If you have a question, we might have an answer listed in these
frequently asked questions. You can always contact us at 440/334-8534
or through email at:
1. Why should I take my pet to see a TBC Veterinarian?
The Behavior Clinic is a medical practice limited to behavioral problems in dogs, cats, horses and birds (as well as other more exotic species). TBC Veterinarians are not only in a position to evaluate your animal’s behavior but health and health contributions to behavior as well. An animal’s health & behavior are linked. Problems in one area will often cause problems in the other.
2. Why should I take my pet to see a TBC Veterinarian instead of a trainer?
There are no uniform standards for evaluating competency in animal trainers. First of all, experience alone does not ensure proficiency to treat complex behavioral problems, such as aggression or compulsive disorders. The ability to train an animal to perform obedience commands does not equate with a full knowledge of underlying medical issues. These medical issues may contribute to or even cause the behavioral problem. The ability to train cued behavior also does not equate to an ability to correctly diagnose and treat these problems. While having your pet able to respond to obedience cues is helpful and often prescribed, it will NOT treat these complex problems alone!
3. What types of problems do TBC Veterinarians see?
Currently, Dr. Feltes sees problem behaviors in dogs, cats, horses, pigs, birds and exotic pets such as rabbits and ferrets. Other Veterinarians within the TBC practice will see dogs and cats. Any behavior that is objectionable to a pet’s family can be seen for a consultation. The following problem behaviors are one's seen by TBC's Veterinarians (but problems are not limited to these): aggression (such as dog or cat-directed, human-directed, child-directed), excessive barking, fear (such as fear of being alone), phobias (such as thunderstorm phobia), unruliness (such as surfing counters for items to take or pulling on the leash), stereotypic disorders (ie. tail-chasing, self-mutilation, light-chasing), house training problems, litter box problems, urine marking, cognitive dysfunction (alzheimer's), scratching of furniture, problems including aggression towards the veterinarian and staff, farrier and dentist...
4. How do I know if my pet’s behavioral problem is significant enough to be seen by a TBC Veterinarian?
If you are concerned enough to ask about your pet’s problem, it is worth talking to a professional for input! Abnormal behavior is a problem if it is a problem for that pet’s family, impacts that pet's quality of life, or is a public health risk. Therefore, even a pet’s normal behavior that is considered a problem for that pet’s family is warranted to have a consultation with a TBC Veterinarian. An ethical solution can be found that improves your pet’s behavior, your relationship with your pet and your pet’s well being. Please realize that the longer your pet engages in a behavior, the longer it will take to treat it. The sooner you get your pet in for a consultation, the better for you and your pet. As a general rule, if the problem behavior is increasing in frequency, intensity or has lasted longer than 2 weeks – seek help!
5. Is there a guarantee?
Unfortunately no guarantees can be given regarding the outcome of your pet’s behavior plan. It is misleading for a business to give you specific guarantees regarding behavior problems in pets, particularly such problems as aggression. No animal is 100% predictable 100% of the time and as such, a guarantee for that animal is not reasonable, responsible or ethical.
6. What should I expect during my consultation?
Please dress comfortable for your appointment. All horse or bird appointments are where your animal is located (home, aviary or stable) as TBC feels that is the most useful location for these species in evaluating the environmental contributions to the problem behavior. Also, it greatly reduces the stress on these animals to avoid travel. Dog, exotic pet and cat consultations can be done in The Behavior Clinic. Please note, travel to any off-site appointment has an additional fee and separate fee structure. Please make sure to have any training equipment handy that you use with your pet on a regular basis. We also encourage (but do no require) you to provide a short (less than 10 minute) video clip of your pet’s problem behavior IF this can be done safely and ask for that to be sent in advance of the consult (ideally 7 days prior to the appointment). Your pet will be given food reinforcement for behavior during the consult. If your pet requires a special diet, please have some acceptable treats that your pet loves available. At the start of your appointment, the history questionnaire will be reviewed. A physical examination and will be performed as long as your pet can handle this behaviorally. Our Veterinary Behavior Technician will accompany the TBC Veterinarian at the consultation for work on the behavior modification. Medical recommendations will be discussed at this time. You will receive multiple handouts to aide in institution of the plan. The initial consultation typically lasts about 2 hours. A detailed summary sheet with the full plan will be provided to both you and your Veterinarian. Follow-up phone and email care with a TBC Technician for 1 year is included with every 2 hour consultation. You are also encouraged to email or fax TBC a log of your pet’s behavior every month so that information can be reviewed and adjustments made by the Veterinarian. Progress Evaluations with a TBC Veterinarian and Veterinary Behavior Technician are recommended based on your individual pet's progress. These are typically performed every 1-6 months until your pet is stable and then once to twice a year thereafter. These appointments are scheduled to occur in 1 hour or less. Technician Rechecks for behavioral therapy with our registered Veterinary Behavioral Technicians, Amanda Eick RVT, KPA-CTP, VTS-Behavior or Rachel Lees RVT, KPA-CTP, VTS-Behavior are often recommended within 2-4 weeks of the consultation. Technicians help with implementation of the plan during the therapy period and beyond to ensure progress is made and maintained.
7. Will medication be recommended for every pet?
The TBC Veterinarian may recommend medication as an adjunct to your pet’s behavior modification plan. Not every pet needs medication and the recommendation is only made when needed. The doctor does not use medication in a cavalier manner, and the pros and cons will be discussed with you during the consultation. No medication labeled for behavioral problems in pets is labeled for use without environmental changes and behavior modification plans. Additionally, many of the medications used for problem behaviors in companion animals are used off-label. This means that the drug company has not labeled and tested the medication for that particular use in that particular species. Many clients worry about maintaining their pet on medication for a longer period of time. However, these medications typically take time to change brain chemistry and therefore behavior. They should not be started and stopped abruptly unless under the direct guidance of a veterinarian. Additionally, most pets relapse in the future if medication is used as the sole treatment. Medication alone will NOT resolve your pet’s behavior problem.
8. Do I bring my pet?
It is required to have your pet at the consultation. If you feel other family pets are involved in the problem, those pets should attend as well. For each additional patient, there is a $20 fee at each appointment. All bird appointments are always in the aviary and all horse consults are seen at your stable, not at The Behavior Clinic.
9. How do you get my pet’s medical and training records?
Please contact your veterinary clinic and have a Referral Form faxed to The Behavior Clinic once you have scheduled a consultation. The most recent 6 months of medical history are also encouraged to be sent for each patient's chart via fax (440/235.8534). All Laboratory Testing over the last 1-2 years are also requested. If you have been working closely with a trainer, please ask them to write an email to be compiled with the history forms you send in to TBC 1 week prior to the appointment (firstname.lastname@example.org). This email should entail your pet's training history with them. We welcome your trainer to attend the consultation with you and your pet if you choose to invite them. This is a great way to make sure the entire support network is in place and on the same page for your pet's success.
10. How much does a consult cost?
Basic Consultation is $450 for an appointment lasting up to 2 hours in length with a TBC Veterinarian and TBC Veterinary Behavior Technician. *Care Credit is available for purchases $200 and above. Please feel free to discuss financial constraints with our front desk specialist to ensure behavioral aide can still occur for your pet! *Please see the Cancellation and Reservation Deposit Policy. Equine and Avian appointments only occur at the animal's home and require a 3 hour appointment slot. The fee for a horse or bird appointment is $600 plus travel.
Discounts may be available for 501c3 shelters and rescues.
*Please see the Cancellation & Reservation Deposit Policy.
Travel Fees for Equine and Avian Consultations Only: For off-site consultations in your stable or aviary the Travel Fee is $75 for travel 30 minutes or under and $135 for travel over 30 minutes. For travel over 1 hour, please call for available scheduling and to discuss this separate rate. The Behavior Clinic accepts Credit Cards & Cash for Reservation Deposits. For invoices over $200 Care Credit is accepted as a form of payment but only if paid in advance in the clinic for off-sit appointments. Personal Checks are another accepted form of payment.
Progress Evaluations with a TBC Veterinarian and TBC Veterinary Behavior Technician typically last 1 hour or less. These often occur 1-6 months after the initial consult. The fee is $225 per hour. *Please see the Cancellation & Reservation Deposit Policy.
Behavioral Therapy Appointments with our Registered Veterinary Behavioral Technicians, Amanda Eick, RVT, KPA-CTP, VTS-Behavior or Rachel Lees RVT, KPA-CTP last about one hour. The fee is $100-125/hour and are often recommended during the therapy to ensure progress with the behavioral therapy prescribed by the doctor is kept on track. Continued technician sessions once Progress Evaluations become annual or biannual for a patient are used to maintain the progress made and for further education. These appointments do not include phone follow up. Technician Travel Fees for off-site (in-home) sessions: $35 for travel up to 30 miles and $75 for travel 31 miles and over. This is charged only one way. *Please see the Cancellation & Reservation Deposit Policy.
11. How do I schedule a consultation?
Please contact The Behavior Clinic (440/334.8534) to schedule a consultation. The behavioral history form will be emailed to you after scheduling the consultation. This form allows the doctor to make recommendations that you can live with – she does not live with you but her recommendations need to! The forms may feel overwhelming due to their length but are necessary to provide a complete picture of your situation. If your animal is in a shelter or rescue, complete as best as possible. The history form, videos and any trainer notes need to be returned 7 days prior to a scheduled appointment. If not returned within that time frame, the appointment will be moved to a later date to allow you more time to prepare for the consultation. Please note, a credit card needs to be provided to reserve an appointment slot. The Reservation Deposit will be assessed on the credit card. The deposit will then be credited to your appointment invoice. However, if adjustments are made to the scheduled slot within 2 business days (Monday through Friday) before the appointment date or if the appointment is cancelled altogether, no credits will apply. In the event of a no show at an in-home consult, the fee for the full appointment will be assessed. In the event of rescheduling, this reservation fee is only good for 3 months from the original scheduled appointment date. After 3 months, a new reservation fee would be required. If an appointment is moved within this 2 business day time frame, a $35 re-booking fee will be assessed.