Maintaining the human-animal bond is one of our primary goals at Mercer Island Veterinary Clinic. While we spend a majority of our time and attention on physical ailments in our patients, their behavioral health is also important to us. More young animals lose their homes or are euthanized due to unwanted behaviors than any other single cause.

Behavior Services at Mercer Island Veterinary Clinic begin with every new puppy and new kitten visit, and continue through every annual examination and senior pet checkup. Through prevention, early detection and treatment of unwanted behaviors, Mercer Island Veterinary Clinic is here to help clients and pets live long happy lives together. All of our methods are based on scientific methods that allow a friendly cooperative relationship between pets and people, using no force or violence.

Behavior Consultations are performed in the clinic Monday-Thursday by our veterinarians assisted by Monique Feyrecilde, LVT who is a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behavior. From simple training suggestions about leash walking and house training to complicated anxiety disorders, we can help. The first step is making an appointment. Call the office at 206.232.0333 to set up a time for us to meet.

If a patient is presented for a behavior problem, the first step in our clinic is always to rule out physical causes of behavioral changes. This can be a simple process or can involve referral to other specialists such as a neurologist if we have a strong reason to believe the behavior being seen is a manifestation of a physical ailment.

Once physical causes are ruled out, a veterinarian will make a diagnosis if it is needed, or will refer the client to the behavior technician for planning and follow-up. Sometimes plans are very simple involving a few changes, other times they are more extensive and include medications. We also work with a number of local trainers and consultants and often take a team approach to helping families change their pets’ behavior by incorporating home visits from these ally professionals.

One of the very best prognostic indicators for a good outcome in behavior modification is early intervention. Many pet owners are embarrassed by problem behaviors and feel as though they have done something wrong to create the problem. This embarrassment may prevent clients from seeking help right away. Please know that early intervention is paramount to success. If your pet has a change in behavior or a concerning behavior, please mention it at your next visit or give us a call. We can help, or in the rare instances we can’t help we can absolutely refer you to someone who can.