Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes anxious when it does not have access to the owner. Separation anxiety can manifest in a variety of ways. The signs exhibited can include subtle changes such as shaking or increased salivation, anorexia to more severe behaviours like barking or destructive behaviour including elimination (defaecation and urination). Separation anxiety may only become apparent after a change in the owner's routine, as an animal becomes older, or after a traumatic event such as being rehoused.
The most effective form of treatment for animals which have been diagnosed with separation anxiety is a combination of medication and behaviour modification.
Dr Andrea conducts behaviour consultations which are extended consultations where she discusses your pet's behaviour problems, diagnoses the disorder and is able to advise methods of reducing its occurrence and how to reprogram your pet. To aid these consultations Dr Andrea asks owners to fill out a questionnaire which is designed to give her a large amount of information involving the pet's lifestyle and behaviours at home. Once Dr Andrea has read through all the information provided she schedules an appointment with you and your pet so she can examine your pet, observe any behaviours and ask you the owner some more questions. Then the hard but rewarding work begins as Dr Andrea will give you lots of helpful tips on modifying the problem behaviours to make life easier for you and your pet.
In Samson's case some medication was prescribed to relieve his anxiety and his owners have started to follow Dr Andrea's instructions on how to modify his behaviour in the least stressful manner we can. From now the work begins for Samson and his owners. Samson will need to revisit for regular consultations to see how he is going. If you are having any problems with your pet's behaviour, please contact the clinic as we can help!
If your pet exhibits any behaviours you feel may be abnormal feel free to call the clinic to ask our staff what we can do to help.