Veterinary behaviorist Q

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Taqroy, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    There is not a single one in Colorado. There's not even one in the surrounding states. Is there a way I can consult with one without them actually seeing my dogs?

    I'm considering medication for Mu. I'm torn because if she didn't live with Tipper I would have no reason for meds. But I'm getting to the point where I need to explore other options because I'm not confident in our safety measures and I'm really concerned about escalating fights. I'd really like to hear other people's stories about medication and especially dog aggression/reactivity (or inter-pack fighting) and how it responded to meds.
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I know there are vet behavior folks who do phone or fax consultations, so that could very well be an option. I think one of the most well known is PetFax: http://www.tufts.edu/vet/petfax/

    I don't know anything about how inter-household aggression responds to meds, though.
     
  3. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

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    I'm not sure how meds will put an end to dog aggression or fighting within a pack. :confused:

    For me, crating and rotating has always been my simple method of ensuring the safety of everyone.
     
  4. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Thanks Erin!

    Nearly every dog fight we've had has been started by Mu. She gets stressed out and takes it out on Tipper. IF I decide to medicate, I'd want something to help her calm down so that we could work on counter conditioning. The end goal would be to phase out the medication.

    That's great and I'm glad it works for you. I don't feel that my dogs do well in a purely crate and rotate situation. I don't think that they get enough out of crate time (especially during the winter) as my husband and I both work full time. We have our house set up so that they can both be loose and we *thought* they couldn't get to each other. Over the weekend that proved untrue. Trust me, medication is a last resort for me. I don't know if it will fix anything, I don't know if it's a viable option, that's why I'm looking into it and asking questions.
     
  5. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I don't have time to fully respond now, but I'm posting so I remember to come back later. When Squash and Pip had a big blowout, it was the straw that broke the camel's back for me to put him on clomipramine. It has helped tremendously along with a lot of behavioral modification and gate/rotate.

    Ask your veterinarian if they have any references. The veterinary "behaviorist" (she does not refer to herself that way, but that she has a special interest in behavior) I like best in my area actually is not board certified, so she wouldn't show up on an "official" search but I refer to her regularly.
     
  6. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    I would be happy if we could just have them in a gate rotate situation (like we have for the last 10 months or so). I don't need them to love each other, I just want them stop trying to do damage. I'll look into clomipramine and I'll definitely call my vet later, thank you! I'd love to hear what kind of behavioral modification you used (when you have time).
     
  7. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    I have no personal experience in meds (I'm sorry you're going through this btw, I know how bad it sucks)
    But the veterinary behaviourist we use for work does phone consults because he lives halfway across the country. I haven't had a lot to do with that side of it but I think they usually talk it out and if possible, he gets video of the situation.
    The client on this end also obviously has my boss to assess the behaviour and discuss it with the VB as well so he isn't just relying on the owners. As far as I know it's usually compulsive behaviours or high anxiety that we refer people to him for.
     
  8. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    I've heard good things about Tufts as well as one in Texas, both of which I looked into because it was cheaper than the University here. In the end, I went with the U.
     
  9. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Thanks, it is incredibly sucky. I wish no one ever had to deal with it.

    Good to know, thank you!
     
  10. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Okay, after speaking to the most helpful lady EVER I have a consult set up with my vet on Friday and the name of a vet in Denver who deals with behavioral problems/meds all the time (in case my vet wants to confer, or if I want to try someone else). I feel like we're moving again, hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

    *crosses fingers*
     
  11. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Oh, I'm glad you found someone!

    I've been trying to dig up the emails that we wrote back and forth spelling out the details of our plan, but I can't find it. :( I will briefly say that our problems were really rooted in Pip's anxiety. A combination of generalized anxiety, resource guarding me, and getting very aroused and disturbed by crazy Squash/Maisy play. With a dash of bratty teenager. So most of our behavioral modification centered around counter-conditioning to the youngsters playing, with a heavy dose of being careful about accidentally socially facilitating BOTH of the boys and removing myself from situations where Pip was resource guarding me. Also a lot of training sessions where they traded off down-stays and working with me (nothing in particular, just tricks or polishing rally skills), and a lot of mutual fun things like walks with my husband and I.

    Inside the house, I usually still gate them apart from each other (fortunately due to the layout of our house we can do so without completely isolating anyone) because it is a small space with a lot of corners for everyone to get piled up and trapped in. But out in the yard and on walks everyone is getting along very well at this point and the boys even hang out and play with each other.
     
  12. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Well Mu and Tipper have received their Christmas presents - something that is like clomipramine but starts with an A for Mu, and extra antibiotics for the McGee who looks like her eye swallowed a golf ball.

    The vet said it would take about a month to see results from the not clomipramine so wish us luck! I feel pretty good about this. :)
     
  13. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    This sounds like Mu. She's very serious about her randomly made up and always changing rules, most of which center around inappropriate playing. I also realized yesterday that she has been very insecure about objects and people since we had the baby. I've worked on it a lot but so far I'm only fixing the actual object she's scared of, not fixing the fear of random objects. Hopefully the meds will help with that too.

    That's so nice to hear! Like I said, I would be perfectly happy if they could be loose separately in the house but it would ultra super amazing if we could go beyond that.
     
  14. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Poor girls. :( I'm glad Mu was having a good day when I was there. Hope Tipper's eye heals soon and not-clom works sooner.
     
  15. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    Have you seen any behaviorists? I highly recommend searching PPG for a behaviorist/trainer near you!!! It can make a huge difference to get some one with a lot of experience and knowledge, looking in from the outside.

    I don't blame you for not wanting to crate and rotate. I can't imagine doing it, either. :/ Props to people who can but I found it so stressful with my foster.

    This is why I won't get more than ONE girl dog, ever! Lol. Bitches, especially munchkin bitches, are vindictive. My boys have never gotten into a spat... but any time anything has started to escalate, I got very serious about putting a stop to it. Body blocking and utilizing your own body language can really save you in a tense situation. Of course, idk if you've already done all of this.
     

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