Many veterinarians focus on treating problems AFTER they have started to occur. Here at Lange Animal Clinic, our goal is to advise you on how to prevent behavioral problems from developing with new pets in the household. We can also help guide you in the selection of a pet that is most appropriate for your lifestyle.
If a behavioral problem develops, it is very important for you to consult with one of our Veterinarians to rule out any medical or physical ailment that may be causing the issue. As an example, some cats with urinary tract infections (UTI's) may urinate outside the litterbox. Or, dogs experiencing pain or discomfort may become aggressive when handled. Occasionally, once the medical condition is resolved, the behavioral problem continues requiring further treatment.
Treatment typically involves a combination of behavior modification for the pet and management changes for the owners through coaching from an animal behaviorist. In some cases, drug therapy may be required to resolve the problem. If medication is determined necessary, it is often used in conjunction with behavior modification and rarely used alone.
Some common behavioral problems in pets include:
- Aggression toward people or other animals, whether inside or outside of the home
- Anxiety caused by specific fears and phobias such as thunderstorms or separation from their owner(s)
- Compulsive disorders, such as chasing one's tail or shadow
- Species-typical behaviors, such as urine spraying throughout the home
- Unnecessary or excessive barking, digging, nipping at object, and jumping up on people inappropriately