Britain is famous for being a nation of animal lovers and we now know that the majority of households have a pet of some kind or another! However, there are dogs that bite, cats that pee in the ‘wrong place’, dogs that can never be left alone and pets that are frightened of the noisy world we live in.
We also can’t always live in harmony with our pets and there are many situations where their behaviour upsets us, gets in the way of the things we need to do, or is frankly incomprehensible!
Appointments are offered at the Langford Small Animal Practice during normal surgery times on Mondays and Fridays. These are offered by Dr Alison Blaxter, BA BVM&S Dip(AS)CABC PhD MRCVS. She is a Vet with over 30 years of experience and an additional post-graduate qualification in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling.
The practice aims to help clients with their pets’ behaviour issues in two distinct ways:
We aim to prevent major issues happening in the first place and to provide advice when things do go wrong.
Before your appointment
Please return your behaviour questionnaire to the Small Animal Practice at least one working day prior to your booked appointment.
Most behavioural therapy primarily involves understanding why our animals behave as they do. By altering the way we deal with them we can alter their behaviour too. Specific training programmes and supportive therapy with drugs can also be used in some cases.
Some behaviour problems are a reflection of medical disease and investigation of these is vital before embarking on any behavioural modification programmes so there is a distinct advantage of seeing a vet for behavioural therapy.
The most common problems we help with in dogs are:
Destructiveness in the house
Nervousness with strangers or visitors
Noise phobias – such as to fireworks or thunder
Inappropriate barking (for example in the house or car)
Fighting between dogs in the household or outside
Aggressiveness towards people
Cats can be helped with:
Fighting other cats within the household
Eating/stealing fabrics such as wool
General timidity or specific fears
As many members of the family as possible should attend the consultation with your pet. The first session is likely to last at least an hour. The time will be spent asking you in great detail about how you and your pet live together, and about the problem behaviours. To help you do this you will be given a questionnaire to fill in before the consultation and to bring with you to discuss. You can soon download the questionnaires from this site.
Towards the end of the consultation a plan of treatment will be discussed and agreed with you. This will be supported by a written letter with full details of all the suggested treatments. If we recommend any investigations, such as blood or urine tests, this will be arranged with practice staff.
Follow up appointments are usually made on a weekly or fortnightly basis as the problem dictates!
We are lucky enough to have access to a Behavioural Referral Service on our site at the Small Animal Referral Hospital. The service is led by Sagi Denenbers DVM, DACVB, Dip. ECAWBM, MACVSc (Behaviour) MRCVS, who is currently one of only six board certified veterinary behaviourists practicing in the UK.