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Old 10-15-2012, 09:38 PM
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SpringerLover SpringerLover is offline
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Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
At what point do you think a dog needs medication for anxiety?

I can speak from my own personal experience but Bailey was unable to function in public around other dogs. I couldn't take her to general classes. I had no "teachable moments" because her brain was never in the right place when we left our house.

And who is qualified to make that decision?
Honestly, in the majority of cases only a board certified veterinary behaviorist is qualified to make that decision (sometimes a regular veterinarian can but NEVER a trainer--that is illegal and unethical). Like Lauren said, they take a complete history, know what they're looking for, and have seen numerous other dogs on medications to have the knowledge about which one to try first, or next, if needed. Bailey was prescribed Fluoxetine years ago by our regular veterinarian because I begged for it. I hated the fact that we couldn't get anywhere working in public around other dogs. On Fluoxetine, there was a small gap between see and react. I was able to utilize that and build upon it. After being on Fluoxetine, she was able to function in more and more environments!

What are the major side effects of most anti-anxiety meds?
The concerns are usually with the liver. Medications can be hard for the liver to filter and thus it's necessary to keep an eye on the levels. Bailey's had bloodwork at least twice yearly since starting meds and her values have remained absolutely normal. She's been on Fluoxetine for at least five years now.

How would I go about finding out if he would be a good candidate for medication?
Contact the closest BOARD CERTIFIED veterinary behaviorist. I honestly emailed Dr. Duxbury years ago but never felt the need to see her until we NEEDED to see her. She was always great about emailing me back about my little questions while I tried to determine if Bailey REALLY needed to go in or not.
Clonidine has been a literal life saver for Bailey. Last weekend she needed a bandage change so I asked my mom to give her a dose of Clonidine about three hours before our appointment. For the first time in her life, Bailey was able to be relaxed, not shaking, and responsive to cues. She laid on the floor of her own free will while her leg bandage was changed. I'd never seen her like that at the clinic, ever. She's usually a shaking, quivering, super sad mess trying to race out the door. Compare that to an impromptu veterinary visit on Saturday night to REchange the bandage. I didn't have enough warning to give her Clonidine and she was an absolute mess. I had to physically restrain her and she trembled the whole time.

Even if medications aren't prescribed, I feel like the discussions I had with our veterinary behaviorist are invaluable. She shed light on some situations I hadn't thought enough about... and it was just wonderful.

I rambled a lot but basically...
This, this, and this. Oh, and this one is really important (and relevant), too.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:16 PM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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I appreciate all of your thoughts and the links, they were very helpful. My dad called yesterday and said mom opened the door to get something from the mail woman and Tucker ran out and bit her, thankfully he was unable to actually hurt her (small dog, tough pants). I am absolutely livid with my mother, I'm sure Tucker was loosing his mind right beside her so I don't know what possessed her to open the door, we always leash Tucker before opening the door for anybody he does not know and like. 80% of the reason I hate being away at school is because I am constantly worried about how things are going with him at home, I don't trust my parents to manage him, that is the sort of stupid mistake that could have resulted in him being put down if he had been able to actually hurt her. Managing him really isn't that hard, it's not like his triggers are unpredictable or his warning signs subtle.

I'm thinking of asking for them to stop buying me presents and to save the money to get him a consultation. I am just afraid they'll spend hundreds of dollars on a consultation and meds and it won't do anything (or will make things worse). Especially since they don't know a thing about behavior modification (and don't seem interested in learning). To me it's worth the risk, I just don't think they'll see it the same way, and it's their money.

How would I go about finding a vet behaviorist? Or a vet who knows a lot about meds? Does anyone know one in MA?

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:18 PM
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Sheila Segurson D’Arpino
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Nicholas Dodman
Tufts University
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
200 Westborough Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:37 PM
stephsousa stephsousa is offline
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Default Maybe try supplements first

Supplements is also an option. There are several specifically for anxiety and they use natural ingredients. Here is a link to a few: My dog reacts similarly and i've often thought of trying some of these products. I use other products from this site for my dog but i haven't tried the anxiety products just yet. Let me know if you decide to give them a try and how they work out.
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