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MattB

Charlie's neurotic behaviour getting worse

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I didn't know whether to post in the behaviour or medical...

I've posted before about my now 9yo male grey Charlie. He's very sensitive and after a couple of dog attacks became very reactive. After firework season he takes a long time to calm down and remains really sensitive to similar noises which can last for months eg fizzy drinks bottles or cans hissing. His thundershirt helped a great deal with his recovery after last November.

However his/our problem seems to have changed - obviously I've no idea what he's thinking but he appears to get very anxious when he's expecting something, he starts crying and pacing hours before I get home from work (my wife is home nearly all the time), then after that he wants his walk, he used to hate going out at night but now he paces and pants, getting himself into quite a state, this can start 3 hrs before his walk. Then home and waiting for his dental stick. He follows me around crying a lot, wakes me in the night most nights. 

When I say he's pacing and panting, this isn't the behaviour of an excited dog, it's like when there's fireworks and he's stressed.

The other thing is if we give him something, for example a piece of cheese while we're cooking in the kitchen, he'll get obsessed, waiting on the kitchen every time we go in there.

I've seen several vets who can't suggest anything long term and seen a behaviourist who suggested general being quite strict with him.

 

I'd be grateful of any perspectives, we're really struggling. Charlie is a lovely dog, we've got a small baby and he's so patient with him, it just feels like he's fading away into this nervous, neurotic, obsessive dog and it's breaking my heart.

 

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Is he on any anxiety meds like Clomicalm?  Full panel thyroid test done?

Are you on Facebook? Try posting on your questions in Greyhound Health and Medical group.


 

Charlie the iggy, Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella)
Angels: Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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First thing is to test his thyroid with the full panel done at Michigan State Uni.  Don't let your vet talk you into the normal test as it doesn't give correct reading for greyhounds.  If you haven't yet, do some research in the H&M section on greyhound thyroid idiosyncrasies.  Even *if* his thyroid reads normal you can also try supplementation just to see if it makes a positive difference.   I've had greyhounds whose thyroid was basically so low to be unreadable, but yet perfectly normal for them, and dog's who read "normal" that needed supplementation.

Second, find a new behaviorist because the one you had was not helpful and just plain wrong.

Third, consider starting a course of a fast acting, broad spectrum anti anxiety medication, particularly if the thyroid test comes back within the normal range.  Most vets with begin with Clomicalm since it's made for canines, but don't be surprised if you need to try several different types to find the one that works for your dog.  This is NOT an easy fix, and it can take some time and patience.  We don't really understand how or why anti anxiety meds work in canines, so there can't be an exact prescription.  It all depends on your dog and his brain chemistry and what the physical issue is that's affecting him.

But I'm betting it's a thyroid issue.


Chris - Mom to: Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Lilly, and Felicity ( DeLand )

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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

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Thanks all, sorry I didn't respond for a while, lots going on. Charlie isn't on any meds at all - We're in the UK and my understanding is that we're a bit behind in terms of how vets approach long term anxiety conditions.

Greysmom, what type of supplements have you used?

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I was talking about thyroid supplementation. 

In my experience,  once a dog's anxiety passes beyond a certain point - which is individual for each dog - over the counter products and natural remedies are ineffective,  and you need to begin medicating with prescription drugs.  This point seems to be when the anxiousness doesn't back off and the dog is basically living under an anxiety cloud all the time to some degree.

You should search through the Training & Behavior section for the threads regarding anxiety to get information on the various medications available. 


Chris - Mom to: Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Lilly, and Felicity ( DeLand )

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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

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Prozac has helped Leo a lot, he's still on the high side of anxious and I think will always be a neurotic dog, but the pacing, peeing in the house, constantly stressed, fear aggression with other dogs stopped. If a thyroid panel doesn't show anything, you might give it a shot.


Beth and Henry and Leo. Bridge kids Gretta and Samantha (rabbits), and Little Arnold, Jakie, Arnold, Charlie, Sophie, and Rosie (guinea pigs). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012) and Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), you were loved more than you can know.

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