The Behavior Clinic
The Behavior Clinic at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is dedicated to helping pets and their owners live together comfortably and safely. Our veterinarians and staff are well qualified and experienced in addressing behavior problems with an approach that combines skills from the fields of veterinary medicine, behavioral medicine, applied animal behavior and pet training. We see cats and dogs of all ages for behavior problems ranging from housetraining and litter box problems and destructive or self-injurious activity, to aggression towards people or towards other animals.
Visits to the Behavior Clinic are by appointment. Pet owners may be referred to us by their primary care veterinarians, or may contact us directly, without a referral.
An initial visit to the Behavior Clinic usually lasts 3 to 4 hours. Pet owners are asked to complete a history form before the appointment which details the pet’s home environment and the behavior problem. In order to address all possible contributing factors, we also request the pet’s medical record from the referring veterinarian. During the appointment the pet, client and behavior team meet to discuss the medical and behavioral history and ways to manage and improve the animal’s behavior. The environment is non-threatening and primarily intended to help the veterinary behaviorist (a veterinarian board-certified in animal behavior) or behavior resident to identify and understand the problem.
Once a diagnosis has been made, a treatment plan is discussed. Management of behavior problems may include safety counseling, behavior modification, management techniques such as modification of the home environment, and, if needed, medication. Safety of our patients and of everyone who interacts with them is emphasized. In the second half of the appointment the client will work with a behavior technician on the behavior modification techniques recommended by the veterinarian. During this time the veterinarian and the clinical students will prepare a detailed written summary of the visit with all of the veterinarian’s recommendations and instructions for continuing behavior modification at home. After the visit there is a four-month follow-up period during which clients may call or e-mail as needed for assistance with management and behavior modification. Follow-up appointments are available as needed.
To Make an Appointment
To schedule an appointment, clients may contact us directly at 215.898.3347, or e-mail email@example.com.
New in 2013: Puppy Classes
The Behavior Service will be offering puppy classes starting from January 2013. Learn more by downloading our flyer (PDF).