Behavioral Medicine

Our Services

Separation Anxiety and COVID-19 Quarantine

Problem Behavior Consultations

Are you experiencing a behavior problem with your pet? The Behavioral Medicine Clinic offers services to owners of companion animals with behavioral issues, including, but not limited to, human-directed aggression, inter-pet aggression, separation anxiety, inappropriate elimination, fears, phobias, compulsive behaviors, and cognitive dysfunction. We are experienced in addressing the behavior problems of dogs and cats and the concerns of their families.  

We welcome the opportunity to meet you and your pet, and to help you understand their behavior and improve your life together! Please email the Behavioral Medicine Clinic if you have questions about the clinic or your upcoming appointment.

Please note that behavioral advice cannot be given before your appointment; a doctor-patient relationship must be established first.

Overview of Behavioral Medicine Services



What is a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist?

M. Leanne Lilly, DVM, DACVB, Assistant Professor - Clinical

The behavioral medicine clinic is headed by Dr. M. Leanne Lilly, a veterinarian who has completed a residency program in veterinary behavioral medicine. Dr. Lilly earned her veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed a behavior specialty internship with the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency here at the Ohio State University. Dr. Lilly also has extensive experience working with shelter and rescue animals in the Philadelphia area, and managing the complex intersection between medical concerns, particularly pain and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and behavior here at the veterinary medical center. Dr. Lilly will work directly with you and your pet on training and management at your appointment and continue to guide you through follow up beyond your appointment.

Kyle Bohland, DVM, MS

Dr. Kyle Bohland is originally from Fremont, Ohio and did his undergraduate work at The University of Akron in economics. After graduation, he worked full time and obtained a Master of Science degree in agricultural, environmental, and development economics from The Ohio State University. While working towards this degree, Dr. Bohland realized he wanted to pursue veterinary medicine which was his dream career since childhood. He graduated from The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. Following graduation, he worked in a busy general practice in central Ohio doing preventative medicine, general medicine, urgent care, surgery, and dentistry. Dr. Bohland lives in Columbus with his wife, son, and six animals (some with multiple behavior problems).

Welcome Behavioral Medicine Residents coming Summer 2022!

Kristina Baucom, DVM

Dr. Kristina Baucom completed her undergraduate degree at Cal Poly State University in Medical and Public Health Microbiology. She graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. She has worked in general practice and shelter settings since graduation and in 2016 began working as a forensic veterinarian for the ASPCA in Florida. In this role, she taught Veterinary Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida, published a paper and case series, and assisted in small- and large-scale criminal animal cruelty casework across the country. This work helped her fully realize the importance behavioral medicine plays in the welfare and quality of life for all animals, not just cruelty cases. Dr. Baucom lives in Columbus, Ohio with three behavior special needs dogs adopted from animal cruelty cases and her two cats. 

Jordan Gibson, DVM

Dr. Jordan Gibson hails from the greater St. Louis, Missouri, area, but is no stranger to Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University, where he worked with local shelter dogs, solidifying his love of veterinary medicine. He completed his veterinary degree at The Ohio State University in the class of 2021. Following graduation, he returned to St. Louis to work as an emergency veterinarian at an ER and specialty clinic and is training for canine rehabilitation certification. Dr. Gibson is thrilled to be back in Columbus as a part of the behavioral medicine team, and has a special interest in the behavioral needs of sporting and working dogs in addition to medical influences on behavioral pathologies. 

Behavior Technicians

Laura H. Donaldson, BS, RVT, KPA-CTP, Supervisor 

Rebecca Estel King, CDBC, Behavior Modification Consultant and Specialist


    What to Expect

    Preparing for Your Visit

    • Please complete our behavioral history questionnaire with as much detail as possible. It’s helpful to have information from more than one household member because different people may have different experiences with the pet.
    • Please complete, sign, and submit the registration and consent forms.
    • Ask your veterinarian to send us your pet’s complete medical record. Health history is a crucial piece of our assessment and influences our treatment choices, therefore, we need medical notes and lab results not just a vaccine certificate or history line items/receipts.  
    • All paperwork including medical records must be complete and received in order to schedule an appointment or to be placed on a cancellation list. Please submit documents by email ( Please note we are unable to utilize .pages documents or jpegs, only pdfs and word documents will be accepted by email. Printed documents can be scanned to a pdf using one of the many free scanning apps available on your cell phone.
    • Before your appointment, your clinician will review the behavior history form completed by you and your pet’s medical record. 
    • Please check with us about the appropriateness of having your children attend the appointment, we encourage as many responsible adult household members as possible to be in attendance. (Current Covid-19 protocols do not allow this, please see current hospital access guidelines for updates).
    • For your safety and the safety of your dogs, we require that you have one adult per dog in attendance so that each dog may be appropriately managed during the appointment.
    • If your pet is already taking prescription medications, please continue to use them as directed by your veterinarian. If medications have been prescribed for behavioral concerns or specifically for veterinary visits, please give as usual for the appointment. We want your pet to be as comfortable as possible during their consultation. We do not need to see your pet ‘drug free’ in order to provide a detailed, effective assessment.  

    Scheduling an Appointment

    Appointments will not be scheduled prior to receipt of required paperwork. You can schedule an appointment by emailing or calling the client line Monday through Friday at 614-292-4655. Appointments are held on weekdays during normal business hours.

    At your appointment

    • Your clinician will spend time with you and your family to gather more information in order to refine the treatment plan and tailor it to your family and your pet. The clinical team will also observe your pet to gain a more accurate impression of the behavior problem. Once we have a clear picture of the problem, we will discuss diagnosis and prognosis, as well as safety, management and behavior modification. 
    • In some cases, your clinician may recommend medication to augment your pet’s training regimen.
    • Training/behavior modification appointments are available to patients within their follow-up periods in packages of 4 or 8 or as individual sessions.
    • A physical exam will be done on your pet whenever possible. Any medical problems that may be contributing to their behavior problem will be discussed with you.
    • During the appointment, no one will do anything to provoke or frighten your pet; it is not necessary for us to observe specific behaviors in order to understand the problem. We will supply toys and treats where appropriate for your pet and you are welcome to bring their favorite treats from home. We will try to accommodate special diets when necessary.
    • There may be veterinary students observing and they will participate in the interview.
    • You will be provided with a detailed, written summary of the diagnosis, behavior modification, training, and management plan for your pet’s behavior problem. A copy will be emailed to your primary care veterinarian.
    • We can make treatment plan changes (including medications, training and management) for up to three months after your appointment. We request that you contact us by e-mail with an update at 10 days, 30 days, and 60 days after your appointment; we will reply to email or phone concerns about your pets management within 72 hours.
    • After three months, any changes to the treatment plan, including medication changes, will need to be assessed at a recheck appointment. If no changes are necessary, we can continue to refill medications for up to six months following your appointment. A recheck appointment is necessary for prescription renewal after six months. This ensures that your pet will be given the best care possible. You also have the option of having your primary care veterinarian take over your pet's behavioral care (prescriptions, management, and follow-up responsibilities).
    • Please alert your clinician by email when you are in need of refills. We will arrange for refills within 72 hours. Because most pharmacies require 48 hours to process refills, please contact your clinician 5-7 days in advance to ensure there will be no gaps in your pet’s medication regimen. Important information about your pet's prescriptions.

    An initial appointment usually lasts 1 to 2 hours. If two or more pets are involved, or if the behavior problem is complicated, it is likely to last longer. 

     "Head Start" - Problem Prevention Consultations 

    Decades of research has shown that the early months of an animal’s life are the most critical as far as shaping desirable adult behavior. In order to blossom into the loving and secure pet that you desire, puppies and kittens need to be exposed to people, animals, environments, and training in an appropriate fashion before they are 4 months of age. Head Start appointments provide information and basic training recommendations for puppy and kitten owners.  

    Who qualifies for a "Head Start" consultation?

    • Puppies under 16 weeks of age
    • Kittens under 16 weeks of age
    • Select newly-adopted shelter dogs and cats of any age
      • Appointment is scheduled within one week of adoption-- adoption certificate required for verification
      • Please note: a "head start" is a preventive appointment 
      • No known behavioral concerns can be addressed in the shorter "head start" appointment and a full behavioral assessment will be recommended


    Honoring the Bond Program

    If you are faced with making difficult decisions regarding your animal with behavior issues our Honoring the Bond Program and our Veterinary Social Worker can offer support in addition to the following handouts. 


    Articles of Interest & Recommended Reading


    View our newsletter archive

    Required pre-appointment paperwork and information

    Behavioral Medicine Wish List