Jump to content

Seperation Anxiety: How Long Did You Wait Before Trying Medication?


Recommended Posts

My wife and I got our grey almost 3 months ago now. He's a really sweet and awesome dog and we love him a lot. However, he just won't budge at all on separation anxiety. Here are the things we've tried:

 

- Hiring a behaviorist (almost $1000) dollars to help

- CBD

- Thundershirt

- An old fan for white noise

- Playing soothing music

- Leaving him in or out of the crate for alone training

- Adaptil

- Rescue Remedy

- The entire "pick up your keys, don't act excited when you come in/leave" training and all its variations

- Rearranging an entire room to put his crate in there for a more den like space (behaviorist advice)

- Teaching him tricks to keep his confidence up (he's great at learning!)

- Leaving him with puzzle treats, kongs, bones, you name it

- Contacting my adoption agency and trying out everything they suggested

 

But despite all this we haven't made any progress at all in his separation anxiety. Today I left the room (not even the front door) for about 2 minutes and he was already up and barking. Sometimes he will even soil his crate after panicking. We can barely leave the room let alone go out the door. This is after daily training with the above.

 

He's my dude and I'm not giving up on him, but I'm just about at the point where I think he needs some medication. Do you think he's at that point? I really on the fence of giving him meds but I think he's at that "threshold". Then again we've spent at least $1500 so far to help with this issue.

 

For those of you that did give your dogs and anti-anxiety medication what was the point where you put them on it?

Edited by incredibletaco
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there's been no improvement at all, and you feel you've done everything suggested by the behaviorist and from your group to the very best of your ability, then it's time to move on to medical intervention.

 

If your behaviorist is accredited and licensed, they may be able to help guide you. Otherwise consult with your vet. This is NOT NOT NOT a miracle cure. Anti anxiety meds only help adjust your dogs brain chemistry so that they can better accept reconditioning through continuing your alone training and other training aids.

 

The first med you try may not be the last one you try. Since we don't really understand how they work, it's mostly trial and error to figure out which medication is the best for your dog. Even once you find one that helps you then may need to try different dosages and timings before getting the right combination.

 

And even then, there are simply dogs that cannot live easily as only dogs. They need a companion to be truly comfortable in a home situation.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies! We are not opposed to getting him a friend, but currently it's not feasible in our apartment. We're hoping to buy a house within the year but in the mean time I don't want the poor guy to feel so bad.

 

Have any of y'all had experience getting a grey a cat friend to ease their separation anxiety?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some dogs are ok with *any* kind of companion - cats, bird, small dog - others not so much. Make sure your dog is cat safe before you get one though. You group probably cat tested him prior to putting him up for adoption.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's highly unlikely a cat will address your issue, and it could compound things for you if intros don't go smoothly on either end.

 

I would do meds.

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."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Took my guy to the groomer today for the first time and dropped him off. He made friends with the other dogs there quickly, but there were wayyyy more hyper than he was.

 

He had a bit of a panic attack and peed when he was touched by the groomer and we were called to pick him up.

 

Poor dude, I feel so bad for him. He just isn't in a good frame of mind when we're not around (he absolutely loved the vet when we went, but we were in the room). I think meds might be the right move at this point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's highly unlikely a cat will address your issue, and it could compound things for you if intros don't go smoothly on either end.

 

I would do meds.

Ditto above.

 

A newly adopted Greyhound (even if initially tested as cat-workable) should not be left unsupervised with an adult cat, and certainly not with a crazed flying kitten, so a cat wouldn't help in your circumstances. (Good to remember that even for cat-friendly hounds, outside cats are "game on".)

 

Retired racing Greyhounds are sighthounds used to seeing other Greyhounds inside their racing kennels. You could try securely placing a mirror on floor level (out of any direct sun) as a Greyhound reflection for your hound. He will figure out that it doesn't smell like another dog, but simply seeing their reflection helps some solo hounds. In your case, the mirror may be more helpful after your hound is more relaxed when he begins a temporary anti-anxiety medication. Your timing should be fine now for prescription medication, assuming your vet knows what your hound has been taking thus far that might require a washout period. (Every hound is different, but vet prescribed Trazadone might work well if you simply need a short-acting medication quickly.)

 

Hopefully, you and your wife are sharing care duties (feeding, walking, etc.) to reduce hyper-attachment to one person. He likely needs extra potty outings before your departures (e.g., 3 separate pre-departure outings). Some people temporarily foster another hound simply to help the permanent hound transition into home life. Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the response. Unfortunately he doesn't like his reflection and has been known to bark at it in the past haha. My wife and I split up all the duties and he likes both of us.

 

The unfortunate part is that I can't even leave the room now, let alone go outside. He cries and barks immediately which is a huge regression from where we were.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think given what you have outlined, trying medication may be a good next step and would recommend you talk with you vet. Our boy grey had separation anxiety when we first got him and similar to you, we had tried everything. Nonetheless, despite our best efforts he would continually pee in his crate when we were gone. The vet did not want that to become a "normal" behavior; therefore, recommended we try Trazadone once per day when planning to leave him alone. After one week I can tell you that both my husband and I were so relived! As someone mentioned above, it is not a "cure-all" and behavior and alone training need to continue, but the meds helped him to take the edge off his anxiety and actually focus on his Kong and the Treats.

 

Good Luck! I am glad to hear you are not giving up on him!

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dealing with SA must be so stressful and I feel for you.

Is it possible to take him on a brisk 30-45 minute walk before leaving him alone?

Cheryl - "Mom" to RUNNER (Gunnah, born 6/15/2012) and FARGO (Ridin Shotgun, born 8/21/2015). Missing my Grey-Angels HEISMAN (RX Heisman) (3/29/2005-2/1/2016) and ALEX (Bevenly) (4/15/2005-6/7/2018).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Plewes91

We're having a similar problem with our grey, we got him in August and he's having some issues with barking and whining when we leave him alone. It's quite difficult as we didn't even know it was an issue until the neighbours came over and went berserk in November, and they're not the most understanding! It's a terraced house so can understand it's loud if they're in in the day. We've also tried adaptil, the basic training tricks and we've worked on having people come in and look after him especially if we're busy outside of his normal routine. also tried some basic calming tablets off the shelf. We recorded him and it's mainly the first 45 mins or so which is a problem, and the same after he is let out at lunchtime.

 

Would love to know how you get on with meds/if you find another solution as it's becoming quite stressful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We tried some exercise before alone training him. We actually did a 4 hour hike on a Sunday and alone trained him after.

 

He was extremely tired but it didn't help one bit with his anxiety. He was barking and whining within the first two minutes he was left alone. Unfortunately it didn't help at all.

 

We just started him on Zoloft a few days ago, hopefully it will help within a month or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update: so far the Zoloft seems to be making alone training worse. We can't even leave him in seperate baby gated room by himself for 2 minutes without him barking up a storm.

 

Does it get worse before it gets better with meds? I'm running out of options here and eventually I'm going to be thrown out of my apartment if this keeps up. Not to mention I still can't leave to do anything.

 

I'm starting to lose hope here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This drug may not be the right drug for your dog. We don't really know why or how off-label uses of human anti anxiety meds work in dogs, so there's no telling how your individual dog will react to any drug until you try it.

 

But it should not be getting worse. Call your vet and discuss if switching him to another drug is in order.

 

I've forgotten, and haven't checked back in this thread, if anyone has mentioned returning him. It's a hard thing to consider, but there are simply dogs that cannot be left alone. Returning him so that he can be re-adopted into a home with a friend is not a failure on your part. And you may be able to adopt a different dog who fits better into a single dog home.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my first time hearing of a vet prescribing Zoloft for a dog, but appears it can be used. Anyway, with any anti-depressant like that, it can take 4-6 weeks to build. Often a faster acting med like Trazodone is prescribed to relieve the anxiety until the SSRI or other med kicks in. You may want to talk to your vet about that.

 

I would also ask your vet about side effects. It may be that the meds are causing some of what you are seeing.

 

Also, until the meds are working you would ideally not be practicing alone training and would be making alternative arrangements when you have to go out, as much as possible so he isn't left alone.

 

I'm sorry, SA is really tough to live with and work through, hang in there if you can as it may take a little time to get the meds sorted. If neighbors are having issues definitely ask for something fast acting to give temporarily on top of the Zoloft. Valium and Xanax used to be the go to's, but Trazodone seems to be more common these days and there are other options. Not recommending any one, just giving you an idea of the types. You may want to ask your vet to consult with a vet behaviorist. Many VBs will consult for free if they speak directly with your vet.

 

And there isn't anything wrong with deciding to return him if that's what you end up doing like Greysmom said. SA is tough, SA with intolerant condo neighbors is so much tougher.

Edited by NeylasMom

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."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love this dude so much that I will totally stuff another dog into my cramped apartment if that will make him feel better lol.

 

But deep down I have a (probably irrational) fear that a second one will make things worse or that the second one won't be a sweetheart like he is.

 

I am going to give him 6 weeks on Zoloft and maybe look at tranzodone. It seems that a lot of people have had good luck with that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you try fostering to see if a second dog helps? You should know pretty immediately as it either helps or it doesn't. That way you aren't committing to a second dog if it doesn't help.

BTW I had 3 greyhounds in my teeny tiny condo so you can definitely make 2 work. ;)

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."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love this dude so much that I will totally stuff another dog into my cramped apartment if that will make him feel better lol.

 

But deep down I have a (probably irrational) fear that a second one will make things worse or that the second one won't be a sweetheart like he is.

 

I am going to give him 6 weeks on Zoloft and maybe look at tranzodone. It seems that a lot of people have had good luck with that.

 

Thank you for loving your boy and for your effort to work with him. He's still newly retired and has great potential.

 

I agree that Zoloft's side effects might be causing your boy's worsening behavior/agitation.

(If I recall correctly, Xanax had the opposite of intended affect on my S.A. hound, which made her extremely highly anxious.)

 

If you try adding a foster or "foster with intent" hound so your boy has a buddy,

your experienced adoption group will be most important in helping select the most appropriate second hound.

I don't recall reading your current hound's age, but assuming he's youngish (age 2-4),

I'd try to pair you with a proven independent and confident semi-middle age hound.

Some mature hounds walk in the door and quietly act as if they've lived there forever.

Every hound has their own personality, but 99.9% are fabulous once they adjust to their new home/family.

 

BTW, re: your reply about your boy barking at his mirrored reflection is very common with new hounds.

Many hounds initially bark at their reflection, even trying to entice play until they realize it won't happen.

One of our hounds kept seeing herself in the bathroom mirror, and would run down the hall looking through other rooms for her cute new friend!

(She had three real hound friends downstairs.) :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

One of our hounds kept seeing herself in the bathroom mirror, and would run down the hall looking through other rooms for her cute new friend!

(She had three real hound friends downstairs.) :)

Violet did this too when I was fostering her. I have an adorable video of her putting her paws up on my bathroom counter to look in the mirror, then running into my bedroom which was adjacent to find the dog. :lol

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."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just timed it with alone training. His current setup is a Kong, a bone with cheese, adaptil sprayed in his crate, a thunder shirt, and a fan for white noise.

 

I waited for him to start using his Kong and to lay down in his crate before I left the room. I timed it on my phone as to how long it would take him to start losing his mind.

 

He made it 10 seconds before he started barking. At the highest we could maybe slip out of the apartment for 15 minutes and now I can't leave the room for 10 seconds. This is such a huge regression... has anyone ever experienced something like this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that you have tried leaving him out of his crate, but then you said that you put a baby gate across the bedroom.

Did you mean you left him in the bedroom?

None of mine would ever tolerate being shut into a room, even if they could see out.

 

But now he is back in the crate?

 

Have you tried leaving him loose in the house?

You can muzzle him to prevent chewing things.

Edited by BatterseaBrindl

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

SKMwinter.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...