Separation anxiety issues with heartworm positive dog

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
JSturmgewehr
Newborn Bully
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:59 am

Separation anxiety issues with heartworm positive dog

Postby JSturmgewehr » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am

By necessity, this will be long.
2 1/2 weeks ago I adopted Ricky (a pitbull) from the Humane Society.
In the past 4 days whenever, I leave the house even for less than an hour he either gets into things or worse, escapes the house!

- Last friday he tried to chew/scratch though the front door and he would have kept at it if I hadn't come home.
- Yesterday he broke though one of the narrow plexiglass windows on the sides of the doorway and escaped.
- Today I bought the biggest dog cage they had (48 X 30 x 32). I put him in the cage for about 15 minutes just to try and get him acclimated to it and he seemed cool with it. I put down some bath towels to lay on at one end, his water dish at the other, and some of his toys to make it nice for him. Later on I put him back in when i went running for about 30 minutes but he broke out of the cage and the house though the cardboard I used to temporarily patch the hole in the window he broke yesterday. I found him out wandering on my street when I came back from my run.
He will no doubt do it again if left alone and now his cage is damaged, maybe beyond practical repair.

I left a camera aimed at the cage to see if he would have issues with being left alone like barking and howling. It took him only a few minutes of determined work to break out of the cage, then the pacing around the house and howling began until he went back out the window.

Here it gets into the special details of Ricky's case.
He is heartworm positive and last wednesday and thursday had his last two injections of melarsomine. With that he can have just about no exercise at all beyond going out to potty then right back inside. Normally he's a calm dog who's happy to hang out with me or lie on the sofa and watch TV. This separation anxiety thing was minor until after the last two injections and the accompanying sudden loss of exercise. This was when he started trying and succeeding in breaking out when I leave the house.

If he doesnt get hit by a car on one of these escapes he'll die from the accelerated heart rate pumping pieces of dead heartworms though his system. This is why he can't have any exercise for 6-8 weeks after treatment and why Ricky's case is so precarious.

If anyone has any suggestions I'm open to them. It's not just the escaping and related risks of being out and about but also he really cannot afford to get stressed out and the accompanying elevated heart rate. Even a big rawhide chew only appeases him for so long. I cannot just stay home with him all day and that would not fix his anxiety issues, anyway.

In short; he has proven he will attempt to escape whenever I'm gone and he will get very stressed out from any practical attempt by me to keep him from escaping.

I'm going to take it up with the vet's office tomorrow morning and see if they'll prescribe some kind of med to calm him a little, although I have my doubts about long term medication for this.

There are more details about him but I've disclosed the ones that most pertain to his anxiety issues.

My last pit bull, Missy, (passed away last year) was NOTHING like this!

Thanks for reading.

JSturmgewehr
Newborn Bully
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:59 am

Re: Separation anxiety issues with heartworm positive dog

Postby JSturmgewehr » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:11 am

Maybe I should have posted this in the health issues forum.

Has anyone tried Composure or Adaptil on their dogs for anxiety issues? I've been reading up on supplements and the reviews for these to (so far) seem somewhat positive.

JSturmgewehr
Newborn Bully
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:59 am

Re: Separation anxiety issues with heartworm positive dog

Postby JSturmgewehr » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:09 pm

Having done more research, one of the side effects of Prednisone is altered behavior and he has been on Prednisone since saturday, two days after the last two melarsomine injections were administered. He was on rimadyl starting after his first of two injections of melarsomine on wednesday, thursday, and friday before transitioning to Prednisone on saturday.

The possible side effect of Prednisone plus the lack of exercise/pent up energy could be causing his extreme separation anxiety.

Right now I'm waiting (and have been all morning) for a phone call back about what to do with him next. Ricky is actually a foster-to-adopt case since his heartworm treatment had already begun with the initial injections weeks before. It would have been a straight adoption but they legally needed to retain "ownership" during the course of treatment since the treatment was already paid for. After successful completion of treatment the adoption will be finalized.

Is anyone actually reading this?


Return to “Training and Behavior”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests