Teddy is a four-year-old mixed breed dog who was a behavioral medicine patient at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital (UGA VTH). When Teddy’s family adopted him, he was fearful of everyone and everything. Prior to receiving treatment at the UGA VTH, Teddy spent his time hiding in the corner of the family room or hiding underneath a wheelbarrow when outside. His fear caused him to live in an anxious state, never wagging his tail, cowering when approached and never making eye contact with humans.
Teddys’ family brought him to UGA in hopes of improving his quality of life and mental health. While in treatment at UGA, Dr. Dantas, Lynsey Jackson, and the staff at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital worked through many different strategies to help Teddy involving environmental enrichment, prescription diets, and behavior therapy interventions. Along with these treatment strategies, Dr. Dantas worked to find a correct combination of medicine to treat Teddy’s anxiety disorders.
“Teddy’s treatment lead directly to his current happiness. Without the behavior strategies and medicine to help his overwhelming anxiety he would not be the dog he is today. I can’t tell you how many people have said that his life was saved by the help from the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital” said Teddy’s mom, Jill, when explaining the positive effect the behavioral medicine treatment had on Teddy.
Since Teddys’ last check up with Dr. Dantas, Teddys’ family adopted Baloo, an emotional support dog for Teddy. With an emotional support dog and the behavioral medicine treatment he received at the VTH, Teddy’s quality of life increased significantly. Teddy is now able to go on long walks and gets excited for walks. Teddy has also learned how to play with toys! As Teddy continues to progress positively, his family was able to start reducing his anxiety medication.
“I don’t know how to explain the difference in him, other than he is a completely different dog,” his family shared.
Thanks to the behavioral medicine team at the University of Georgia, Teddy, along with many other animals suffering from mental illness and behavioral pathologies, have been able to have a better quality of life.