General

Q: What is the treatment success rate?

A: The treatment success rate varies depending on the pet’s diagnosis, environment and the duration of the problem. When you meet with Dr. Radosta, she will discuss your pet’s diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis.


Medications

Q: Will medication cure my pet’s behavior problem?

A: Behavior problems are rarely cured by a medication alone. Instead, medications help the animal to focus, be less afraid and less anxious so that they are better able to learn the prescribed behavior modification. Ideally, the medication reduces the anxiety, but behavior modification is typically necessary to permanently rectify the negative behaviors.


How often are medications prescribed for behavior problems in animals?

A: Medications are frequently used in veterinary behavioral medicine as an adjunct to treatment.  However, they are not always necessary or recommended. The decision to use a medication as an adjunct to treatment is based on many factors including the pet’s specific diagnosis, the duration of the problem and the environment of the pet.  


Q: Will medication change my pet’s personality? 

A: The medications which are used as part of a veterinary behavior treatment plan typically are not intended to “drug” or sedate the pet. Your pet will retain his or her personality. If the medications are effective, your pet will be calmer and less fearful. The goal of using medications as an adjunct to behavior modification and environmental changes is to help the animal focus, learn and adjust to the changes being made. This cannot happen effectively if the pet is sedated. While short-term use of sedatives is appropriate for some behavior problems, it is not a permanent solution.


Q: If medications are prescribed, how long will my pet be on medication for his or her behavior problem?

A: It depends on the severity of your pet’s problem, the environment and your pet’s response to the other parts of the treatment plan. Some pets may stay on medication for life.


Q: How effective are the medications that you use to treat behavior problems?

A: There is no one medication which will be effective for all animals. The success rate depends on many things including the pet’s specific problem, their genetics and their individual physiology.  When you meet with Dr. Radosta, she will discuss which medications may be appropriate for your pet’s individual behavior problem and how effective they may be for your pet.


Behavior Modification


Q: What methods do you use for behavior modification?

A: Dr. Radosta uses reward-based training. She uses what motivates each individual animal to shape more desirable behavior. This may mean toys, food, catnip or freedom to run in the back yard could be used as a reward for appropriate behaviors.  She will choose the most effective, humane method for your pet.  She will not ask you to hold down, hit, use pain or force to train your pet.


Q: What is the difference between training and behavior modification?

A: Obedience training is done to teach basic behaviors and change unruly behaviors. Behavior modification is intended to change the animal’s emotional state.


Q: My dog has been through a lot of training already and he isn’t any better. How is what you do different?

A: Obedience training helps you control your dog is he or she is unruly or disobedient. When your dog or cat has a serious behavior problem such as aggression, you need behavior modification.


Euthanasia


Q: I'm afraid that I'll be told I have to euthanize my pet--do you often tell people that?

A: The decision to euthanize your pet is a personal, heart wrenching decision. Dr. Radosta does not feel that it is her place to tell a person when to euthanize their pet. She will tell you very honestly what the risks are, what the prognosis is and what you can or cannot do to improve the problem. With that information, you will be able to make an informed decision which is appropriate for your family and your pet.


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