Why do you require a reservation fee at the time of scheduling?
We strive to provide a comprehensive and efficient assessment of all patients that we see. This means that we will spend hour(s) reading through the provided medical and behavioral history of your pet so we can spend the majority of the appointment on specific details to provide treatment options. 

We are also committed to helping as many clients and pets as we can, and in the timeliest manner possible, which we are better able to do by collecting a non-refundable fee to secure your appointment reservation at the time of scheduling. We understand that paying a reservation fee represents a significant commitment on your part, and we appreciate the trust that you place in our services by doing so in advance of your pet’s appointment. We strive to provide a thorough and productive assessment for each pet, which means that we spend considerable time prior to your appointment reviewing your pet’s medical records and behavioral history. Additionally, paying in advance helps to prevent delays at the end of the appointment, minimizing stress for you and your pet.

We also endeavor to help as many clients and pets as we can, as efficiently as possible, which we can best achieve by collecting full payment at the time of booking. We understand that paying the consultation fee in advance of your appointment represents a significant commitment on your part, and we appreciate your trust.


Additional Pertinent Policies and Information

  • If you would like your medical records sent to outside parties who do not have a current VCPR or are not listed as the owner on the patient record, then we ask you to forward your records to those people. 

  • We cannot give estimates per month or year of medications that are not directly distributed from our hospital as the prices of medications constantly change at outside human and veterinary pharmacies. 

  • Controlled prescriptions cannot be mailed or called into pharmacies in the state of Texas as they require a hand written prescription from the prescribing DVM. 

  • DVM's do not have electronic medical records or electronic scripting ability. If you pharmacist makes this recommendation, it is not applicable to DVMs. 

Public Health Safety 
Dogs that have bitten people or other animals should wear a muzzle until the clinician gives the OK. All animals regardless of bite history should be leashed with a non-retractable, standard 6 ft or less, leash that is attached to the pet and in control at all times by the owner. All pets will be tethered in the examination room to the wall beside the owner, and the owner will continue to maintain control of the leash at all times for the safety of all staff.  

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