Can you "fix" my pet's behavior problem?
Behavior is a complex interaction of genetics, environment, learning and life style choices. Some behaviors are easy to change, others require intense, long-term treatment and management. Just as a psychiatrist cannot guarantee that they can cure a patient's depression, we cannot guarantee that we will fix your pet's behavior issue. What we can promise is that we will be there for you with professional advice and support. We’ll teach you how to handle sticky situations using proven, science-based methods of behavior modification. As you learn to be your pet’s best advocate, we’ll be your coach and cheerleader and will work with you in a team effort to help you and your pet.
How can I schedule an appointment?
Dr. Sinn sees clients at our behavior exclusive practice located in Ashburn. Schedule an appointment easily online. For house and farm visits, please contact Dr. Sinn via our contact form.
*Note that you will be required to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire about your pet's behavior (available on the FORMS page) and that your pet should have basic blood work (complete blood count, chemistry panel and thyroid levels-T4) completed by your primary veterinarian prior to the appointment.
Why do you require a questionnaire and blood work for every patient prior to an appointment?
The comprehensive questionnaire gives possible insights into any behavior related problems that your pet might be having so that the time during your appointment can be spent observing and targeting those specific problem areas. Additionally, many problematic behaviors may have underlying medical causes which, once diagnosed and treated, may also resolve (an example would be a cat urinating outside of its litter box because of cystitis). A complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel and T4 level (thyroid test) are recommended prior to your pet's visit.
What is the consultation process?
Clients fill out an extensive questionnaire before the appointment. It provides the background information needed to be able to make appropriate recommendations that will work for an individual client and their pet(s). If possible to do so SAFELY, clients are also asked to try to obtain videos of any behaviors that are of concern and submit them for review. Copies of your pet's medical records should also be submitted online via the website or by email. Clients will be asked to practice any techniques that are discussed in order to make sure that they can be applied. In partnership, a comprehensive treatment plan will be developed and implemented.
The appointment includes the consultation itself, a written write up of findings and recommendations, handouts on applicable techniques and/or links to resources discussed as well as follow up with our licensed behavior nurse via email or phone after the appointment. If aggression is a concern, risk will also be discussed. Blood work or medication, if recommended, would be an additional charge. Rechecks occur ~6-8 weeks after the initial consultation via telehealth (phone, FaceTime or Zoom). Individual one-on-one, targeted behavior modification sessions with our behavior nurse are also available if additional help or coaching is desired.
Do you ever prescribe medication? How can I get a refill?
In some cases, behavior modification will be supplemented with medication. This is especially true in situations where the pet is scared or anxious or where underlying medical conditions may be contributing to behavioral problems.
Refill requests may be submitted online through the website. Please allow 3-5 business days to process your request. Rush requests will incur an emergency fee!
What is your policy on punishment in training?
Punishment is not an effective training approach. It creates fear and anxiety and can be dangerous for the owner if the pet reacts aggressively. We will show you how to interact with your pet in a positive manner that creates a happy, trusting relationship.
Please refer to the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists' position statement on the use of punishment in training.
What is the cost of a consultation?
A behavior consultation at a veterinary facility is $425. Inter-dog aggression cases with multiple dogs are $425 for EACH dog-all dogs involved in the behavior problem must be individually evaluated. Rechecks, are $200 and occur ~2 months after the initial appointment via telehealth (phone, FaceTime or Zoom). Annual behavior rechecks are $200 and MUST occur in person (required by regulations governing veterinary medicine in Virginia). All emergency appointments incur a $150 convenience fee. Discounted appointments are available for 501c3s rescues, shelters, police, SAR, trainer, veterinarian and LVT owned dogs.
House calls within Loudoun County are $800. Other locations are by private arrangement with the total cost varying according to distance traveled and time involved. Options may be limited due to the restrictions necessary to maintain social distancing during COVID. Please use the contact form to schedule a house call and discuss options.