Behavioural Medicine

All our staff are trained to help clients with any animal behavioural problem. Whether you have a question regarding a dog, cat, bird or pocket pet we can assist you in appropriate treatments. Common concerns include excessive barking, jumping behaviour, inappropriate toileting habits, pets not getting along, constant licking, fear of thunderstorms and fireworks, generalised fear, separation anxiety and pulling on leash. There really are no “silly” questions!

We have a detailed behaviour questionnaire that can be completed at home by the client at their leisure and returned to the clinic. Dr Michelle Gray will call clients after reading through the questionnaire to discuss attending an hour behavioural consultation. Clients are advised to come to the consultation with their pets bedding and some of the pets favourite treats. All family members are encouraged to attend so that the full benefits are obtained by everyone. During the consultation the pets temperament is assessed, a diagnosis is made and a treatment plan outlined. Treatment usually involves management strategies, behavioural modification with training advice and often medication.

Behavioural - Caroline Springs Vet Hospital

Clients receive a written report within a week of the consultation, clarifying the treatment plan discussed during the consultation. Dr Michelle Gray will then call for a progress report a few weeks later to assist clients with any recent developments. Animals constantly behave in ways that “work” for them. This means that as an undesired behaviour decreases in frequency, another behaviour will take its place. It is important that the client and vet communicate during this time to ensure any new behaviours are desirable and these are then reinforced appropriately to become the chosen behaviour by the pet. Some behaviours that have become ingrained take longer to change and may require revisit behaviour consultations.

Our experienced and qualified dog trainer, Kerryn, runs puppy classes in our purpose-built training room. Puppy training, socialisation and education should start with the breeder and continues with the new owner and learning continues throughout a dog’s life. Starting with baby puppy classes we offer a range of classes to suit clients and their pets during their development.

We are aware of the importance of reinforcing appropriate behaviour and addressing any behaviour problems, however small they may initially seem. A new behaviour problem is easier and quicker to treat, before it has become ingrained over time and it is less stressful for the pet and family members than a behaviour problem that is long standing. By providing young animals with appropriate stimuli in their home, many behaviour problems never even surface!

Pets offer us many health benefits and the human-animal bond should be one that only gets stronger with time. Sadly, this is not always the case, but there are treatments to help resolve most issues when they arise.

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