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Old 10-15-2012, 08:42 AM
Maxy24's Avatar
Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 7,994
Default anti-anxiety medications

At what point do you think a dog needs medication for anxiety? And who is qualified to make that decision? Can a vet do it himself or is a trainer/behaviorist of some sort necessary? What are the major side effects of most anti-anxiety meds?

I ask because I feel maybe Tucker would benefit from medication. Every time a dog walks by the house he flips out. If you stand up too fast he flips out, if you shout to someone in the other room he flips out (and flipping out usually involves barking and chasing one of my cats), if the cats try to play or get into a fight (if he even sees them glaring at each other or sees one wagging it's tail) he goes after them. On occasions when he's heard them playing (can hear their bodies thumping on the floor) but has been in the bathroom with me, he'll start crying, pacing the room, and eventually barking at the door to get out.
He has separation anxiety (though certainly not as severe as other dogs). On walks he now flips out when we walk by other dogs (if they are large or if it's small but I don't let him go say hi) and it's extremely hard to keep him under threshold. He goes nuts every single time the mail man comes. If he hears the UPS, Fedex, or mail truck go down our street, even if it's not stopping he bolts to the window, no matter what he was doing at the time. If he hears voices but can't find the source, like when he hears my parents talking upstairs, he flips out.

As you may know, he is stranger aggressive. If someone comes to the door he absolutely looses his mind. If you hold his collar he chokes himself to the point where he has a coughing fit. If the glass door is shut and someone is on the other side he slams himself into it. If he were big enough he'd probably go through. If a stranger were to reach for him he would bite them. But if people are over and we confine him he will bark and slam into the door for the entire time. I also would expect he may destroy something or poop while confined. It takes hours for him to warm up to a guest.

So my thought are maybe meds would make him less reactive, less on edge all of the time. I've worked with him on not barking out the window or not barking when he can hear voices but I honestly think he cannot help himself. I've tried working on self control stuff in training sessions but he always does perfectly fine.

How would I go about finding out if he would be a good candidate for medication?

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