Because you know your pet better than anyone, we work closely with you and your primary care veterinarian to develop a treatment plan that honors your pet’s uniqueness and your individual goals for your furry family.
Assessment by one of our behavior doctors
Our behavior doctors take a holistic approach, evaluating every behavior condition by looking at physical, environmental, and emotional factors. We will determine if any other medical conditions are contributing to your pet’s behavior and recommend additional diagnostics when needed to help your pet heal. We have cutting-edge diagnostic tests to help us determine stress levels, guiding our treatment choices.
An initial assessment with one of our behavior doctors is 1- 1 ½ hours long and includes:
- Review of your pet’s medical history, the behavior questionnaire form, and any videos and pictures that you send in.
- A behavioral assessment of your pet.
- Physical examination if the pet can be examined safely and with low-stress techniques.
- An explanation of the diagnoses, treatment options, recommended lab tests and medications, cost of treatment, and the likelihood of improvement over time with each treatment option.
Additional costs which could be incurred at the assessment appointment include diagnostic tests and medications or supplements that are recommended. We cannot estimate those costs for you without the doctor assessing your pet.
Once the doctor talks to you about your pet’s treatment options, you can decide which options are best for your pet and your schedule.
The doctor may prescribe medications/supplements, refer your pet to a dog training professional in your local area, or recommend treatment appointments in-office or via telemedicine.
The doctor will recommend how often treatments should be scheduled if at all. Recheck appointments, treatment appointments, medications and or diagnostics such as lab work are in addition to the initial assessment.
A $100 prepayment is required to hold your pet’s new patient appointment. We will refund the prepayment upon cancellation with 2 business days notice.
Behavioral Therapy Appointments
At your pet’s assessment appointment, the doctor will create a comprehensive treatment plan. Behavioral therapy sessions allow you to most effectively implement those management and behavior modification strategies. Behavioral therapy appointments are exclusively available to our patients.
During these appointments, our behavioral therapist will meet with you and your pet at the hospital or via video conferencing to help you implement the behavior treatment plan laid out by your pet’s behavior doctor including teaching and specific behavior modification skills designed to meet your pet’s needs. After each appointment, our behavioral therapist meets with your pet’s behavior doctor to review the appointment. Then, personalized recommendations are made for your pet including any medication changes as recommended by the doctor.
These appointments are essential for the greatest likelihood of success in your pet’s treatment. They are a great opportunity for advancing your pet to the next steps in the treatment plan and troubleshooting challenges in the treatment plan in person.
Management and Safety Appointments
Your pet does not have to be a patient in order to schedule a Management and Safety appointment with our behavioral therapist. At these appointments you and your pet will meet with the behavioral therapist at the hospital or via video conferencing.
A behavior treatment plan will be made for your pet during the appointment and specific changes to the environment will be recommended. In addition, a personalized behavior modification plan will be made for your pet with exercises that you can implement at home. Management and safety appointments are highly recommended before your pet’s appointment with the behavior doctor to get a jump start on treatment.
What are cooperative care appointments?
Cooperative care appointments are appointments that focus exclusively on making veterinary visits less stressful for your pet. Appointments include a medical plan made by one of our behavior doctors, recommendations for your family, and sometimes for your primary care veterinarian to make veterinary visits less stressful. In addition, in some cases, the doctor may recommend at-home exercises to condition your pet to be calmer at the veterinarian’s office so that he or she can have low stress medical care from your primary care veterinarian.
Why might my dog or cat need a cooperative care appointment?
Studies show that visits to the veterinary clinic are stressful for both dogs and cats. Additionally, many cat pet parents report that they avoid going to the veterinarian entirely foregoing important medical care for their furry family members because it is so stressful to visit the veterinary clinic. We all want the best for our pets. In order to help them live their best lives, Cooperative care appointments allow you to ensure that your dog or cat is less stressed and more easily managed at the veterinary office so that your family veterinarian can provide them the best medical care for their entire lifetime.
How do I know if my pet needs a cooperative care appointment?
The majority of cats and dogs are stressed at the veterinarian’s office. If your dog pants, paces, barks, hides, jumps on furniture or staff members, freezes, whines, growls, lunges, trembles, urinates, defecates or expresses his anal sacs at the vet’s office, he or she is too stressed and would benefit from cooperative care appointments. If your cat urinates or defecates in the cat carrier, howls in the car, spits, pants, hides, hisses or is aggressive at the veterinary clinic he or she is very stressed and could benefit from a cooperative care appointment.
Will FVBS behavior doctors act as my family veterinarian?
Your pet’s behavior doctor will not act as your pet’s family veterinarian. Instead, the goal of these appointments is to help your pet feel less stressed and accept veterinary care willingly so that your family veterinarian can safely deliver care in a low-stress way.
How do appointments work? Prior to your visit, we ask that you fill out a short questionnaire so that we can target our history taking to your pet’s unique needs. At the first visit, you and your pet will meet with one of our behavior doctors and veterinary technicians. At the first appointment, the behavior doctor will ask additional questions about your pet’s history, examine your pet’s medical records, assess your pet’s stress level and make a plan with you to help visits to your family care veterinarian be successful. Also, at that time the behavior doctor will estimate the number of follow-up visits needed to reach your goals for your pet. Follow-up visits range depending on your pet’s needs. Some of the follow-ups will be with our highly skilled technicians and some will be with your pet’s behavior doctor. Throughout this process, our behavior doctors work as a team with your pet’s family doctor to facilitate the plan.