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Discussing separation anxiety with clients


Dr Lisa Radosta joins this week's episode of The Vet Blast Podcast to unpack separation anxiety in pets

Most veterinary professionals have witnessed an increase in separation anxiety when it comes to all of the pandemic puppies booking appointments. However, as more patients come in with clients thinking they have separation anxiety, how can veterinary professionals talk to them about treatment options or even other possible diagnoses?

On this week's episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB, and host Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, chat about how teams can approach clients who suspect their pet is suffering from behavior anxiety, what questions to ask clients, and how to rule it out.

Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB: For us as veterinarians, we want to first be objective. So we see this all the time, clients will come in and say 'My dog has separation anxiety' so I come into that appointment with [not knowing] what your dog has, I can't come into that with 'your dog has separation anxiety,' because if the client knew how to diagnose and treat, she wouldn't be in the exam room.

So I want to be super objective. Separation anxiety occurs really frequently with 2 things, confinement distress, so creating being confined in a bathroom, or to behind a gate, and noise phobia. And if we're gonna just play the slots in Vegas, the dog is more likely to have noise phobia than separation anxiety. About 50% of US dogs—50, like 5-0, that's a big number—have noise phobia, based on the pre COVID numbers, and we didn't know post COVID. But pre COVID numbers about maybe 25% of dogs have separation, we're going to call them related disorders.

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