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Amitriptyline


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Guest kygreymom

How long does it generally take to see the affect of Amitriptyline and what is the normal dosage for a 70 lb grey? Right now we are on 75mg a day and see no affect. He's been taking it for 1 1/2 weeks.

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Why is your dog on it? Dosage can vary quite a bit depending on the individual. Violet takes 25 mg 2x/day but that's a low "maintenance" dose - she originally took more.

 

Curious why he's on it though. Its not prescribed much anymore as there are better choices. The biggest problem is that dogs can develop a tolerance for their dose, requiring increases over time to maintain effectiveness.

 

As far as how long until it takes effect, most drugs of that type can take 4-6 weeks to reach full potency, but you often see a more immediate effect. With Violet I see changes within a day.

 

If you need something else until it takes full effect, Xanax, Valium and Trazodone are often used short term.

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest GreyOrchard

Generally it is best to address separation anxiety behaviourally rather than using drugs. I never heard of it being used as a first or even second option.

 

How is the separation anxiety expressed?

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It's not separation anxiety, but generalized anxiety that Prozac made a big difference with--I wish I'd started Leo on it a year ago when behavioral interventions / environment management clearly weren't working. At our vet's suggestion, we overlapped with Valium short-term, since we were making some major life changes, I think about 2 weeks of daily use. Now really only if a storm is happening or there's a high likely hood of a storm happening on a day I absolutely cannot come home to dose him if mid-day. I doubt we'll ever stop needing that, but around here that's only 1 dose every couple weeks, and not year round.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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He on it for severe separation anxiety. It was recommended by the adoption agency.

Chlomicalm is typically the first choice for SA. I know there were some supply issues for a while that were making it cost prohibitive, but I think now you can get it for a decent price, maybe through a compounding pharmacy. I would look into switching to that and using Trazodone in the meantime, but if you're using drugs you really should be working with preferably a veterinary behaviorist, or at least a skilled reward based animal behaviorist.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Each dog reacts to anti anxiety drugs differently, just like people do. Some work for some dogs better than others. The trick with dogs is they can't talk to you to see if it's working or not. The only way you can tell is if their behavior changes.

 

But AA drugs aren't a quick fix cure-all. They only put your dog's brain in a state where they are receptive to on-going behavioral modification work. For separation anxiety that means lots of Alone Training, and lots of positive reinforcement to help him bond with you. A quick search here on the forum will get you tons of info on both.

 

75 mgs sounds like a fairly high dosage to me, and you *should* have seen some sort of behavioral changes (even small ones) by now if it was going to work. Amitriptyline is an older drug that was once used more. There are newer, cheaper, and more effective options out there now. If your vet isn't comfortable prescribing other drugs, you might ask for a referral to a veterinary neurologist. They have the expertise and the knowledge of newer, off-label options to try with their canine patients. A Certified Veterinary Behaviorist would also be helpful. (If you post your geographical area, Jey may be able to recommend one near you.)

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

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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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Guest GreyOrchard

I have to say I am amazed to read how prevalent drugs are for any sort of anxiety and are used in lieu of sound behavioural work. Even when I had feral dogs at my sanctuary here I never resorted to it, nor have I ever heard of people in the UK using it either. The fact that vets are not trained in behavioural studies except in a cursory way is worth thinking about.

 

There are a lot of behaviourists out there who are not clued in to how sensitive sighthounds in general can be and do not understand possible trauma experienced as the track, as well as severe institutionalization. So it is little wonder if someone has had unsatisfactory experiences with them.

 

There are a lot of easy things an owner can do to give their greyhound increasing confidence and ability to cope. It might not take them off the drugs completely, but perhaps lessen the dose and use it less often. Hopefully vets are good enough to explain the drugs only mask the problem and do not address it.

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Guest kygreymom

I am also doing alone training. It's difficult and slow to do when we work during the day. Textbook dosage of Amitriptyline is 0.2 - 2 mg per pound. So 75 mg is almost 1/2 of the max dose. He shreds anything and everything in his crate when he's alone and will pee in the crate. When we're home with him 95% of the time he's wonderful! The occasional looking at you and peeing on the carpet when he comes IN from going out. He shredded the carpet on our steps due to his anxiety and will cost $1,000 to recarpet. Getting another dog is out of the question. I'm hoping with school being out for fall break it will allow more alone training to be done during the day.

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I have to say I am amazed to read how prevalent drugs are for any sort of anxiety and are used in lieu of sound behavioural work. Even when I had feral dogs at my sanctuary here I never resorted to it, nor have I ever heard of people in the UK using it either. The fact that vets are not trained in behavioural studies except in a cursory way is worth thinking about.

 

There are a lot of behaviourists out there who are not clued in to how sensitive sighthounds in general can be and do not understand possible trauma experienced as the track, as well as severe institutionalization. So it is little wonder if someone has had unsatisfactory experiences with them.

 

There are a lot of easy things an owner can do to give their greyhound increasing confidence and ability to cope. It might not take them off the drugs completely, but perhaps lessen the dose and use it less often. Hopefully vets are good enough to explain the drugs only mask the problem and do not address it.

 

I simply don't understand this anti anti-anxiety med mind set.

 

If your dog had an infection, would you even hesitate to use an antibiotic?? If your dog had a thyroid imbalance, would you refuse to give it the proper supplementation?

 

If you had a human friend who was suffering from severe anxiety attacks would you tell that friend to just get over it??

 

We ask a lot of our dogs in modern society, and even more when asking adult greyhounds to adapt to living in that modern society with us. Sometimes those dogs need a little help balancing the chemicals in their brains - a physical problem requiring a physical solution. You can do all the alone training and behavior modification you like, but without a brain in a receptive state it's not going to work. Or it's going to take so long that it might as well not be working. You'll notice that most of us did recommend continuing positive reinforcement behavior modification *while* the dog was receiving anti anxiety medication. Many adopters can do this on their own, but some will appreciate the help of a certified veterinary behaviorist to guide them through it individually.

 

If you have the time and the space and the money to work with your dogs non-stop until they are all completely happy and balanced, then more power to you. But please don't belittle a process that many adopters need to go through to have one of these wonderful creatures in their home.

 

As a side note, while I will accept "institutionalization" as a fact of greyhound life, I do take exception to "trauma experienced at (sic) the track." Most of our dogs here in the US are very well treated on the farms where they were bred, and in the kennels where they train and race. Yes, abuses still do happen, but the industry has come a long way from days when inhumane treatment was common.

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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I simply don't understand this anti anti-anxiety med mind set.

 

If your dog had an infection, would you even hesitate to use an antibiotic?? If your dog had a thyroid imbalance, would you refuse to give it the proper supplementation?

 

If you had a human friend who was suffering from severe anxiety attacks would you tell that friend to just get over it??

 

We ask a lot of our dogs in modern society, and even more when asking adult greyhounds to adapt to living in that modern society with us. Sometimes those dogs need a little help balancing the chemicals in their brains - a physical problem requiring a physical solution. You can do all the alone training and behavior modification you like, but without a brain in a receptive state it's not going to work. Or it's going to take so long that it might as well not be working. You'll notice that most of us did recommend continuing positive reinforcement behavior modification *while* the dog was receiving anti anxiety medication. Many adopters can do this on their own, but some will appreciate the help of a certified veterinary behaviorist to guide them through it individually.

 

If you have the time and the space and the money to work with your dogs non-stop until they are all completely happy and balanced, then more power to you. But please don't belittle a process that many adopters need to go through to have one of these wonderful creatures in their home.

 

As a side note, while I will accept "institutionalization" as a fact of greyhound life, I do take exception to "trauma experienced at (sic) the track." Most of our dogs here in the US are very well treated on the farms where they were bred, and in the kennels where they train and race. Yes, abuses still do happen, but the industry has come a long way from days when inhumane treatment was common.

Amen sista'! :)

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest GreyOrchard

 

I simply don't understand this anti anti-anxiety med mind set.

 

If your dog had an infection, would you even hesitate to use an antibiotic?? If your dog had a thyroid imbalance, would you refuse to give it the proper supplementation?

 

If you had a human friend who was suffering from severe anxiety attacks would you tell that friend to just get over it??

 

We ask a lot of our dogs in modern society, and even more when asking adult greyhounds to adapt to living in that modern society with us. Sometimes those dogs need a little help balancing the chemicals in their brains - a physical problem requiring a physical solution. You can do all the alone training and behavior modification you like, but without a brain in a receptive state it's not going to work. Or it's going to take so long that it might as well not be working. You'll notice that most of us did recommend continuing positive reinforcement behavior modification *while* the dog was receiving anti anxiety medication. Many adopters can do this on their own, but some will appreciate the help of a certified veterinary behaviorist to guide them through it individually.

 

If you have the time and the space and the money to work with your dogs non-stop until they are all completely happy and balanced, then more power to you. But please don't belittle a process that many adopters need to go through to have one of these wonderful creatures in their home.

 

As a side note, while I will accept "institutionalization" as a fact of greyhound life, I do take exception to "trauma experienced at (sic) the track." Most of our dogs here in the US are very well treated on the farms where they were bred, and in the kennels where they train and race. Yes, abuses still do happen, but the industry has come a long way from days when inhumane treatment was common.

 

I think I should clarify what I said before more words are put in my mouth.

 

Dealing with the "side note" first, please see that I said "possible trauma experienced", with possible being an important word. A greyhound could have been trauamatized at a track simply through an accident while racing, for example.

 

Also, I don't and never had the time, money and energy to work with my dogs non-stop. Anyone running a rescue on their own would assure you this would be simply impossible.

 

Having had about 300 mostly greyhounds through my care personally, having worked with many more, most of them were institutionalized and/or traumatized. I never used anything stronger than a herbal relaxer in the initial days put into drinking water. Some of them came to me as "robots", with no emotion, no reaction to anything, no tail wagging, no interaction with other dogs here; others have come to me terrified to be touched or even looked at, shoving themselves into corners with their heads hidden and tembling, and still others have come to me as purely feral.

 

So yes, I have had a little bit of hands-on 24/7 experience with this.

 

That said, my point is it might be worth considering that some greyhounds might well be more able to begin to be "reached" without immediately resorting to meds than you think.

 

A combination of one's own body language, tone of voice, using other well socialized dogs, giving certain positive cues, using leashed walks as therapy, certain types of massage, particular ways to approach the dog and more can all go a long way towards a greyhound releasing anxiety.

 

I think it is ok that I said I was "amazed" and that in the UK and Ireland meds are not the first thing people resort to. Alternative ways to deal with problems are not, as far as I know, forbidden on this forum.

 

When you ask "If you had a human friend who was suffering from severe anxiety attacks would you tell that friend to just get over it??" that seems a bit unfair. Different people going to different psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors would all be treated differently. There is not only one right answer.

 

Regarding my comments about what you seem to view as an uninformed and even irresponsible alternative non-meds approach, besides the fact that vets are not trained in canine behaviour and that with the right handling a greyhound might come around without meds, there is also the question of how much positive handling a greyhound is actually consciously taking in when its consciousness is compromised by meds. These are all bona-fide concerns and not accusatory criticism.

Kudos to Greysmom for putting into words exactly what I was thinking!!

 

Your greyhounds are more capable than you think they are.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Personally I don't feel medication is morally justified in canines. We have almost no ability to truly monitor the effects of medications. We can only monitor the resulting behavior but have no way to understand the psychological effect on the animal. In my opinion it is irresponsible to give medication without truly knowing the effects. For an example, look at anti-depressants in adolescents it leads to an increase in suicides. What can be happening in the dogs mind? We will never know, so I don't feel it is responsible to give something without knowing what it is doing. Yes you can look at the resulting behavior, but the hound could be suffering in ways we don't understand.

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Personally I don't feel medication is morally justified in canines. We have almost no ability to truly monitor the effects of medications. We can only monitor the resulting behavior but have no way to understand the psychological effect on the animal. In my opinion it is irresponsible to give medication without truly knowing the effects. For an example, look at anti-depressants in adolescents it leads to an increase in suicides. What can be happening in the dogs mind? We will never know, so I don't feel it is responsible to give something without knowing what it is doing. Yes you can look at the resulting behavior, but the hound could be suffering in ways we don't understand.

Yes, I worried a lot about that (well, the suicide in teens wasn't actually documented and suicide rates among teens spiked after they black boxed all anti-depressants), but that Leo could potentially experience side effects and not be able to tell me. So I waited, 2 years, until life made it necessary to try Prozac, and you know what, now I regret waiting, deeply. He's so much happier and less stressed, I feel badly that I let my fears get in the way of his care. I hope you're not planning on denying your dog needed pain medication, because those have side effects too, that aren't always apparent from the outside, but to let any animal suffer in pain that could be relieved, is unfathomably cruel, well, the same is true of mental pain.

 

I simply don't understand this anti anti-anxiety med mind set.

 

If your dog had an infection, would you even hesitate to use an antibiotic?? If your dog had a thyroid imbalance, would you refuse to give it the proper supplementation?

 

If you had a human friend who was suffering from severe anxiety attacks would you tell that friend to just get over it??

Unfortunately, yes some people do deny their human children antibiotics, and they die. Deny them treatment for things like diabetes, and they die. Say cruel things to people about "just getting over it," or "if you just did [fill in the blank thing they've almost certainly tried] you wouldn't need medications or "medication is the easy way out." So yes, I believe it, even though I don't completely understand it--these are terrible things to do, but yes, people do them to children dependent on them and say them to their friends and loved ones. (And in case it's not crystal clear, your mindset is not the one I disagree with).

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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Guest GreyOrchard

Yes, I worried a lot about that (well, the suicide in teens wasn't actually documented and suicide rates among teens spiked after they black boxed all anti-depressants), but that Leo could potentially experience side effects and not be able to tell me. So I waited, 2 years, until life made it necessary to try Prozac, and you know what, now I regret waiting, deeply. He's so much happier and less stressed, I feel badly that I let my fears get in the way of his care. I hope you're not planning on denying your dog needed pain medication, because those have side effects too, that aren't always apparent from the outside, but to let any animal suffer in pain that could be relieved, is unfathomably cruel, well, the same is true of mental pain.

Unfortunately, yes some people do deny their human children antibiotics, and they die. Deny them treatment for things like diabetes, and they die. Say cruel things to people about "just getting over it," or "if you just did [fill in the blank thing they've almost certainly tried] you wouldn't need medications or "medication is the easy way out." So yes, I believe it, even though I don't completely understand it--these are terrible things to do, but yes, people do them to children dependent on them and say them to their friends and loved ones. (And in case it's not crystal clear, your mindset is not the one I disagree with).

 

I think it is important to do some serious reading before making sweeping comments about the panacea of pharmaceuticals. . There are better and new ways of treating a range of medical problems emerging all the time. From Harvard Medical School writing about the very serious problem of the overuse of antibiotics, to new thinking on the "epidemic" (their words, not mine) of diabetes, resorting to drugs is not always the best first step. Think of all the people in psychiatric institutions who are misdiagnosed for years.

 

Again,with the right cues, our geyhounds are far far more capable than many people realize. However, with the wrong cues, sure, they'll need to be doped up.

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I think it is important to do some serious reading before making sweeping comments about the panacea of pharmaceuticals. . There are better and new ways of treating a range of medical problems emerging all the time. From Harvard Medical School writing about the very serious problem of the overuse of antibiotics, to new thinking on the "epidemic" (their words, not mine) of diabetes, resorting to drugs is not always the best first step. Think of all the people in psychiatric institutions who are misdiagnosed for years.

 

Again,with the right cues, our geyhounds are far far more capable than many people realize. However, with the wrong cues, sure, they'll need to be doped up.

Just in Leo's case, I consulted two professors of psychiatric nursing, read approximately 30 referred academic journal articles, talked to a active researcher in pharmacology (also specializing in psychiatric meds) extensively, and got the opinions of two vets. And this is on top of a lot of background reading pro and con, about psychiatric medications in general and specific medications in particular. So I wonder what "serious reading" you think I need to do? I teach history of Illness and Medicine, so I've read both medical articles/books and historical ones, about mental health treatment, issues before antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, etc, vaccinations, etc.

 

And no, we did not resort to medications as "the first step," hence my comment about the 2 years we spent on behavioral work, finding a house to buy where we'd lower his stress levels, etc. We made progress, but not enough for him to be happy.

 

And I'm not sure how you define "doped up," but a less stressed, well functioning, dog enjoying his life is not my definition of "doped up."

 

I've seen my boys "doped" up, Patrick, say for example, the sedative they gave him prior to euthanasia when he wasn't going to make it, but I wanted him comfortable and out of it while we waited the 10 minutes for DH to get there to let him go, hardest day of my life, literally. Murphy, in the time between the first and second shot, because we could no longer promise him a pain-free life and he was dying.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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Guest GreyOrchard

Just in Leo's case, I consulted two professors of psychiatric nursing, read approximately 30 referred academic journal articles, talked to a active researcher in pharmacology (also specializing in psychiatric meds) extensively, and got the opinions of two vets. And this is on top of a lot of background reading pro and con, about psychiatric medications in general and specific medications in particular. So I wonder what "serious reading" you think I need to do? I teach history of Illness and Medicine, so I've read both medical articles/books and historical ones, about mental health treatment, issues before antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, etc, vaccinations, etc.

 

And no, we did not resort to medications as "the first step," hence my comment about the 2 years we spent on behavioral work, finding a house to buy where we'd lower his stress levels, etc. We made progress, but not enough for him to be happy.

 

And I'm not sure how you define "doped up," but a less stressed, well functioning, dog enjoying his life is not my definition of "doped up."

 

I've seen my boys "doped" up, Patrick, say for example, the sedative they gave him prior to euthanasia when he wasn't going to make it, but I wanted him comfortable and out of it while we waited the 10 minutes for DH to get there to let him go, hardest day of my life, literally. Murphy, in the time between the first and second shot, because we could no longer promise him a pain-free life and he was dying.

 

If you think I have a problem with administering sedatives before euthanasia, then you have very sadly and quite profoundly missed my point.

 

 

I also am not going to engage in "dueling credentials", but will say that of the myriad articles you claim to have read and all the people consulted, both are often very closely linked to the very pharmaceutical companies which market such products and are hardly altruistic.

 

Again, with a certain amount of guidance and the right cues, our greyhounds are far more capable than we think they are. They really are. I won't apologize for my high opinion of them. I have no more to say about this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

He on it for severe separation anxiety. It was recommended by the adoption agency.

 

Are you working with a vet who is experienced with the use of behavioral meds? Amitriptyline is not one that is used by veterinary behaviorists these days. It is not thought to have as much of an anti-anxiety effect as some of the more serotonin-specific meds like clomipramine (Clomicalm) or fluoxetine (Prozac).

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Guest kygreymom

Our vet told me yesterday that she is not comfortable prescribing meds to the dog any longer and that I need to find a behaviorist or another vet that has more experience with greyhounds. I have been "interviewing" the 3 grey savvy vets in the area and each have their pros and cons. One of them has walk-in hours only. Some people have said they've waited up to 5 hours to be seen! I have made an appointment with one of the vets and will be going for a visit this week. We will revisit the type of med he takes, when and how to wean him off etc. We've been feeding him in his crate for the past couple of weeks and I "think" it's helping. This morning he walked into the crate without having to be lead by a leash. Best text of the day read, "No pee in crate!".

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