Behavioral Medicine

Our Services

Separation Anxiety and COVID-19 Quarantine

Problem Behavior Consultations

Are you experiencing a behavior problem with your pet? The Behavioral Medicine Clinic offers services to owners of companion animals with behavioral issues, including, but not limited to, human-directed aggression, inter-pet aggression, separation anxiety, inappropriate elimination, fears, phobias, compulsive behaviors, and cognitive dysfunction. We are experienced in addressing the behavior problems of dogs and cats and the concerns of their families.  

We welcome the opportunity to meet you and your pet, and to help you understand their behavior and improve your life together! Please email the Behavioral Medicine Clinic if you have questions about the clinic or your upcoming appointment.

Please note that behavioral advice cannot be given via email before your appointment; a doctor-patient relationship must be established first.

Overview of Behavioral Medicine Services



Update for 2020!

What is a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist?

Meghan E. Herron, DVM, DACVB, Adjunct Faculty

    After 10 years of wonderful care and launching the Behavior Service, Dr. Meghan Herron is no longer seeing clinical cases and is transitioning to an adjunct position. For more information on this transition, please see the Behavior Newsletter.

    M. Leanne Lilly, DVM, DACVB, Assistant Professor - Clinical

    The behavioral medicine clinic is headed by Dr. M. Leanne Lilly, a veterinarian who has completed a residency program in veterinary behavioral medicine. Dr. Lilly earned her veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed a behavior specialty internship with the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency here at the Ohio State University. Dr. Lilly also has extensive experience working with shelter and rescue animals in the Philadelphia area, and managing the complex intersection between medical concerns, particularly pain and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and behavior here at the veterinary medical center. Dr. Lilly will work directly with you and your pet on training and management at your appointment and continue to guide you through follow up beyond your appointment.

    Maggie O'Brian, DVM

    Dr. Maggie O’Brian is originally from Cincinnati, OH. She earned her veterinary degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and practiced at a small animal emergency and wellness hospital following graduation. Dr. O’Brian has experience working with shelter animals and has a special interest in geriatric pet behavior concerns and the human animal bond. She will work directly with you and your pet on training and management at your appointment and continue to guide you through close follow up beyond your appointment.

    Kyle Bohland, DVM, MS

    Dr. Kyle Bohland is originally from Fremont, Ohio and did his undergraduate work at The University of Akron in economics. After graduation, he worked full time and obtained a Master of Science degree in agricultural, environmental, and development economics from The Ohio State University. While working towards this degree, Dr. Bohland realized he wanted to pursue veterinary medicine which was his dream career since childhood. He graduated from The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. Following graduation, he worked in a busy general practice in central Ohio doing preventative medicine, general medicine, urgent care, surgery, and dentistry. Dr. Bohland lives in Columbus with his wife, son, and six animals (some with multiple behavior problems).

    Behavior Technicians

    Laura H. Donaldson, BS, RVT, KPA-CTP, Supervisor 

    Rebecca Estel King, CDBC, Behavior Modification Consultant and Specialist


      What to Expect

      Preparing for Your Visit

      • Please complete our behavioral history questionnaire with as much detail as possible. It’s helpful to have information from more than one household member because different people may have different experiences with the pet.
      • Please complete and submit the registration and consent forms.
      • We request that you ask your veterinarian to send us your pet’s complete medical record. Health history is a crucial piece of our assessment and influences our treatment choices, therefore, we need medical notes and lab results not just a vaccine certificate or history line items/receipts.  
      • All paperwork must be received in order to schedule an appointment, please submit either by email ( or fax ATTN: Behavior (614-292-1454). 
      • Submitting requested records and paperwork before your appointment is very important - an additional fee of $25 will be assessed if a behavioral history form for each dog or cat is not returned prior to your appointment. 
      • Before your appointment, your clinician will review the behavior history form completed by you and your pet’s medical record. 
      • Please check with us about the appropriateness of having your children attend your appointment, we encourage as many responsible adult household members as possible to be in attendance.
      • For your safety and the safety of your dogs, please have one adult per dog in attendance so that each dog may be appropriately managed during the appointment.

      Scheduling an Appointment

      You can schedule an appointment by calling the client line Monday through Friday at 614-292-4655. Appointments are during normal business hours, but a limited number of Saturday appointments are sometimes available.

      At your appointment

      • Your clinician will spend time with you and your family to gather more information in order to refine the treatment plan and tailor it to your family and your pet. She will also observe your pet to gain a more accurate impression of his behavior problem. Once she has a clear picture of the problem, she will discuss diagnosis and prognosis, as well as safety, management and behavior modification. In some cases, your clinician may recommend medication to augment your pet’s training regimen.
      • A physical exam will be done on your pet whenever possible. Any medical problems that may be contributing to their behavior problem will be discussed with you.
      • During the appointment, no one will do anything to provoke or frighten your pet; it is not necessary for us to observe aggressive behavior in order to understand the problem. We will supply toys and treats where appropriate for your pet and you are welcome to bring their favorite treats from home. We will try to accommodate special diets when necessary.
      • There may be veterinary students observing and they will participate in the interview.
      • You will be provided with a detailed, written summary of the diagnosis, behavior modification, training, and management plan for your pet’s behavior problem. A copy will be faxed to your primary care veterinarian.
      • We can make treatment plan changes (including medications, training and management) for up to three months after your appointment. We request that you contact us by e-mail with an update at 10 days, 30 days, and 60 days after your appointment; we will reply to email or phone concerns about your pets management within 48-72 hours.
      • After three months any changes to the treatment plan, including medication changes, will need to be assessed at a recheck appointment. If no changes are necessary, we can continue to refill medications for up to six months following your appointment. A recheck appointment is necessary for prescription renewal after six months. This ensures that your pet will be given the best care possible. You have the option of having your primary care veterinarian take over prescription responsibilities.
      • Please alert your clinician by email when you are in need of refills. We will arrange for refills within 72 hours. Because most pharmacies require 48 hours to process refills, please contact your clinician 5-7 days in advance to ensure there will be no gaps in your pet’s medication regimen.

      An initial appointment usually lasts 1 to 2 hours. If two or more pets are involved, or if the behavior problem is complicated, it is likely to last longer. 

       "Head Start" - Problem Prevention Consultations 

      Decades of research has shown that the early months of an animal’s life are the most critical as far as shaping desirable adult behavior.  In order to blossom into the loving and secure pet that you desire, puppies and kittens need to be exposed to people, animals, environments, and training in an appropriate fashion before they are 4 months of age.  Head Start appointments provide information and basic training recommendations for puppy and kitten owners.  

      Who qualifies for a "Head Start" consultation?

      • Puppies under 16 weeks of age
      • Kittens under 16 weeks of age
      • Select newly-adopted shelter dogs and cats of any age
        • Appointment is scheduled within one week of adoption-- adoption certificate required for verification
        • Please note: a "head start" is a preventive appointment 
        • No known behavioral concerns can be addressed in the shorter "head start" appointment and a full behavioral assessment will be recommended


      Honoring the Bond Program

      If you are faced with making difficult decisions regarding your animal with behavior issues, please click here for additional support. You may also receive emotional support from our Veterinary Social Worker with the Honoring the Bond program.

      Articles of Interest & Recommended Reading


      View our newsletter archive

      Required pre-appointment paperwork and information

      Behavioral Medicine Wish List