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- Getting Emotional Help for Pets FAQ
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- About ABI
Not at this time. I believe that solutions to behavior problems are a partnership between the owner and their pet. Practice in their home setting is crucial to their success.
1)Plan for your pet to have a lighter meal before our appointment since we will be using treats.
2) Have some of your pet’s favorite food or treats available. I will bring treats too.
3) If your pet is nervous about strangers, please let me know and we will discuss the best way for me to meet your pet.
4) Have any medications your pet is taking available or write down the name and dosage ahead of time.
All behavior problems are not the same. Most of my cases tend to be veterinarian referrals of fairly serious refractory cases. Even though that is true, more than 90% of my pets show improvement to the degree satisfactory to their owners. With a comprehensive approach, we can achieve a positive outcome for owner and pet alike.
We can usually improve some symptoms right away with careful management, but lasting behavioral changes take time to learn. Usually we can see 75% improvement within 4-8 weeks and then continued improvement beyond that time may take a few months.
No! Any pet of any age can always improve. The longer the behavior has been occurring, the longer it typically takes to resolve since there is not only the underlying motivation to address but also the habit and rehearsal of the behavior. That being said, as long as your pet is medically ok, behavior can change even in older pets. With a few weeks or months, you can see some pretty dramatic differences!
All types of problems can show improvement by gaining the right tools and techniques and practicing with your pet. Behavior problems tend to fall into two categories: those with an emotional component (anxiety, fear, aggression or panic) and those that are learned bad behaviors. In both cases, improvement and resolution are very possible with safe, scientific and humane techniques. Usually improvement is noticed right away, but resolution may take weeks or months depending on the type of problem. Some common cases presented to me include:
Aggression: Growling, Barking, and Biting behavior directed at people (family members, strangers or your veterinarian) or other dogs
Fear: Avoidance, panic and phobias (most commonly noises or thunder)
Anxiety: Separation from owners or other pets leading to elimination issues, barking or destruction
Inappropriate elimination in the house (cats or dogs)
Repetitive, stereotypic, and compulsive behaviors (often times this includes behavior of unknown origin that the owner or the veterinarian doesn’t understand)
Hyperactivity, Learning disabilities, inability to form new memories (even when related to known traumatic injury)
Inappropriate ingestion disorders (excessive eating or drinking, swallowing inedible items, previous history of gastrointestinal-obstruction)
Excessive attention seeking, pulling on the leash, jumping up on people that has not been responsive to previously tried training methods
Cognitive dementia- in conjunction with your veterinarian
Predatory behavior directed at inappropriate targets (cats, cattle, sheep etc.)
Initial appointments focus on behavioral diagnosis, educating you about the motivation of your pet’s behavior problem and laying of foundation exercises that will help your pet start on the road to success. Follow-up appointments are able to build on that foundation to help address the issues that are most acute. We are unable to demonstrate or practice skills at the initial appointment that become possible later with intervention and practice. So follow-up appointments are like taking the next step, when your pet is ready. For pets with multiple issues, these visits are especially important to give you the tools to understand how to proceed through treatment.
This consultation needs 45-60 minutes and:
Follow-up consultations must take place within three months of the initial consultation, or a case re-evaluation may be necessary.
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