Pet behaviour problems can cause danger or distress to people and pets, and can disrupt the special owner/animal bond. Our practice is fully aware of the need to treat problems such as aggression, fears, phobias, destructiveness, house soiling and excessive noisiness. We are sympathetic to animals’ and owners’ needs and appreciate that a pet’s mental health is as important as its physical well being.
Caroline Bower BVM&S MRCVS DipCABC, who runs our Plympton surgery, holds a post graduate diploma in companion animal behaviour counselling. She is a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors and has experience in treating a wide variety of behaviour problems in cats, dogs and rabbits.
How is a behaviour problem treated?
In order to be successful in treatment it is necessary to find out what is causing the problem. This diagnosis depends on careful gathering and processing of information from the owner, and assessment of the pet. It is important that the pet has a veterinary examination to rule out medical conditions which could be causing these behaviour changes. Then a treatment programme is agreed which is suitable and practical for the owner and family to follow. Treatment regimes are tailored to the needs of each individual and their circumstances.
What happens at a consultation?
Most consultations are carried out in a quiet consulting room at our Plympton surgery, although occasionally cases can be seen at the Veterinary Hospital. Home visits may be arranged where appropriate within the local area. Information imparted during such a consultation is treated as confidential.
Consultations last either 30 minutes or 60 - 90 minutes depending on the nature of the problem. During the consultation your pet’s temperament will be assessed and a full history relating to the pet’s problems is gathered. The reasons for the particular behaviour problem are then explained and a treatment programme is put together. All therapy is based on positive, reward-based principles and any necessary training methods or handling equipment will be fully explained and demonstrated. Medication will be suggested only where absolutely vital as an adjunct to the treatment programme.
What happens after the appointment?
In many cases we supply you with a handout which helps explain the behaviour problem. In addition those clients with pets with more complex or multiple problems will receive a written report with the treatment programme outlined. Treatment varies according to the nature and severity of the problem and follow up consultations may be needed, although these are invariably shorter than the initial session. In some cases aftercare and advice may be provided by phone.
If you have been referred by a vet from another practice Caroline will send a copy of any written treatment details to them.
Fees will vary according to the work required to help resolve each individual problem, and include any support paperwork. Most fees are in the range of £40 to £150 + VAT, but please do ask for an estimate prior to any consultation. Please bear in mind that most pet health insurance policies will cover the fees for behaviour counselling.
How to make an appointment
Simply telephone our Plympton surgery on (01752) 344 188 and book an appointment to see Caroline Bower. We also run a telephone behaviour advice service where problems may be discussed with her on the phone, by appointment. There is a charge for this service. Please use the same telephone number initially - (01752) 344 188. In general, best results are achieved when a consultation is carried out in person and we will do our best to organise a time which is mutually convenient and give instructions about finding the surgery.