24-Hour Emergency Care
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(303) 973-4200

Emergency Care 24/7

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(303) 973-4200 (303) 973-4200

10148 W. Chatfield Ave., Littleton, CO 80127

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If your relationship with your dog or cat is not all domestic bliss, you are not alone. Many pet owners struggle with behavior problems. We want to help, so that you have a happy and healthy relationship with your pet for many years to come.

We also offer in-hospital classes for routine training. Please see our events calendar for upcoming classes.

Some of the more common pet behavior problems we address include:

  • House soiling
  • Biting
  • Jumping up
  • Noise phobia
  • Scratching
  • Destruction
  • Fear or aggression with children, strangers, or other animals
  • Tail chasing
  • Chewing
  • Guarding objects
  • Unruliness
  • Storm phobia

How We Solve Problems

If you are experiencing a problem behavior, there are a variety of ways in which we can help you. Many times, simply asking your pet’s doctor about whether a behavior is normal or not can be helpful. If the question is one your regular veterinarian cannot answer, call our pet behaviorist, Dr. Laurie Thornton.

Dr. Thornton might suggest a behavior consultation. Depending on the type of problem, she will either see your pet here in the hospital or at your home. If in the hospital, you will have a 45-minute visit, which will focus solely on the behavior problem.

During a house call consultation, Dr. Thornton comes to your home to take a through history, observe behavior if possible, study the pet’s environment, and give you hands-on instruction for solving the problem. On a house call, expect her to spend about one to two hours giving your pet’s behavior her undivided attention.

Behavior Consultation and Forms

Pets should be one of life's simple joys. If behavioral problems are getting in the way of that, consider a behavior consultation for your dog or cat. To initiate a consult, download the appropriate history form here:

Once you have completely filled out the form, email it to lthornton@dcah.com, including your pet's name and "History Form" in the subject line. Dr. Thornton will review the history, and she or a receptionist will call you to schedule the consultation. Because Dr. Thornton works part time, it might be several days before she has evaluated the history and we get back to you. In the meantime, if aggression is involved, safety is most important. In more serious cases, some clients have chosen to board the pet at Deer Creek during this time. Please call us if you are concerned about maintaining a safe situation, or if you feel you have a behavioral emergency.

Preventing Problems—Before They Begin

Getting the right pet fends off many behavioral problems. Deer Creek offers pet-selection counseling. We take into consideration all aspects of your lifestyle to assist you in selecting your new companion.

About Dr. Laurie Thornton

Dr. Thornton is a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, she is an experienced veterinarian whose interests include internal medicine and acupuncture, along with behavior.

There are advantages to consulting a veterinarian with a special interest in animal behavior. In addition to employing behavior modification techniques, a doctor can:

  • Rule out or treat medical causes of the behavior
  • Prescribe medication, it they are indicated for a particular condition

Pets should be one of life’s simple joys. If behavioral problems are getting in the way of that, give us a call to schedule a consultation.

We also offer in-home training!