Information for Referring Veterinarians

Referring a case for behavioural medical treatment

After spending a number of years in small animal general practice, our vets understand first-hand that there is rarely ever any sufficient time to perform a behaviour consultation of adequate length, in between juggling a full waiting room of patients, unexpected walk-ins, emergencies, critical hospital cases and long surgeries. It is even harder as a GP vet to be able to know everything there is to know about every aspect of veterinary medicine. This unfortunate reality is why vets with a particular interest in specific fields like behavioural medicine are here to help you and your patients.

We don’t like stealing other people’s clients! Since we are a behaviour only practice, we do not provide clinical services (such as vaccinations, blood tests, surgery or dispense non-behaviour medications) nor do we provide management of conditions that are not in any way related to behaviour. Clients are sent back to their regular veterinarian, or referred to a specialist in the relevant field (if required) for the provision of such services.

Every case is sent back to their usual veterinarian for any required clinical monitoring (such as blood tests, urinalysis or check-ups) and for the management of any other non-behaviour related problem that may be identified, such as concurrent medical conditions. Pet Behaviour Vet exists to work together with general practitioners in order to provide their patients with the best available veterinary medical and psychological care. This important relationship would not be possible if we aimed to compete for business with them.

Referring a case for behavioural training

If you have a patient who does not need an opinion on medical treatment, but would benefit from a training consultation with our animal behaviourist, send them our way! This service is useful for patients who either don’t need medical treatment, or who are already on a successful behavioural medical plan from you the referring veterinarian.

Read more about why you would refer a case to our animal behaviourist.

Referring a Case

If you are referring a case to one of our staff, please ask the client to contact us directly on (02) 8599 0859, or ask them to find our website and fill out the Contact FormPlease give them a ballpark figure beforehand of what a behaviour consultation may cost if possible (call us if you are not sure).

If you have a specific preference for which clinician you would like your client to see, please ask them to mention this upon booking, otherwise we will use our best judgement and they will be offered the first available appointment. Please note that even if you refer a patient to see one of our behaviour veterinarians, we may occasionally book your patient in to first see our PhD animal behaviourist to provide emergency triage care, if there is a long waitlist to see the behaviour veterinarian.

Once they book in, we will call and let your staff know, and to thank you for your referral. At this point we will ask you to provide us with an e-mailed copy if the patient’s complete medical history.

We recommend that you ensure that any concurrent or underlying medical conditions have been identified and treated if possible. A minimum workup of a full physical examination (paying very close attention to sources of mild chronic pain) and a blood test (CBC, full biochemistry, T4) is recommended for most adult dogs and cats. Additional tests may be required for certain cases, such as radiographs to identify sources of pain or lameness, or a full urinalysis for toileting or FIC cases. We can still perform the consultation if these tests have not been performed, in which case we may send the patient back to you after our first appointment to have these done, which may delay treatment.

We prefer that you do not dispense any behavioural medications while the patient is under our medical care unless we have been contacted for confirmation first. This is primarily to prevent any miscommunication between all parties and to encourage clients to give us direct feedback on their pet’s treatment plan, as in many cases their medications will need to be altered several times before the patient is stable and handed back to their primary care veterinarian. Until this time, we aim to provide the client with at least enough repeats to last until the next behaviour consultation is due. This rule does not apply if the patient is solely seeing our animal behaviourist (PhD) for behavioural training.

With the client’s consent, we will keep you informed of any medical advice that we provide. In return we ask that you keep us informed of any relevant monitoring test results that we send the client back for, and any progress reports.

Behaviour Advisory Service (vet-to-vet consultation)

Our behaviour veterinarians are available for consultation over the phone to thoroughly review and discuss with you any behaviour cases that you may require assistance with. You will always remain the treating veterinarian and continue to be responsible for management of your own case. The initial phone conversation will be either 30 or 60-minutes long, depending on the amount of guidance you require and how complicated the case is. Please contact our office for more information on how you can access this valuable service.

Staff Training- Lunch Seminars

We offer vet clinics informative lunchtime staff training seminars for a small fee. We can discuss topics such as reading dog and cat body language, preventing bite and scratch injury to staff, low stress handling in the clinic, behavioural medications and sedatives for procedures, basic training techniques and the latest puppy school recommendations. We tailor our seminars to the needs of your clinic.

Contact us

Our staff are also available by phone or e-mail to support general practice veterinarians who may have general questions about how to manage their own behaviour cases.

If you would like one of our team to come to your practice to introduce themselves to your staff and explain the services that we can offer to your clients and patients, we would be more than happy to arrange this with you over the phone. Alternatively, if you would like us to send you some of our business cards in the post then please let us know.