Talk to me about anxiety meds.. aka: Help me figure out my dog.

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by kady05, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    I don't think so, because when he eats inside he's always been separated from Piper (she's always eaten outside since he was a puppy). I know in a 2 of the videos posted she is inside (the first one I posted was after they ate, which is why she's right there next to him), but that's not the norm.
     
  2. Nefarious

    Nefarious New Member

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    Have you tried hand feeding him? What about treats? Does he take treats okay or refuse them? Lastly, this isn't the healthiest, but try a wet food or some type of gravy on the kibble that would make most dogs go crazy for the food and see if he refuses it. To me it seems like a mental behavior and it may just require some babying and encouragement to get beyond the problem.
     
  3. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    Yup, I have. When he's in the anxious state of mind he won't take anything at all, whether I try hand feeding, a treat, whatever. I've tried playing little games with him when he seems "stuck" to try to help him out of it but nothing seems to work.
     
  4. Whitewave

    Whitewave New Member

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    I would try giving him Zantac before feeding to see if it has to do with his stomach. Casper takes it and it helps him. Has he lost any weight? He looks fine in the videos to me.

    I had a dog that acted like that. Not about the food, but so sensitive. Correct another dog verbally and she acted as though you were beating her. Drove me nuts. She had severe separation anxiety on top of it and I couldn't deal with her. Sometimes she acted normal and then other times she wasn't No brain tumor or anything. It was just the way she was. Her littermates were fine. Her parents were fine. She outwardly looked fine, just something wasn't wired right somewhere. I ended rehoming to a retired couple who had nothing better to do than dote her hand and foot and never left her alone. Best solution for both of us.

    I hope you can work something out with Sako though!
     
  5. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Do you have cats? I am really reaching here but cats can be sort of "silently" intimidating/bullying.

    Another thought I just had is that sometimes focal seizures can look like bizarre behavior. Unfortunately there isn't really a "test" for that other than a trial of anti-seizure medication but that wouldn't be what I would leap to immediately.

    Back to your original question... even if this is 100% some sort of situational anxiety, it's hard to say whether medication would help and choosing an appropriate medication might be difficult. Personally, if this were my dog and I was confident everything was medically ok, rather than a daily medication at first I would probably start with short acting medications like alprazolam (xanax) or trazodone before mealtimes and work hard on counter conditioning. Maybe for a week or so and then re-evaluate. But I wouldn't be afraid to do a treatment trial with a daily medication, either.
     
  6. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    Have you always fed him in the same spot in the house? Could you maybe try to move him? Feed him in a crate? Will he eat out of a Kong (I know you mentioned he ate a touch out of the green ball)?

    Just things I thought of while reading through... After turkey necks, did he have any changes in his poop? Was he constipated at all?

    Has anything changed with his routine stuff, like flea and tick or heartworm prevention?

    I don't know if any of this helps either. Vibes for Sako to feel better!
     
  7. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    He's lost a few pounds, he used to be pushing 60lbs. and last time I weighed him he was 56. Zantac isn't a bad idea, certainly can't hurt him. I'm assuming you just give the human kind?

    That's exactly how Sako is; sometimes he's normal and great, easy to deal with, other times I'm trying not to rip my hair out because he can be SO frustrating and stressful to live with at times. I find myself counting to 10 to calm myself often these days.. really try not to let him know that *I'm* also a little stressed/frustrated.

    I love him though, he's MY dog.. Eric (my husband) says he's not enjoyable to live with a lot of the time :( But I'll do whatever I can to make him comfortable. It's just concerning because all of my trainer friends I talk to, and people that have met him that are in the veterinary field say that most dogs with his type of behavior/personality tend to get worse as they age.

    I do have two cats, whom he LOVES and are rarely around during feeding time, so I definitely don't think they're a problem.

    I agree that it's hard to say if meds. would help him. I've just never dealt with a dog like this so I'm kind of grasping at straws here..

    Yes he's always eaten in the kitchen, or outside (I always fed turkey necks to everyone outside) on the deck. I've tried feeding him in his crate multiple times and he won't eat at all. It's interesting to me that he seems more comfortable eating outside since this all started. Not sure what's going on there.
    Have tried feeding out of the green ball again (which is his favorite toy ever, it never leaves his side) and he will push the food out (like in the video) but won't eat it.

    Never had any issues with the turkey necks. No change in routine whatsoever. I give HW meds monthly, but that's nothing new.
     
  8. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    So he ate again tonight, that's 3 meals in a row now, yay! I was actually surprised he DID eat tonight. We had our carpets cleaned today at 4 (they eat around 5:30-6 most days), so that meant the dogs were put in our master bath for an hour while that was being done. That in itself is stressful for him, add in a bunch of strange people and loud noises, more stress. Then add in that all of our furniture was piled into our kitchen so his food bowl was moved. So I was pretty much convinced he wouldn't eat. Put the food in his bowl, stuck Piper outside so she could eat, he acted like he wanted it (I've been letting Piper finish her food then switching them so he can eat outside), so I put it down. Go figure, he ate the whole cup I gave him with only one little "ehhh..I might be worried" moment. So not only did he eat after all that stress, but he ate inside.

    I really hope he's starting to snap out of this. It's been a month now and it's definitely draining on me, and I'm sure him. If he eats tomorrow morning that'll be the most consecutive days he's eaten since this all started.
     
  9. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Since he HIS eating right now (for now, at least), or when he does eat, maybe trying feeding him in the place(s) he's most comfortable in, and trying to SLOWLY get him used to everything again? So, if he eats okay outside, just keep feeding him outside, until it's a given that he'll eat. Then change ONE thing. Just...try to keep everything as consistent and the same as possible? Same exact food each time, same place, same amount, same times of day...maybe changing where he eats too often is at least a contributing factor right now (may not be what started it, though).

    Is there a food or treat that he just REALLY REALLY loves? Perhaps giving him a big chunks of something awesome to snarf down as soon as he finishes his meal would be a decent incentive?
     
  10. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    Ate again this morning, outside. So I'm very pleased. But yes, I will definitely keep feeding him outside out of the ceramic bowl for now since that's where he seems most comfortable. Then I'll probably try switching back to stainless steel, then eventually inside in his normal raised dish.

    There really isn't anything he goes nuts for. He's never been food motivated, it was always a challenge finding something he'd bait for in the show ring because of it (ended up using tiny tennis balls as bait). I throw his green ball for him one time right after he eats and praise the heck out of him, and he loves that, so I'll probably continue with that!
     
  11. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    I fostered a pitty mix who reminds me alot of your boy. She was really really sensitive; also had sep. anxiety and was kind of hard to work with, because you never really knew what would turn her into a shrinking violet.

    She was probably the sweetest dog I've ever known. She wasn't interested in toys or food; the only thing that got her going was attention and love.

    She was velcro in the true meaning of the word.

    We homed her out to a lady with no kids who worked from home and as far as I know she's doing really well. She has a very low stress environment; not much noise or other dogs.

    She was a low energy couch cuddler and that's exactly what her new mom wanted.

    My house was just too crazy for her lol

    We never tried meds or anything like that, but we did take her to the vet and she was healthy as a horse but for one hip she had some trouble with.

    I don't really have any advice, but your boy just reminded me so much of her I had to post. He sounds like such a sweet pea.
     
  12. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    Yup, that's pretty much Sako in a nut shell! Minus the toy part.. he has crazy toy drive and would play fetch til he died if we didn't stop him.
     

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