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What is Veterinary Behavior?

Veterinary Behavior is a specialty within the field of veterinary medicine that focuses on the emotional well-being of your pet. Veterinarians who treat behavior concerns have completed four years of undergraduate school and four years of veterinary school followed by specialty training in behavioral medicine. This extensive training in veterinary medicine, psychology, pharmacology, animal behavior, and behavior modification techniques allows behavior veterinarians to be uniquely qualified to address even the most complicated behavior problems.

About Our Behavior Services

Dr. Quinlan and the behavior team use positive, fear free, force free, and humane training and management techniques to address the underlying causes of your pet’s behavior concerns.

Behavior services are available for all companion animals including dogs, cats, birds, and exotics.

How We Can Help

Our team will help you to understand, manage, and treat your pet’s troublesome behaviors using kind and compassionate methods based on scientific principles. We will develop a unique plan for your pet based on their individual needs and the needs of your family.

Here at MVA Behavior Services, we strongly believe in the intersection between physical and emotional health and the importance of a holistic approach to address all of your pet’s needs. As a veterinarian, Dr. Quinlan is able to rule out medical conditions that could be playing a role in your pet’s behavior and we will work closely with your primary care veterinarian to create comprehensive treatment plans.

Common Behavior Concerns That We Can Help With

  • Fear and anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Resource guarding
  • Separation anxiety
  • Noise fears and phobias
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Inappropriate elimination

What to Expect

Prior to your First visit

Prior to your behavior consultation, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire giving detailed information about your pet and the concerns that you have. We will review this and your pet’s medical records to start tailoring a plan for your pet's appointment and follow up care.

The Initial Appointment

During your consultation, Dr. Quinlan will discuss your concerns and observe your pet's behavior. A fear-free physical examination will be performed at the end of the appointment and you will receive your pet’s behavior plan including safety guidelines, environmental management strategies, and medication instructions (if prescribed).

The Behavior modification Appointment

For dogs, your behavior consultation will include a second appointment that will take place two weeks after the first. During this second visit, we will discuss a detailed training and behavior modification plan with exercises for you to follow at home. Additional behavior modification and recheck appointments will also be addressed and scheduled at this time.

About Dr. Quinlan

Dr. Marisa Quinlan joins the Companion team to lead the newly launched MVA Behavior Services. She is originally from Dryden, NY and completed her undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Geneseo with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in psychology. She earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island before completing a small animal rotating internship at Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services. Dr. Quinlan then completed a behavior specialty internship at the University of Pennsylvania prior to beginning her residency training there. She is thrilled to be back in New York and will be continuing her behavior residency from right here in Rochester, closer to family and home. Dr. Quinlan is a Fear Free Certified Professional.

While in veterinary school, Dr. Quinlan completed a summer internship at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center primarily training diabetic alert dogs, as well as training dogs for search and rescue, cancer detection, and police work (scent detection and patrol). She also worked as a dog trainer teaching puppy socialization classes and basic obedience. During undergrad, Dr. Quinlan raised a puppy named Papaya with Guiding Eyes for the Blind and worked in a research lab studying marine biology.

Dr. Quinlan has three pets of her own; a black lab named Perseus and two cats named Andromeda and Cassiopeia. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, camping, hiking, knitting, and training Perseus in obedience, recall, agility, and freestyle.

Dr. Quinlan with dog

Dr. Quinlan with dog

Dr. Quinlan with dog

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