Where Does 'Behavior' Fit into a Patient Examination?

May 30, 2018

During a routine exam, behavior can sometimes be pushed to the wayside.

It can be difficult to cover everything you need to cover in a short, 15-minute vaccine appointment. This usually means that behavior is pushed to the wayside, says Amy L. Pike, DVM, DACVB, chief of the Behavior Medicine Division at the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia. But you can fit this important part of the exam in by using your veterinary team members and technicians.

Dr. Pike says you should have your staff screen patients for behavior issues and take their history either while they're waiting in the lobby or in the exam room. You can do this by having pet owners quickly mark a behavior checklist. Dr. Pike advises veterinarians to not address any of the behavior issues during that exam, but to schedule a separate appointment for behavior specifically.