Behaviour

Here at the Belmont Vet Centre we strive to make your household happy and as stress free as possible. With so many cats and dogs ending up in shelters every year, we want to do our part to minimise that number.

When a behaviour problem is identified the first step is to ascertain whether it is a training problem or a true behaviour problem.

Training problems can be dealt with using training techniques which we can show you in a consultation with one of our trained nursing team.

True behaviour problems will require management of the mental state of your pet and involve behaviour modification and perhaps even the use of medication. This will usually require a consultation with one of our doctors. Some problems, for example major aggression cases, will be referred directly to one of our vets.

As with many other veterinary problems, determining the correct diagnosis and developing an appropriate treatment plan often requires further investigation. The first step in solving a behavioural problem is to rule out possible medical conditions. Our veterinarians will often recommend blood tests and urine analysis and will perform a full physical examination.

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Behaviour Assessment Consultations

Consultations are scheduled as 30 minute appointments.

Treatment of most behaviour cases will involve implementing behaviour modification techniques - this will be your job. The treatment consultation will discuss the treatment recommendations and explain to you how to carry them out.

In all cases, the treatment plan will involve commitment from you and your family to work consistently with your dog or cat towards changing behaviour. All our techniques are based on the latest scientific knowledge and learning theory, are ethical, and aim to minimize the risk of harm or injury to you, your dog and others.

Behavioural consultations help modify problems such as:

  • Unnecessary barking
  • Aggressive behaviour between household pets, cats, neighbourhood dogs or people
  • Separation anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Jumping up and uncontrolled behaviour
  • Pulling on the lead
  • Not coming when called
  • Feeding manners between dogs, towards humans
  • Eating unusual substances (Pica and Coprophagia - eating of faeces)
  • Fears and phobias such as desensitisation towards loud noises (i.e. vacuum cleaners, traffic, broom, postman, fireworks, thunderstorms)
  • Destructive behaviour such as chewing, clawing and digging
  • Inappropriate soiling, urination or defecation
  • Introduction of new pet to existing pets

Concerns about behaviour are important and we take them seriously. That way you and your pet will happy together for a very long time.

Your pet's History

The next step is to compile a full behavioural history. Our veterinarians will ask you to complete a detailed questionnaire - this will take you about an hour to complete and you should return it to the clinic 24 hours before your next appointment - the Behaviour Assessment appointment. It is important to give the Vet time to read the questionnaire and start to formulate a plan of approach for the diagnosis and treatment of your pet.

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Pregnancy:

If you are thinking of starting a family, please talk to us about it at your next appointment and we can discuss with you the management of your fur babies and skin babies. This is a great and rewarding time and all children deserve a life filled with the love of animals.

Gentle Leader:

If walking your dog is such a chore because you dog does nothing but pull the entire time, we recommend you talking to one of our nurses about trying the Gentle Leader.

The Gentle Leader is a facial harness designed to deter your dog from wanting to pull and in turn walk by your side. Making walking more enjoyable for the both of you.

When you purchase a Gentle Leader here at the clinic we do not let you go home without seeing one of nurses and starting an introduction program. This makes sure that the gentle leader is as effective as possible and it slowly get your and your dog used to how the gentle leader works and how to use it effectively.

As it is such a new sensation for your dog having something on his/her face, we recommended coming to see us a couple of times before your get out walking. These visits entail lots of treats and praise while your dog tries on the gentle leader and gets used to the pressure placed on their face.

Once the gentle leader is correctly fitted – remember “if it feels too tight, then it’s just right” and your dog feels comfortable with it on for extended periods. That’s when we get you our walking.

If successful you will not believe the difference, and wonder where the gentle leader has been all your life.