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He Is Freaked Out


Guest HopeSLP
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Guest HopeSLP

It's been a while since I posted, as things with our 5-year-old grey Pete have been going well. It all began with the fireworks in July (the big booming ones are legal in Michigan--which REALLY stinks). Pete would be terrified of the fireworks at night, laying in the bathroom until it was time for bed. As the fireworks gradually stopped, he was a little better; however, he was still freaked out at night--not wanting to go outside after dark. If he had to go, he would wake me at 2 or 3 am.

 

Fireworks have stopped, but the last two to three weeks....he's scared ALL DAY LONG. He lays in the bathroom, only goes outside a few times a day, won't come on the couch and hang out with my husabd and me. Some days, he will only eat one meal. He hasn't lost weight, so that's good. I am hesitant about taking him to the vet because I think they will recommend anti-anxiety meds...which we tried once before and they just seemed to make him sleepy, not any less anxious.

 

Any suggestions for what's going on and/or what to do about him being so nervous? He is usually very laid back and wants to be around everyone all the time.

 

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I would still take him to the vet for a complete check up, just to rule out any physical cause. Anything new in his life? Even something very minor? Maybe you can try a different medication if the last one didn't work. Don't let them give you ACE, it sounds like that may be what you had last time. Melatonin and Springtime's Stress Relief have helped take the edge off of Salie's fear of fireworks and thunder and high wind.

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You can just wait him out, if you have that much patience and time. If he's OK in his safe zone closet, you can let him come around in his own time. Or gently encourage him to spend some short periods with you by closing off his access to this space. Start with very short periods and work up until he's comfortable being out with you, sort of the opposite of alone training. Make the times he's with you very fun with lots of treats or toys. If he can't handle even that, then just sit quietly with him and read a book or a magazine and throw him a yummy treat as he's calm and settled.



Things like Rescue Remedy, other homeopathic calming aids, and DAP diffusers/collars can also help him become less anxious. Some dogs do well with this level of help, some need more.



If your dog was just really sleepy on medication it does sound like he was given acepromazine - which is a sedative and NOT an anti-anxiety drug. If it wasn't Ace, then he likely had either too large a dose of whichever drug was prescribed or the wrong drug for him. That doesn't mean he couldn't benefit from a short course of them as you slowly work to reintegrate him back into daily life.



Most vets don't have a lot of experience dealing with different anti-anxiety drugs and different classes of anti-anxiety drugs, since most of the ones currently being tried successfully are off-label uses of human medications. If you would like some professional advice and possible training and/or drugs to try, look for a certified animal behaviorist in your area. Make sure they are certified by the national body overseeing veterinary behaviorists. They can evaluate your situation and your dog, make training suggestions and also prescribe drugs. You adoption group may also have a recommendation for one near you who works with greyhounds.



Just like with people, different drugs work for different people differently. There isn't ONE anti-anxiety drugs that works for every dog, every time. Most vets begin with clomicalm because it's specifically marketed for animal use, but there are MANY drugs to try. For my spooky girl, we tried three different meds (clomipramine, xanax, and prozac) before finding one that worked (paxil).



Clomicalm (clomipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant, along with amitriptyline. There are also benzodiazapines (lorazepam/Ativan, alprazolam/Xanax) or a SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) such as fluoxetine/Prozac or paroxetene/Paxil. Benzodiazepines are fast-acting and fast-metabolizing and need to be redosed every 6-8 hours, and are usually most useful for thunder and fireworks issues. SSRI's, like tricyclic antidepressants, can take a few weeks to build up to clinical levels. You can also use a benzodiazepine IN CONJUNCTION with a SSRI while waiting for the later to build to a clinical level.



Several people have recently used a drug called Trazadone with very good results. It's a newer class of drug called a SARI (serotonin agonist re-uptake inhibitor) and is just now beginning to be used for dogs.



If you do use a human drug, your vet simply can all the prescription in to whichever pharmacist you choose to fill the prescription. We use Costco now, but have also had veterinary prescriptions filled at Safeway and Walgreens. Most large pharmacies will fill vet scrips, and even give a discount.



Next year, you should make sure to have something on hand before the fireworks begin so he doesn't get to this state.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Next year, you should make sure to have something on hand before the fireworks begin so he doesn't get to this state.

 

 

Yes, it's much easier to prevent this sort of thing than to deal with the repercussions. Mine are both terrified of fireworks and thunderstorms, so I make sure that I always have a supply of valium in the house and give them one at the first sign of trouble.

SunnySophiePegsdon.jpg

When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

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our guy would have escalating weeks of fear after fireworks, but you say it's been 2-3 weeks of his being stressed all day. That is quite severe. Normally I'd say he'll just get over it, but that is a long time to have such a stressed-out-hound.

 

No good advice... take him for a car ride the next time you know the fireworks are happening to get him away from that trigger.

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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Guest HopeSLP

 

 

I would still take him to the vet for a complete check up, just to rule out any physical cause. Anything new in his life? Even something very minor? Maybe you can try a different medication if the last one didn't work. Don't let them give you ACE, it sounds like that may be what you had last time. Melatonin and Springtime's Stress Relief have helped take the edge off of Salie's fear of fireworks and thunder and high wind.

Nothing new that my husband and I can pinpoint. We are thinking we will try lots of treats and praise (as if we don't already!) when he's out of his safe place, and start to close it off a bit every day. If this doesn't help in the next couple of weeks...I think we'll be off to the vet. Thank you for your reply!

 

You can just wait him out, if you have that much patience and time. If he's OK in his safe zone closet, you can let him come around in his own time. Or gently encourage him to spend some short periods with you by closing off his access to this space. Start with very short periods and work up until he's comfortable being out with you, sort of the opposite of alone training. Make the times he's with you very fun with lots of treats or toys. If he can't handle even that, then just sit quietly with him and read a book or a magazine and throw him a yummy treat as he's calm and settled.

Things like Rescue Remedy, other homeopathic calming aids, and DAP diffusers/collars can also help him become less anxious. Some dogs do well with this level of help, some need more.

If your dog was just really sleepy on medication it does sound like he was given acepromazine - which is a sedative and NOT an anti-anxiety drug. If it wasn't Ace, then he likely had either too large a dose of whichever drug was prescribed or the wrong drug for him. That doesn't mean he couldn't benefit from a short course of them as you slowly work to reintegrate him back into daily life.

Most vets don't have a lot of experience dealing with different anti-anxiety drugs and different classes of anti-anxiety drugs, since most of the ones currently being tried successfully are off-label uses of human medications. If you would like some professional advice and possible training and/or drugs to try, look for a certified animal behaviorist in your area. Make sure they are certified by the national body overseeing veterinary behaviorists. They can evaluate your situation and your dog, make training suggestions and also prescribe drugs. You adoption group may also have a recommendation for one near you who works with greyhounds.

Just like with people, different drugs work for different people differently. There isn't ONE anti-anxiety drugs that works for every dog, every time. Most vets begin with clomicalm because it's specifically marketed for animal use, but there are MANY drugs to try. For my spooky girl, we tried three different meds (clomipramine, xanax, and prozac) before finding one that worked (paxil).

Clomicalm (clomipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant, along with amitriptyline. There are also benzodiazapines (lorazepam/Ativan, alprazolam/Xanax) or a SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) such as fluoxetine/Prozac or paroxetene/Paxil. Benzodiazepines are fast-acting and fast-metabolizing and need to be redosed every 6-8 hours, and are usually most useful for thunder and fireworks issues. SSRI's, like tricyclic antidepressants, can take a few weeks to build up to clinical levels. You can also use a benzodiazepine IN CONJUNCTION with a SSRI while waiting for the later to build to a clinical level.

Several people have recently used a drug called Trazadone with very good results. It's a newer class of drug called a SARI (serotonin agonist re-uptake inhibitor) and is just now beginning to be used for dogs.

If you do use a human drug, your vet simply can all the prescription in to whichever pharmacist you choose to fill the prescription. We use Costco now, but have also had veterinary prescriptions filled at Safeway and Walgreens. Most large pharmacies will fill vet scrips, and even give a discount.

Next year, you should make sure to have something on hand before the fireworks begin so he doesn't get to this state.

 

Thank you for such a detailed post! I am saving this! I think we will wait him out for a few weeks and if no changes happen, then we'll take him to the vet.

We have been giving him cookies for coming out today. My husband said he was following him more around the house today instead of laying in the bathroom...which is an improvement, as he's usually velcro dog!

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If he's food motivated at all, use treats to help him - judiciously, of course! ;) Otherwise, he'll be the one training you!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Greysonsmom

Your story is so similar to mine. Including the wake-ups at 2 - 3 am. My Greyson did fine with the fireworks on the 4th. The following Saturday, neighbors had a party with lots of fireworks. Unfortunately, they started up with the loud exploding ones (also legal here in Northern KY) while Greyson was in the back yard. He ran upstairs and I found him laying next to our bed shaking and panting. Very heartbreaking! Unfortunately, I think I reinforced his fear by laying next to him with my arms around him. The next morning, I did some research online and learned that I should have reassured him, but not coddled him.

He was back to his old self and enjoying his yard after a few days, and low and behold, the weekend rolls around, and the fireworks start up again. Although in a distance, he is still petrified. The following day, he seems depressed. Hopefully now that the weather is getting chilly, and kids are back in school, this will cease. Just this evening, my husband had the idea to walk him in the evening. He always gets so excited, so we are hoping he will start to associate evening/night time with one of his favorite activities. He seems like a pretty happy boy tonight, so fingers crossed. Good luck to you and your furbaby. :goodluck

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