Prozac!

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#1
Ryker (1.5 years old) is on prozac for severe SA. I'm totally fine with this and realize that he really does need it. Before we went to the veterinary behaviorist he was a mess (destroying the front door, pooping inside, barking, etc.). Since then his issues are almost 0, except when we go somewhere on the weekends because it's out of his normal routine he will usually poop inside. Okay this is fine, just something we need to work on.

NOW, we adopted Gypsy at approx 4 years old. No SA (thank god!) BUT she's VERY reactive towards the sight of other dogs and generally anxious (hard to settle or relax inside). Her reactivity consists of barking at other dogs no matter the distance and being very anxious after the incidents of seeing the other dog. No aggression towards other dogs. Here's a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRBbXfJBtWY the other dog was measured to be 500ft away.

This creates an issues because it's difficult to exercise her. She is also reactive to the sight of people from a distance and we live in a suburban area so even night walking doesn't eliminate these triggers.

We have been working with a trainer and behaviorist for Gypsy. The trainer said that they do not think they can make any progress with her unless we get her on medication which lead me to contact the veterinary behaviorist that we used for Ryker.

This behaviorist who I hold to very high standards and respect her opinion completely recommends that we use Prozac on Gypsy as well because "we don't have any where to start" when it comes to working with her on her reactivity.

I get where she's coming from, but I feel completely ridiculous having TWO dogs on Prozac. Is there really not a better solution? I'm not against pharmaceuticals to help with dog behavior, but I have never met anyone with a dog on Prozac, never mind 2!
 

Landshark

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#2
I once had a pit bull on Prozac for severe SA. He would do a lot of the same behaviors that Ryker does but he took it a step farther and started mutilating himself when I would leave. It was a constant cycle of Prozac, doxycycline and a cone. It really helped him initially but his case was so extreme that the vet recommended euthanizing him because he had no quality of life with that amount of anxiety.

If it helps the dog live a better life, I don't see anything wrong with following your behaviorist's advice. I mean, she's there to help you both make progress and I don't see anything wrong having two dogs on Prozac. Interestingly enough, I used to work with a severe SA affected Redbone who would jump through windows in his panic. Maybe the Prozac could help Gypsy by taking the edge off of anxiety and make her more apt to look to you when a potentially reactive situation occurs. When she learns to look to you for instruction on how to react, you might be able to wean her off of the Prozac?
 
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#3
It's just a tool. For reactivity, chances are good that she would be weaned off as she improves. Sometimes brains just need to come down a notch in order to be able to learn stuff.
 

*blackrose

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It's just a tool. For reactivity, chances are good that she would be weaned off as she improves. Sometimes brains just need to come down a notch in order to be able to learn stuff.
^ this.

When Chloe was younger, she was on Prozac and Xanax. We honestly didn't see a difference with her behavior on the Prozac, so I just used Xanax on a situational basis. It really helped with her reactivity/anxiousness in public, which helped my behavior modification stick. Situations where I used to need to use it (car rides, grooming, new places in public) she doesn't need it anymore. Now I just wish I could convince my mom to fill the dang script and use it for when company is over, but she won't, for whatever reason...*sigh*
 
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#5
I once had a pit bull on Prozac for severe SA. He would do a lot of the same behaviors that Ryker does but he took it a step farther and started mutilating himself when I would leave. It was a constant cycle of Prozac, doxycycline and a cone. It really helped him initially but his case was so extreme that the vet recommended euthanizing him because he had no quality of life with that amount of anxiety.

If it helps the dog live a better life, I don't see anything wrong with following your behaviorist's advice. I mean, she's there to help you both make progress and I don't see anything wrong having two dogs on Prozac. Interestingly enough, I used to work with a severe SA affected Redbone who would jump through windows in his panic. Maybe the Prozac could help Gypsy by taking the edge off of anxiety and make her more apt to look to you when a potentially reactive situation occurs. When she learns to look to you for instruction on how to react, you might be able to wean her off of the Prozac?
Wow that's so awful! Poor dog :(. Anxiety is such a terrible thing. We do plan on weaning her off once we can make progress with her behavior. Hopefully it will take the edge off enough for it to make a difference and help in the training process.
It's just a tool. For reactivity, chances are good that she would be weaned off as she improves. Sometimes brains just need to come down a notch in order to be able to learn stuff.
She seems to get worked up and over threshold very easily. Hopefully it will help us teach her to settle as well.
^ this.

When Chloe was younger, she was on Prozac and Xanax. We honestly didn't see a difference with her behavior on the Prozac, so I just used Xanax on a situational basis. It really helped with her reactivity/anxiousness in public, which helped my behavior modification stick. Situations where I used to need to use it (car rides, grooming, new places in public) she doesn't need it anymore. Now I just wish I could convince my mom to fill the dang script and use it for when company is over, but she won't, for whatever reason...*sigh*
Ryker had a paradoxical reaction when we tried xanax so we decided to try prozac first with Gypsy. It's too early to know if it's making a difference, but no negative side effects so far. Glad to know we aren't the only ones with dogs that need behavioral medication. It makes me feel a little less crazy.
 

pinkspore

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#6
I started Brisbane on Prozac at the suggestion of people here, and it has been amazing. I suggested it to my vet when I told how how he had broken a window, and she had written the script before I had even finished the sentence. We've been working on his reactivity for years and the Prozac felt like it made nine years of training suddenly click. It's been nice having a dog who can remain sane when a FedEx truck exists within a block.
 
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I started Brisbane on Prozac at the suggestion of people here, and it has been amazing. I suggested it to my vet when I told how how he had broken a window, and she had written the script before I had even finished the sentence. We've been working on his reactivity for years and the Prozac felt like it made nine years of training suddenly click. It's been nice having a dog who can remain sane when a FedEx truck exists within a block.
That's awesome. It has made a HUGE difference with Ryker as well. His SA was really effecting both of our lives. It was just constant stress for him and myself everyday. We did so much training in hopes that he would get better, but nothing helped. I was so mentally exhausted everyday. I think he will be on it more long term than Gypsy.
 
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#8
Glad to know we aren't the only ones with dogs that need behavioral medication. It makes me feel a little less crazy.
Haha, no way. There was another thread recently where someone was asking about medication and it was amazing how many people talked about their experiences. Pip had a weird reaction to prozac/fluoxetine, so he's on clomipramine. Has made a world of difference.
 
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Haha, no way. There was another thread recently where someone was asking about medication and it was amazing how many people talked about their experiences. Pip had a weird reaction to prozac/fluoxetine, so he's on clomipramine. Has made a world of difference.
The doctor suggested clomipramine as well, but Ryker is doing well on fluoxetine so we decided to try that first. What is Pip on clomipramine for?
 
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The doctor suggested clomipramine as well, but Ryker is doing well on fluoxetine so we decided to try that first. What is Pip on clomipramine for?
Clomipramine is wicked expensive right now anyway, due to manufacturing shortages. If I could use fluoxetine with him I would do it.

Pip has a lot of worries. He has some generalized anxiety along with some specific manifestations such as resource guarding and trying to control the other dogs' activity. At one point (a couple of years ago now) it led to a fairly serious attack on Squash, which is was what finally convinced me to start the medication. Along with a lot of behavioral modification and training, it has definitely helped a great deal with all of his behaviors.

Part of me feels like I could probably wean him off it at this point, but he tolerates it very well and part of me just doesn't want to mess with success.
 
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#11
Yeah I agree there might not be much sense in weaning him off esp since he's older. Although he has been old since he was a baby so he's probably immortal. I'm not sure how long we will keep Ryker on fluoxetine. I know Gypsy will be much more short term. It's really cheap. I think I pay $30 every couple of months.
 
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