Safety Steps While Waiting

Avoid further expression of behavior problems while awaiting your specialty appointment with Dr. Melese by following these safety steps.

At Veterinary Behavior Consultants, we strive to have clients seen as soon as possible for a behavioral consultation with their pet, but because many of our clients are in similar situations and may have waited a number of days for their appointment, we are usually unable to displace clients who already have scheduled appointments. Due to the length of the appointments (2.5-3+ hrs) the doctor can only see a small number of new clients per week compared to a general veterinary practice and the behavior service is often booked days to sometimes weeks in advance depending on how flexible the pet owner’s schedule can be and how busy the specialty practice is when you call. The following steps may be helpful to ensure the safety of your family and your pet until your appointment time.

If you feel you have an urgent case but will have to wait to be seen and have not already consulted with your family veterinarian, you should do so. Be sure that your veterinarian feels that you have a behavioral, not medical problem and has examined your pet and run any laboratory tests he/she feels appropriate for the behavioral condition your pet is having. In some cases, your family veterinarian may be able to prescribe a sedative temporarily for the pet if he or she feels it would be indicated depending on nature of the problem. Please note, Dr. Melese cannot prescribe medications or other specific treatment for an animal he has not examined. If your primary veterinarian wishes to briefly consult Dr. Melese about what he/she may wish to do with your pet while waiting for the specialty appointment, your regular doctor may contact our office.

When your pet is causing destruction to the home or becomes a danger to people or pets living there, it is often helpful to get the animal out of the environment where the behavior is occurring. This may mean boarding your pet at a boarding facility or at your vet hospital if appropriate, at least until your behavior appointment. In some cases, owners can safely confine their pet in a cage, a run or part of the home until the appointment. Depending on the case, your regular veterinarian may suggest that you keep your dog muzzled in certain situations, at least until your case can be seen by Veterinary Behavior Consultants.

If your pets are fighting, be sure to call for an appointment ASAP and separate them as much as possible by boarding one or more of the animals at a kennel or your veterinarian’s hospital if necessary. Allowing further fights prior to your appointment with the specialty behavior clinician usually makes the case harder for the owners to ultimately solve, so manage your pets to eliminate/minimize their opportunity to fight.

Most behavior problems are long-standing, chronic conditions. Oftentimes, owners can simply avoid the circumstances where the problems are likely to occur at least until the behavior appointment. For example, if you have a dog that attacks other animals when out on a walk, avoid walks until your appointment. This can go a long way to helping you cope as you wait for your appointment with Dr. Melese.

These are just a few tips you may find useful. Please remember that if you have a veterinary emergency, please call your family veterinarian right away. Please also visit our Resources & Links page for additional tips.