The Behavioral Medicine Service is located in the Veterinary Health and Wellness Center at the Veterinary Health Complex. We specialize in the treatment of behavior disorders in companion animals. These include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Elimination problems
- Compulsive behaviors
- Many other behavioral issues in dogs and cats
When seen at the Behavioral Medicine Service, patients are evaluated with their owners and a management program is developed. This generally consists of specific instructions regarding environmental management and behavior modification techniques. After a medical evaluation, behavioral medication may also be recommended. Telephone or internet consultation services are not available through the Behavioral Medicine Service until after a patient has been seen in our clinic.
The Director of the Behavioral Medicine Service is Dr. Barbara Sherman, a board-certified veterinary behavior specialist. Dr. Sherman is assisted by Dr. Margaret Gruen, also a board-certified veterinary behavior specialist.
Watch a detailed overview of our Behavioral Medicine Service:
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
DVM Referral Form: Behavior Referral Form
Facility: Veterinary Health & Wellness Center
Appointments & Fees
We look forward to working with you to help solve your pet’s behavior problem. Please follow the instructions below to set up an appointment for a dog or cat related problem.
- Call the Health and Wellness Center client services desk at 919.513.6999 to schedule your appointment. Appointments are generally scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays.
- Please fill out a behavioral history form for your pet, which allows the doctor to know more about your situation before your appointment. Click on Behavioral History Forms to download and fill out either the PDF or electronic versions of the Canine Behavioral History Form or the Feline Behavioral History Form. Please mail, fax, or e-mail the form to us as soon as possible prior to your appointment.
- Our fees are as follows:
- New Appointment (Dog or Cat) cases, $495 (approximately 2-2.5 hours)
- Second pet fee, $99 (for additional time required if 2 pets from the same household come to the appointment; please note that 2 persons are needed for safe management of 2 dogs)
- Recheck Appointment $136 (45-60 minutes)
- Annual Appointment (includes evaluating chart notes, lab results, medication), $136
- Phone Recheck (20-30 minutes), $68
- Depending on the nature of the problem, a follow-up appointment may be recommended 4-8 weeks after the initial appointment. The fee for follow-up appointments range from $95-$130 depending on the complexity and time required. Please click on Current Client information regarding follow-up appointments.
- We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover Card, American Express, cash and checks. We also offer CareCredit financing through GE Money Bank. Plans available are 6 months no interest or extended financing from 24 to 60 months. Applications can be submitted online at www.carecredit.com to receive an immediate response.
- Due to the length of time allotted for your pet’s consultation (2+ hours), we ask you to reserve your appointment with a scheduling deposit of $80.00. This deposit is applied toward the initial consultation fee and is required at the time that you schedule your initial consultation. We accept major credit cards or you may make arrangements to mail a check. Should you need to cancel your scheduled appointment, kindly call 919.513.6999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled time and you will receive a full refund of your scheduling deposit. Alternately, we will happily reschedule your appointment to a time which is more convenient for you. Regretfully, if we do not receive a cancellation notification at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time, the $80.00 scheduling deposit will be forfeited. We appreciate your understanding.
- After the initial consultation, we welcome your brief phone calls and e-mail communications for progress reports, clarification, or questions, and are always happy to communicate with your pet’s primary veterinarian.
Please let us know by phone or e-mail if you have any questions. We would like to help you and your pet.
Dr. Barbara L. Sherman is a licensed veterinarian and specialist in the field of veterinary behavior. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (since 1995) and is certified by the Animal Behavior Society as an Applied Animal Behaviorist (since 1993). She earned her DVM degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and her PhD, with specialization in Animal Behavior, from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Currently, Dr. Sherman is Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh, NC, and is affiliated with the Animal Welfare Ethics and Public Policy Program. She serves as Director of the Animal Behavior Service of the NCSU Veterinary Health Complex and as immediate Past-President of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (http://www.dacvb.org). In addition to these roles, Dr. Sherman conducts clinical studies, writes articles and book chapters, and lectures widely about topics related to companion animal behavior.
Dr. Margaret Gruen is a specialist in the field of veterinary behavior. She serves as a faculty member in the Department of Clinical Sciences and the Program in Animal Welfare, Ethics, and Public Policy at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). In addition to her role at the Animal Behavior Service, Dr. Gruen is actively engaged in developing behavior services and training veterinary students at the Wake County Animal Care, Control, and Adoption Center.
Dr. Gruen is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in animal welfare and a residency in clinical behavior at NCSU-CVM and earned a Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health at NCSU, with focus on population studies of animal shelters. Dr. Gruen is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Her interests include clinical animal behavior, animal welfare, shelter issues, and cognition in cats.
After your initial appointment with Drs. Sherman, Hopfensperger or Gruen at the Behavioral Medicine Service and depending on the nature of the problem, a follow-up visit may be recommended in order to assess response to treatment and to provide guidance for the long-term management plan. The fees for recheck appointments vary depending on the amount of time required. Brief phone calls and e-mail communications regarding reports, progress, or questions are included in the initial consultation.
- 20-30 minute recheck by telephone, $68 (for out-of-town clients or for medication adjustment)
- 30-60 minute recheck in office, $136 (follow-up, to update treatment plan)
- 30-60 minute annual appointment in office, $136 (review medical record, evaluate physical health, update treatment plan, and fill prescriptions)
Medication may be recommended for your pet, as part of the behavioral program. We would be glad to manage the prescribed medication for a year following the initial visit. If a refill is needed during this time, please call or e-mail with your specific request (your name, pet’s name, pharmacy name and number, medication name and amount of medication given daily), and a note indicating how your pet is doing. Thereafter, we will need to see your pet in our office once each year in order to continue to prescribe medication.
Some patients continue to do best on medication after the first year. For these patients, we would be glad to continue to prescribe medication but require an annual office recheck visit to the Behavioral Medicine Service. We also need to know that your pet is in good health and is monitored annually by his/her primary veterinarian. If we have not seen your pet in over a year, please call us to schedule a 60 minute recheck appointment. Prescriptions cannot be filled for patients whose records are not up-to-date. Please bring with you to that recheck appointment the following:
- Your Pet
- A copy of your pet’s medical record, from your primary veterinarian.
- A copy of wellness lab results (CBC, Chemistry profile). This may be performed by your primary veterinarian at your pet’s annual wellness visit or we can assist at the time of your visit
See what others are saying:
- “We were so lucky to be referred to Dr. Barbara Sherman at the Animal Behavior Service by our veterinarian. Our Boston Terrier, Madeleine, started displaying destructive behavior when left alone in the house. Even though she was a small dog, she had jumped repeatedly and managed to tear down a large, metal window blind. We had to confine her to a crate for her safety. The very first time we met Dr. Sherman, Madeleine responded to her immediately, which was very reassuring to us. After diagnosing separation anxiety, Dr. Sherman taught us behavior modification training techniques to use with her at home and prescribed anti-anxiety medication for Madeleine. It was a gradual process, but Madeleine slowly improved to the point we were able to leave her un-crated again while we were at work. Our lives, and Madeleine’s life, improved dramatically thanks to the professional help we received, and continue to receive, from Dr. Sherman and her staff. Their kindness to us, to Madeleine, and to her little sister Matilda, has truly been a blessing. We are so lucky to have this wonderful resource available locally, here in Raleigh, NC.” ~ Sherri G & Mark R, Raleigh, NC
- “I brought my dog Teddy, a chow/terrier mix, to see Dr. Sherman last year on referral from my primary veterinarian. Teddy is a young rescue dog who showed signs of aggressive behavior towards people, mostly men, shortly after I got him. His biting eventually resulted in a potentially severe attack on a young man that prompted the referral to Dr. Sherman. Her kind, compassionate approach was very reassuring to me. Through behavior modification exercises recommended by Dr. Sherman, and appropriate medication, Teddy is now markedly improved, especially in his responses towards men. He appears much happier and much less anxious than before treatment was initiated. Teddy and I are very grateful to Dr. Sherman and the Animal Behavior Service at NCSU.” ~Dr. William B, Chapel Hill, NC”
- “I brought my dog, Caesar, to Dr. Sherman four years ago because he was a very anxious dog and particularly afraid of going to the vet. I didn’t know how to help him, but Dr. Sherman did. She taught me how to give him a positive attitude about the things that frightened him using methods that were gentle and easy to follow. In addition, she prescribed anti-anxiety drugs that lessened Caesar’s fears. It was great to see Caesar become less fearful and more confident. Dr. Sherman’s patience and compassion for both pets and people made her great to work with. I highly recommend the Animal Behavior Service. ~ Victoria H, Camden, NC”