Behavior 2018-07-09T01:29:07+00:00

Behavior problems in pets are one of the more common reasons for owners to relinquish their companions. Activities such as aggression and anxiety-based behaviors often result in a breakdown of the bond that exists between pets and people. Our behavior practice is committed to assisting pet owners in re-establishing that bond.

Dr. John Cirabassi, owner of Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants, concentrates primarily on the treatment of behavior difficulties in companion animals (primarily dogs, cats and pet birds). His goal is to identify problem behaviors and differentiate normal behaviors which are inappropriate for the situation versus abnormal behavior.

Diagnosis is based mainly on history, observation of the pet directly or through videotape and any needed laboratory testing (performed either by your veterinarian or at the time of the appointment with our practice). Typical behaviors which we are presented with include:

  • Anxiety related disorders (such as separation anxiety) and phobias (thunderstorm and noise phobias).
  • Compulsive disorders (tail chasing, flank licking, light chasing, etc.).
  • Elimination problems (house soiling, marking, litter box issues)
  • Aggressive behaviors of dogs and cats

Your pet’s diagnosis is based on:

  • History/Interview
  • Physical examination
  • Laboratory evaluation

A behavior questionnaire is sent to you as the pet’s owner and a veterinary history form forwarded to your primary care veterinarian. The forms are then returned for evaluation prior to the scheduled consult. You may contact us at any time to schedule an appointment. In addition, Puppy Socialization Classes and Individualized Behavior Modification Sessions directed by our behavior technician, Pat Rattray, are available.

Treatment plans involve a combination of environmental and behavior modification. At times, judicious use of medication is employed in pets with levels of anxiety which may interfere with learning. Initial consultations last from 1-2 hours with follow-up visits (if needed) lasting about an hour. Non-behavioral concerns will be directed back to your family veterinarian. Follow up letters will be sent promptly to the referring hospital.