I'm weak! I put her on drugs!

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adoptanapbt
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I'm weak! I put her on drugs!

Postby adoptanapbt » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:12 am

Please be gentle!

:crybaby: I couldn't take the whining, the panting, the jumping on the sliding glass door, so I snapped! One of us needed to go on drugs, and Lola was the obvious choice (I hope so, anyway).

Anyway, my vet hasn't been too impressed with what she's read about Clomicalm, so I started Lola on the latest repackaging of generic Prozac. It's called Reaffirm or Reconnect or something like that. It's targeted for separation anxiety with behavior mod & it comes with a DVD about separation anxiety & training. I'm also looking for training books about separation anxiety. I also pledge to increase her exercise and to work on the obedience training at home! :bowdown:

Lola only has mild separation anxiety, and she's driving me up the wall, so my deepest sympathies to those of you who have dogs with full blown separation anxiety!

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Red
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Postby Red » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:21 am

It is called Reconcile.The drug itself won't do miracles, you'll have to apply a behavior modification program along with it.Is the dog hurting herself or being destructive when at home alone? If it is not a tough case of separation anxiety you can probably do without drugs or use some calming homeopatic herbs.Then again drugs can help in those situation where things are quite a problem for the dog.

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Postby adoptanapbt » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:37 am

She pants and shakes when she is in her crate. If she is not in her crate, she will destroy bedding/anything in reach. She will also shred any bedding left in her crate. If she is left in the yard, she will try to dig out/chew on the fence. So, as stressed as she can get in the crate, it's the safest place for her. She goes into the crate willingly on her own, and has even slept in an open crate on occasion. She gets a kong full of wet dog food before I leave for work and doesn't seem too upset when I get home, but when I started biking for my own health, I had to add crating them for a short time in the morning while I'm gone, and Lola gets quite worked up when I return and don't immediately let her out because I'm also juggling trading who gets biked/walked in the morning. That's when the whining/drooling/shaking gets on my nerves and today was the last straw. She is also HORRIBLE in the crate in the truck (under a camper shell). She is usually soaked by the time we get to wherever we're going, and this weekend she also shredded the mat in that crate for the first time since I've had her.

It's very hard juggling work, the dogs, and trying to start an exercise program. This last week my allergies have left me short of breath & temper, and Lola is not helping. I realize the problem is on my side more than hers, but the Reconcile will hopefully be a bridge for us to reach a calmer state of mind on both our parts. I do also need to order a refill of DAP for the diffuser next to her crate.

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Red
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Postby Red » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:50 am

I realize the problem is on my side more than hers,


I think that, given the description of her behavior, the problem is more on her, and not so mild.She is certainly not feeling good when she is crated or even loose in the house.Because of that it is not a bad thing to try and see if drugs help her.I hope they do because serious separation anxiety is not pleasant for a dog.
I'd look into some melatonin as well. It's an hormone that help to regulate the sleep and might help your dog to relax when you are gone.It does not have a sedative effect at all, so no worries about that.Maybe talk to your vet about it.

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Postby adoptanapbt » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:00 am

I should clarify that all that behavior I described is when Lola feels she should be with me/the pack (yes, the very definition of separation anxiety :)) ). When we are just hanging out or when she's put outside to potty, she is fine. It's when I dare take Desi somewhere or take the bike out without her that the whining/panting/drooling begins. :frown:

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L Boogie
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Postby L Boogie » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:05 am

Red wrote:
I realize the problem is on my side more than hers,


I think that, given the description of her behavior, the problem is more on her, and not so mild.She is certainly not feeling good when she is crated or even loose in the house.Because of that it is not a bad thing to try and see if drugs help her.I hope they do because serious separation anxiety is not pleasant for a dog.
I'd look into some melatonin as well. It's an hormone that help to regulate the sleep and might help your dog to relax when you are gone.It does not have a sedative effect at all, so no worries about that.Maybe talk to your vet about it.


I was just about to suggest melatonin.
You can buy it at GNC. It is a chemical that your brain naturally produces in response to lack of UV light to induce relaxation and sleep. I have heard it is very safe and useful in dogs with SA.

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tiva
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Postby tiva » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:36 am

Patricia McConnell's booklet "I'll be home soon" is a wonderful guide to working on separation anxiety. Her exercises are excellent--not super fast, but careful and well thought out.

Good luck!

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Postby Maverick » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:28 pm

NEVER UTILIZE A "HOME REMEDY" WITHOUT CONSULTING A VET FIRST.

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Jorsher
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Postby Jorsher » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:03 pm

I agree it's good to consult a vet for most home remedies, however melatonin is produced by most mammals, and even other organisms like algea. Dogs are one of the mammals that produce melatonin.

Like said above, your body makes it when there is little to no light reaching the retina. It's somewhat used as your body's clock and helps regulate different things during different light cycles (like seasonal changes in some animals).

I take it to help myself sleep. I was prescribed an SSRI for insomnia/depression, and how it works is by decreasing the amount of serotonin being received by your brains receptors (makes you "happier), thus increases your melatonin level (serotonin is metabolised into melatonin once the lights go out). Depression was a non-medical issue for the most part, and I got that resolved without medication, but I still take melatonin to help sleep and stay asleep.

Works similarly with "higher mammals", if not the exact same.

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Postby lipshipsattitude » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:21 pm

What had you tried prior to meds?

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Postby adoptanapbt » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:19 am

Frankly, for the first several weeks I had Lola, I didn't assume it was SA and just waited for her to adjust to the household and to accept that she would get crated when I had to leave. For a while, I could leave her in the backyard while I took Desi somewhere, but then she discovered the side gate and it clicked that that was the way out of the yard. Twice, she tried to dig under the gate when I took Desi for a bike ride & when I left to run errands. I'd consider a tie-out if I didn't care if the neighbors heard her squealing. *sigh*

So, my planned schedule:
Get up at 9am, potty dogs individually (did I mention Lola also eats poo & has taught Desi to do so? :po: )
Crate Tonka
Desi & Lola go for 1-1.5mi bike ride, to be increased as they get in shape
Desi & Lola crated (radio on, given biscuits as rewards) while I bike
Do my calisthenics (ignoring Lola)
Walk Desi 1-1.5mi (Tonka & Lola still crated)
Walk Lola 1-1.5mi (Desi can stay in yard or loose in my room, Tonka still crated)
Let Tonka out
Feed critters
This leaves about 2 hrs before work to do housework or to just hang out
Dogs get crated when I leave for work, everyone gets kongs stuffed w/ wet dog food
Come home, everyone let out to potty individually
Do some quick obedience work w/ each dog
Go to bed 8)

The super hard part is completely ignoring Lola's amped up behavior. On my days off I'll be working on sending Lola in to kennel for a few seconds up to a few minutes, but she is worked up by the time I return from biking or from work, so I can't release her from the crate in a calm state of mind. Before I walked her this morning, I tried to ignore the orbiting me at a jump, but it's @@#(*$&^ hard to ignore a dog who's bouncing off of you in midair & I lost my temper with her twice this morning already. On the other hand, we did direction changes whenever Lola started forging ahead/focusing too hard on a squirrel and by the end of the walk she was showing real improvement. She's got about turns nailed!

Can I put myself on Prozac, too?? :twisted:

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Postby Red » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:36 am

I tried to ignore the orbiting me at a jump, but it's @@#(*$&^ hard to ignore a dog who's bouncing off of you in midair & I lost my temper with her twice this morning already.


Try to remember that she is also uncomfortable by what happens when you are gone.She is happy to see you and be with you and she can't control herself.She sure need you to be extra patient.And I know that it is hard sometime to ignore everything.I was greeted this way, by the dork below, if I left him for only a few minutes.Like I was gone for a year or something.It took some time for him to learn some self control.


Image

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adoptanapbt
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Postby adoptanapbt » Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:12 pm

Ack! Lola just got an application in, but the couple hasn't owned a dog on their own before. How do I talk about SA without scaring them off! roflmao

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BullyBud
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Postby BullyBud » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:47 pm

Would this dog be a candidate for a first time owner?

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Postby adoptanapbt » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:28 pm

I won't really know until I talk to them and give them the good, the bad & the ugly, feel them out about training philosophies, etc. Lola's not a bad dog, but if this couple is looking for a go-anywhere do-anything dog, she's not the best match. If, however, they like *her* (as opposed to just have a dog) and understand what that would involve in taking her on, it's up to the adoption committee to make the final decision. I'm concerned that there's 5 adults in the house & unless everyone agrees on training methods, it's a no go.

I wonder if I can talk them into a geriatric bulldog with toxic farts...


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