May 06 2015

Behavioral disorders in pets

According to the USA Today, over 20% of Americans take medication for psychiatric or behavioral disorders such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. This number has grown significantly over the last 20 years. Veterinary medicine seems to be following the trend. Many human medications for anxiety have been growing in popularity for our four legged family members, and veterinary drug and food companies have come out with numerous new products for anxiety and behavioral issues. The more common problems we see in dogs and cats can be classified as anxiety, fear, or phobia. Many owners may not realize that their pet has an anxiety or fear problem, as many of the more mild signs could be misconstrued as “normal” pet behavior. The three listed above are actually three separate issues, and it is important to identify which your pet may be suffering from in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan. With all three, we can also see a wide variety of severity and clinical signs. For instance, a seemingly “nervous” pet may actually be suffering from anxiety, which, when ignored, can escalate into much more serious problems such as aggression. Fear, anxiety, and phobias are not the only behavioral issues we see. If you suspect your pet may have a behavioral problem, you can consult with one of our veterinarians. Often times we do not have to resort to medications, but can use training, behavior modification, and dietary supplements to help manage many issues.
Dr. Caitlin Schuessler

kirkwood | Uncategorized

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