Frequently Asked Questions
How are we different from everyone else?
Do I need to bring my pet(s) to the consultation?
- Dr. Sung offers a scientific approach as a veterinarian who has advanced training in behavioral medicine.
- We are not a training facility and will not be training your pet. Results rely heavily upon the client’s commitment and consistent use of the individual treatment plan prescribed by Dr. Sung.
- We do not do provocative temperament testing; Sung does not need to see your pet exhibit the problem behavior in order to give a diagnosis and she will never intentionally provoke your pet.
- Diagnosis is based on taking a careful behavioral history, information provided by the caregiver, and passive observations of your pet.
- A behavior consultation is similar in appearance to a family counseling session. Dr. Sung does not wear a doctor's coat or scrubs and our consultation room does not resemble a veterinary examination room. We do this to ease our patients and make their experience at our clinic as positive as possible.
- We do not focus on obedience or a “one size fits all” program, but rather focused relaxation and systematic desensitization exercises. It will be very different than what you’ve done previously with trainers.
- As a veterinary medical doctor, Dr. Sung will explore contributing medical issues and prescribe behavioral drugs if indicated.
- Even if you feel you have “tried everything,” in almost every case, we can offer a fresh approach and new treatment options.
All clients must bring their pets that are exhibiting the problem behaviors with them to their appointment. Clients who do not bring their pet(s) to their appointment will not be seen.
By law, Dr. Sung must establish a direct doctor-patient relationship before she can diagnose or treat the patient.
What is the initial consultation like?
Do you make house calls?
- Initial consultations typically range from 1.5-2 hours long. *Time needed for an initial consultation varies based on the individual client’s situation, case complexity, number of pets, and number of separate issues.
- During the first part of the initial consultation, Dr. Sung gathers a detailed history regarding the problem behavior(s) and provides her clients with a diagnosis and a treatment plan. The treatment plan includes management techniques and behavior modification exercises.
- During the second part of the initial consultation, the management techniques and behavior modification exercises are demonstrated to the client.
- We offer phone and email support after the initial consultation. Recheck appointments (in-person visits) are available to reevaluate and assess progress.
House calls are offered for Felines only
within 15 miles
of our Kirkland clinic. A travel fee will apply. Please keep in mind that the difference between a house call and an in-office visit is a matter of convenience for our clients.
The location of the appointment will not affect Dr. Sung's ability to diagnose and treat your cat.
House calls for Canines are currently unavailable. For many behavior problems, we do not need to go to the home in order to assess the problem.
- We do not need to witness or provoke the pet’s undesirable behavior in order to diagnose and treat the pet.
- Many dogs are territorial and too highly reactive towards us in their home environment for us to demonstrate relaxation training.
- Our presence in the home alters the “natural” environment, so we do not truly see the animal’s natural behavior.
- It is helpful for us to see pets in their novel environment and assess their ability to acclimate to the novel situation.
If your pet’s behavior is likely to occur only at home, you are encouraged to record the behavior and bring a copy of the video to the consultation. However, we never recommend that you intentionally trigger problem behaviors or aggressive behaviors for the sake of recording it. Again, we do not need to see the problem behavior in order to assess the problem.
Why don’t we offer telephone consults with new clients?
Unfortunately, we cannot legally offer remote telephone consultations. Veterinarians are required to establish direct doctor-patient relationships before recommending any specific treatments - and that includes behavioral medicine.
At the initial behavior consultation, Dr. Sung must establish a doctor-client-patient relationship in order to assess the problem and give advice, so telephone consultations are not possible for new patients. Our office will communicate directly with the regular veterinarian regarding treatment recommendations.
Will my pet need medication?
In certain cases, Dr. Sung may discuss the use of behavioral medication. Medication is used short-term and needs to be used in conjunction with behavior modification in order for it to be effective. Medication alone will not resolve the animal's behavior problem.
Laboratory testing may be recommended for cases requiring medication.
Our office will provide 3 months of refills for most medications. After 3 months, Recheck Appointments are required in order to receive additional refills. Alternatively, the prescription can be transferred to the patient’s regular veterinarian (provided that the regular veterinarian is comfortable prescribing the medication).