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 OSUVET.BehaviorMedicine@osu.edu 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.
- Our Services and Prices
- What to Expect
- Preparing For Your Visit
- "Head Start" - Problem Prevention Consultations
- Scheduling an Appointment
- Honoring the Bond
- Articles of Interest
- Quick Links to Required Paperwork
After 10 years of wonderful care and launching the Behavior Service, Dr. Meghan Herron is no longer seeing clinical cases and is transitioning to an adjunct position. For more information on this transition, please see the Behavior Newsletter.
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.
Dr. Maggie O’Brian is originally from Cincinnati, OH. She earned her veterinary degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and practiced at a small animal emergency and wellness hospital following graduation. Dr. O’Brian has experience working with shelter animals and has a special interest in geriatric pet behavior concerns and the human animal bond. She will work directly with you and your pet on training and management at your appointment and continue to guide you through close follow up beyond your appointment.
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).
Laura H. Donaldson, BS, RVT, KPA-CTP, Supervisor
Rebecca Estel King, CDBC, Behavior Modification Consultant and Specialist
- 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.
- We request that you 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 must be complete and received in order to schedule an appointment or to be placed on a cancellation list. Please submit documents by email (OSUVET.BehaviorMedicine@osu.edu). 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.
- Submitting requested records and complete paperwork is very important - an additional fee of $25 will be assessed for each pet if not received.
- 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, please have one adult per dog in attendance so that each dog may be appropriately managed during the appointment.
You can schedule an appointment by emailing OSUVET.BehaviorMedicine@osu.edu or calling the client line Monday through Friday at 614-292-4655. Appointments are during normal business hours, but a limited number of Saturday appointments are sometimes available.
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.
- 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 48-72 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.
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
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.
- Caring for and Making Choices about Animals with Behavioral Issues
- Euthanasia for behavioral issues: A complicated and difficult decision
- What is a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist?
- Choosing Behavior Professionals for Your Pet
- Your Pet's Prescriptions
- Giving Medications at Home
- Separation Anxiety and COVID-19 Quarantine
- Environmental Enrichment for Indoor Cats
- Advances in Understanding and Treatment of Feline Inappropriate Elimination
- Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors
- Additional recommended reading
- JAVMA article on the affect of Effects of trazodone on stress
- Behavior Guide for Your New Puppy
- Behavior Services
- New Client Information and Prices
- Head-Start Appointments
- Registration and Consent Form - PDF version
- Directions and Parking information
- Your Pet's Prescriptions
- Cat Questionnaire - PDF version
- Cat Questionnaire - Word version
- Dog Questionnaire - PDF version
- Dog Questionnaire - Word version
- Dog Recheck Questionnaire - PDF version
- Dog Recheck Questionnaire - Word version
- Cat Recheck Questionnaire - PDF version
- Cat Recheck Questionnaire - Word version