Veterinary Behavior

When you live with a troubled pet, you feel completely alone. Friends chastise you for thinking about getting rid of them, family chastise you for keeping them, strangers give you dirty looks as you try to get your poor dog some exercise. As difficult as they are, you love them deeply and only want them to be happy. We know you love your pet, or you wouldn't be here. 

 

        ~We can help.

 

Who is on our team?

Behavioral therapy in animals is a specialty the combines psychiatry, applied behavior analysis, and social work into one. We have several roles as part of our team:

 

  • Veterinarians – Our doctors perform the assessment and develop the treatment plan. They delegate the plan to the support team. The nurses and behavior therapists then help the family implement the program and troubleshoots any issues that arise.

  • Behavior Nurses – Licensed veterinary nurses handle the medical aspect of therapy. They will follow up with the family on requested diagnostics, veterinary procedures, and medication.

  • Behavior Therapists – Our certified therapists specialize behavior modification. Many of our patients need specialized training programs to help them learn to cope and respond appropriately to stimuli that previous induce fear, anxiety, or aggression. These individuals are here to guide you and your pet through this process.

What Problems Do We Treat?

If you have a problem with your dog, cat, ferret, rabbit, or Potbelly Pig, we can help. Below is a start list of the issues we see in our practice: 

  • Aggression - growling, snarling, biting. Attacking wildlife, barking at strangers, biting the owner's when petted, aggression at the vet. 

  • Anxiety - Hiding when people come over, fear when outside, trembling during thunderstorms. 

  • Phobias - Panic associated with car rides, screaming and hiding during fireworks, easily startled by anything new. 

  • Elimination disorders - accidents in the house, peeing outside the litter box, urinating when meeting people, refusing to go outside to eliminate. 

  • Miscellaneous - Obsession with lights and shadows, inability to calm down, attacking themselves or inanimate objects. 

No matter how odd it might sound to our families, we guarantee we've seen it. 

 
 

Scheduling Your Appointment

The first step is scheduling your appointment with us. There are two ways you can schedule: 

Online Portal - Fairfax Only

We have an online scheduling system that can be used to set up an appointment at your convenience. Whether in the middle of the night or during a busy workday, you can access our calendar and schedule your appointment. There will be online forms for you to complete giving us your basic information, pet's information, contact, and an area to briefly describe your concern. After scheduling you will receive an email containing a full behavior questionnaire. This form will give you plenty of space to explore your concerns as well as screen for other problems. Using PayPal, we will take a $100.00 non-refundable deposit to finalize your appointment. 

Call Us Directly

1-888-438-0788 

Fairfax extension: #1

Richmond extension: #2

If you would like a more personal touch, have questions before scheduling, or don't feel comfortable using PayPal, you are welcome to call us. Call volume varies, so if you cannot get through, please feel free to leave your information and we will call you back as soon as we are able. 

Email Us

Fairfax campus: info@abwellnesscenter.com

Richmond campus: richmond@abwellnesscenter.com

Our team does a lot of correspondence via email, so please feel free to contact us through this medium as well. At this time, our Richmond campus does not utilize the Online Scheduling Portal, so email might be the easiest way to contact their team. 

During the Appointment

The first appointment is 1 hour in length. The veterinarian will be in the room when you enter. She will spent the first half further investigating your pet’s medical and behavioral history. Once the case has been thoroughly explored, the veterinarian will discuss the following information:

  • Explanation and causes of the behavior problem

  • List of diagnoses and provision of a prognosis

  • Immediate management strategies

  • Medical recommendations to include further diagnostics, supplements, and/or medications.

 

This first session is not designed to provide you a full outline of the treatment plan. Behavior cases are far too complicated and convoluted to provide everything in one sitting. This is just the first step.

 

After Care & Follow Up Care

 

Our team writes discussion summaries for all major appointments: assessments, training sessions, and medication rechecks. These notes will be sent to your email address within 48 hours of your appointment. This form will include an outline of our discussion, current plan of action, as well as additional links, videos, and articles that supplement your notes. 

For most of our patients, we ask them to return to the clinic 2-4 weeks after their initial assessment for their "Treatment Plan" appointment. It is at this session that we go into more detail about behavior modification. It important that our families have a solid understanding of body language and management strategies before training can truly be successful. Depending on the case, after the treatment plan, we will likely be in contact with our families at least once a month for the first 6 months of therapy. These can be done via telephone, video conference, or in person. Below are our follow up services and pricing structure. 

Our team will develop written discharge instructions for all new assessments. These will include information pertinent not just to your particular case, but also generic information we consider necessary to the general well-being of our patients. These notes will be sent via email within 24 hours of the appointment. 

Follow up is extremely important to the success of behavioral therapy. Each time you are seen, the individual you meet will provide an updated treatment plan and timeline as to when you should return, see a trainer, or enroll in additional courses. 

 

Additional Options

  • Waiting List - Unfortunately, our practices frequently schedule out 4-6 weeks at a time. The Fairfax Campus maintains a waiting list. Clients interested in being added must schedule an appointment and submit all their required paperwork before being placed on the list. As other families cancel or reschedule, those on our waiting list will be contacted in the order in which they were added. Many families are able to move up their appointments 2-3 weeks. 

  • Emergency Appointments - Tha Fairfax Campus has 2-3 appointments per week that are reserved for emergency cases. May behavior problems can be managed for a short period of time before coming to see us. For those that can not, clients may schedule an emergency appointment for an additional $200.00. Please contact our office directly if you are interested in taking an emergency appointment. 

  • Nurse Assessments - While meeting with the veterinarian in person is ideal, we do realize that not everyone can wait that long or have the funds to pursue the "gold standard" in treatment. We have nurses on staff who will be able to assess your pet, develop a management and behavior modification plan, then obtain our veterinarian's medical recommendations. Ultimately, your primary care veterinarian is responsible for prescribing, but you'll be able to get advice and help for sooner and cheaper. 

  • Vet-to-Vet ConsultationsAs medical professionals, we cannot directly advise families on pets we have not met in person. We can, however, advise other doctors who have met your pet. With the Vet-to-Vet Consultation, we'll discuss your case with  your primary care veterinarian and then they will develop the treatment plan and discuss options with you. When you schedule, we will ask you to complete a very brief form that outlines your primary concerns. We will then gather all other details from your doctor. Please email Richmond's Campus directly to facilitate this appointment type. 

Who will I be working with?

That depends on where you live and your own personal preferences.

 
 
Dr. Amy Pike
Boarded Veterinary Behaviorist
Fairfax Campus
Dr. Meaghan Ropski
Clinical Behavior Resident
Fairfax Campus
Dr. Amy Learn
Clinical Behavior Resident
Richmond Campus

Fairfax Location:

11230 Waples Mill Rd.

Suite 125A

Fairfax, VA 22030

T) 888-438-0788   

F) 703-783-8807

E) info@abwellnesscenter.com

Richmond Location:

New Location Coming Soon!

T) 888-438-0788   

F) 703-783-8807

E) richmond@abwellnesscenter.com

© 2018 Animal Behavior Wellness Center.