We offer Veterinary Behavioural Consultations with Dr Gibb Macdonald and Dr Zoe Devine.
Dr Macdonald completed the Australian College Membership Exams in Veterinary Behaviour in 2010. He saw a real need for veterinary involvement in behavioural problems in Perth and is now offering behavioural consultations for Morley Vetcentre clients, and those referred by other vets or dog trainers in Perth and regional areas of WA.
Dr Zoe developed a passion for veterinary behaviour early in her career, as she believes caring for the mental wellbeing of all pets allows them to live a happier and healthier life, whilst also strengthening the bond they have with their owners. Dr Zoe is currently studying to sit her membership exams in 2022, after having completed post graduate study in 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is involved with having a Behavioural Consult?
Each client is asked to complete a 10 page behavioural questionnaire and this needs to be emailed/faxed/posted/hand delivered back to the hospital about a day before the appointment. You need to allow at least an hour in which Dr Mac will discuss all matter of issues regarding your pet. A written report will follow and a copy will be sent to your referring vet or dog trainer.
Will my pet need medication?
Following the visit and report, a range of recommendations will be made. These can involve pet management, behavioural modification techniques and possibly the use of short or even long term medication. Often a blood test may be necessary to make sure no other medical problems could be influencing the undesirable behaviour/s. For many patients that are anxious, they often benefit from medication to help them become calmer.
How long is a consult?
It can vary between 1 – 2 hours but most consults last about One Hour, provided a good effort is made by the owner in filling in the questionnaire before the visit.
Can you guarantee results?
No. In behaviour there are no guarantees. We can provide you with strategies to improve your pet’s behaviour but the final results depends on many factors including your commitment to work with your pet.
Why is seeing a Veterinary Behaviourist different to going to a dog trainer?
The focus on behaviour medicine is very different from obedience training. A behaviour consultation is not a replacement for dog obedience training classes. While obedience training is still an important part of teaching your dog good manners, behavioural problems are not the same as training problems. Many highly trained obedience dogs still require a behaviour consultation as their issues are not related to training or a lack there of.
How long before my pet is better?
With many behavioural problems, the long term goal is not a cure, but rather management of the pet. There is no answer to the actual time frame that will be required. Our pets are constantly influenced by the world around them, and therefore their behaviour is constantly evolving.
Shouldn’t a good trainer be able to fix the problem?
No! A good trainer recognises the difference between a training problem, a problem behaviour and a behavioural problem. A good trainer knows the limit of their own expertise, and does not want to make the problem worse by giving incorrect advice. Those trainers will refer you if they feel that it is best for your pet. Be wary of trainers who claim to be able to fix everything. However, trainers and Veterinary Behaviourists often work together. A trainer can help you with the behavioural modification program that the Veterinary Behaviourist has recommended.