Andy Medical Director 4, satisfied customers. In some dogs, instead of calming, this medication can have the opposite effect, and cause hyperactivity and aggression. I'm surprised none of the techs suggested Composure- they are little soft chews that have a calming effect. Her blood work was fine when we rechecked it a couple of weeks after starting the drug. Dose My Pet is a website which can only stay online through ad revenue. This just started today.
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Instead, here are some tips on affording veterinary care and here is a list of organizations that can provide assistance. Google "affordable vet care" or "low cost vet care" in your area. Apply for Care Credit , a credit line specifically for medical needs. Check if your local humane society offers a low-cost clinic.
Please consider pet insurance or set aside a small amount of money every month for future veterinary expenses. Positive reinforcement isn't just for dogs. Users are more likely to accept criticism when it is delivered with understanding and compassion. A total list of related subreddits may be found here, including breed subreddits, dog picture subreddits, and other animal subreddits. I think they are anxious being in a new place. I was wondering if I could give them Benadryl or. The dogs are 20 pound and about 15 pounds each.
Our only other alternative is bringing them to a kennel which we'd rather not do or cut the vacation short. They have really never acted like this before on vacation. Right now my wife and I are taking turns staying with them inside. Any information would be greatly appreciated thank you. I have I already contacted the vet and am waiting to hear back but thought I'd try reddit as well. You can start on the low end and move towards the high end if need be, however it won't actually do anything for his anxiety.
It might make him a little sleepy for a bit. I don't have a Plums in front of me so I am not sure if Clonazepam is safe in dogs or not. Even if it was I couldn't make a recommendation to give it to him for legal and ethical reasons. If you do give them Benadryl then make sure that you aren't giving them a combination drug, like "Allergy and Cold" type medicines. It's got to have diphenhydramine as the only active ingredient.
It's typically safe to give up to 3 times a day. Be forewarned that it may not do anything at all to make them sleepy. Also be aware that without knowing their history, pre-existing conditions, or having seen any recent blood work that you're medicating them at your own well and their own risk. You might consider looking up an emergency service near your location and calling them up.
They may not be willing to at all as this is not a true emergency. Make sure you ask them if they are busy before you go down, or else you'll spend all day in a waiting room. If Benadryl doesn't work you could always picks up an herbal supplement form a pet store of have your vet call in a prescription like diazepam to a human pharmacy for the dogs.
I'm surprised none of the techs suggested Composure- they are little soft chews that have a calming effect. Instead of Benadryl that may or may not work- I'd stop at any animal clinic and ask for a bag of composure. You do not need an Rx I just don't know if anybody carries it besides vets. Worked wonders for my dogs separation anxiety and destruction issues. It's relatively cheap as well. Also thunder shirt- it's a compression shirt that makes them feel protected and calms them in most situations.
They are specifically designed for stress and anxiety. Vets carry some or another brand called Zendog but they are the same thing. Hope you find a solution! Benedryl is safe for dogs. Not the liquid kind though, just the original benedryl pill. They are usually 25 mg and you give 1 mg per pound. I give my 50 pound dog 2 pills of benedryl.
For your dogs I would give the 20 pound one pill and maybe cut one in half for the 15 pound? I'm not sure, so maybe best to wait for vet. Benedryl does nothing for my dog like make her tired though, I give it for allergies. I know some peoples dogs do get tired from benedryl, and it helps their dog with things like car sickness.
Dodman's first choice for treating generalized anxiety and noise phobias, but he says it's important to give a high enough dosage. Buspirone also helped a client's dog that was growling and urine-marking after the arrival of a new baby. That dog responded wonderfully to Buspirone and was able to return to her flyball team with the help of this medication.
We started Piglet on a low dose 10 mg, or 0. Unfortunately, it did not help, and I weaned her off it. Combining Clomicalm with behavior modification therapy BMT for separation anxiety achieves a faster response than using BMT alone, but after three months, the results are similar. The tricyclic antidepressants most commonly used with dogs are amitriptyline Elavil and clomipramine Clomicalm. The general recommendation is to start with a low dose, then increase every two weeks as needed.
The most common side effect of TCAs is sedation. Anorexia loss of appetite is also common, but usually goes away after a few days. Giving with food and dividing the dosage between meals may decrease gastric side effects. Dodman feels amitriptyline is not as effective as clomipramine. Prozac is equally or more effective than clomipramine, and is safe and inexpensive, so it would be a better choice than amitriptyline, but his preferred medication for anxiety is Buspirone see above.
My own vet prefers to use amitriptyline as the first choice when treating anxiety, not because it is the most effective drug, but because he feels it is safer than clomipramine. It is also inexpensive. It is well suited to dogs with relatively mild anxiety disorders, including anxiety-related aggression and submissive urination. It is not useful for compulsive disorders. Amitriptyline can relieve chronic pain, and has some action as an antihistamine.
Clomipramine is best suited for situations involving anxiety, including separation anxiety, as opposed to reactivity. Clomipramine is also very effective at treating compulsive disorders. TCAs can cause bone marrow suppression. With my veterinarian's guidance, I started Piglet on 25 mg 1. Piglet tolerated the drug very well, and she did not have problems with sedation or other side effects.
However, as time went on, I noticed no improvement in her behavior, even after we increased the dose, so I weaned her off it. We started at 20 mg 1. After two weeks, I increased to 25 mg 1. Again, Piglet tolerated it well; she had no stomach upset, and blood work was normal after two weeks. She was on clomipramine for a total of only three weeks before I began weaning her off, as I did not feel it was helping, but in retrospect, I realize that she got much worse when I weaned her off the drug.
Because of their safety margin, Dr. Dodman does not feel it is necessary to do blood work or other tests prior to starting healthy dogs on SSRIs. All of the follow-up blood work he has done over twenty years has been normal. Aggression and separation anxiety generally respond very quickly within a week to the use of medications, while depression and compulsive behavior may take up to several months. Tryptophan, an amino acid supplement, can be combined with Prozac for dogs with low serotonin levels.
Buspirone can also be combined with Prozac to increase the release of serotonin. Serotonin-enhancing drugs help in fearful conditions by stabilizing mood. These include "social anxiety," storm phobia, noise phobia, and separation anxiety. It is important to do blood work before starting, especially for older dogs, and monitor periodically after that. SSRIs can be combined with TCAs using low-end doses of each, which may help them take effect faster and lessen the chances of side effects.
Others include sertraline Zoloft and paroxetine Paxil , all with similar potential side effects, though paroxetine is more difficult to wean off and may have a shorter half-life, leading to more variation in its effects. The usual methodology is to start with a low dosage, and then increase if no improvement is seen after weeks. Treatment must continue for at least weeks before you can know for sure whether it helps. Fluoxetine is used to treat aggression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, separation anxiety, panic and avoidance disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Fluoxetine works well for conditions involving reactivity, including some forms of aggression. Paroxetine is used to treat depression, social anxiety, and agitation associated with depression. Sertraline is useful particularly for generalized anxiety and panic disorder. After consulting with the veterinary behaviorist, we started Piglet on fluoxetine, at a low dose of 10 mg 0. Piglet did have some loss of appetite with this medication. Fortunately, after about a week, this problem went away.
It also seemed to sedate her for the first couple of days, but she was normal after that. Her blood work was fine when we rechecked it a couple of weeks after starting the drug. The fluoxetine was helping, but I still felt that she was on edge and overly reactive. I decided to make one further change and switch her to sertraline instead of fluoxetine.
Sertraline is long-acting, similar to fluoxetine, which is desirable. I did discover that it was much more expensive, as there was no generic available at the time a generic version has since been released and is quite inexpensive, see Cost Comparison below. We started Piglet on a once-a-day dose of 25 mg 1. I wanted to use tramadol , an effective prescription pain reliever, but had seen warnings about combining it with SSRIs, due to the risk of serotonin syndrome, though I later learned that this could be done with caution.
In fact, she became almost normal again. I believe that she must have been experiencing some chronic pain that lowered her anxiety threshold. I also think that the small tumor in her foot may have been bothering her for a long time, though I was unaware of it. For the next few months after the surgery, Piglet did not have a single anxiety attack. She had a few minor episodes, where she became restless, with some pacing and attention-seeking behaviors, but no panting, trying to hide, waking me up at night, etc.
These episodes did not last very long, usually only about minutes, before she was able to settle down again. At this time, I was giving her sertraline 25 mg once a day and clonazepam 2 mg, twice a day. I spent another couple of months trying different things. I put her back on Metacam and added tramadol, in case pain was still contributing to her anxiety, but that also did not help. She was not as bad as she had been originally, but she was still having full-blown anxiety attacks periodically, and was on edge most of the time.
After discussion with my veterinarian and the veterinary behaviorist, we increased Piglet's clonazepam to 3 mg 0. This helped some, but not enough. I finally decided to increase her SSRIs, though both my vet and the veterinary behaviorist were concerned with doing this. Because fluoxetine Prozac is considered to be two-and-a-half times as effective as sertraline Zoloft at the same dosage level in humans, but the dosage ranges given for dogs are similar, I twice tried to switch Piglet from sertraline to fluoxetine, but both times she got much worse and I switched her back.
I then increased her sertraline dosage from 25 mg to Within a few days, she was back to normal. That was over three months ago, and she has continued to do great since. On the rare occasion that she starts showing signs of anxiety, or if I have to leave her alone for too long, I give her melatonin 3 mg plus a very small dose of alprazolam 0. I am in the process of very slowly reducing her clonazepam dosage it is addictive, so I am making only small changes every two weeks , and she is continuing to do well with the reduced dosage.
I no longer question the impact of these slower-acting drugs. If needed, you can combine them with the quicker-acting benzodiazepines to get some relief while waiting for the other drugs to take effect. Piglet enjoys her walks and explores new places again, and no longer avoids the areas where she might hear loud noises. She sleeps thru the night peacefully and is relaxed during the day, even playful again. She is more interested in everything. Although only the benzodiazepines are physically addictive, it is important to wean off all anti-anxiety medications slowly, reducing dosage gradually every one to two weeks, rather than stopping abruptly.
Stopping benzodiazepines too quickly can lead to seizures; they must be weaned slowly as they create physical dependence. I have learned that when you find medications that work, you need to continue to give them for some time. A dog must be treated with SSRIs or TCAs for a minimum of three to five weeks before you are able to assess the effects; then, you must maintain treatment until all the dog's symptoms are gone or are at the same low, consistent level, for at least another one to two months.
Treatment should be continued after that for at least as long as it took to achieve that level, before even beginning to think about weaning them off. Total length of treatment should be a minimum of four to six months. One of the mistakes I made was always trying to give the minimal drugs possible; every time I would see improvement, I would try to reduce the amount of drugs she was getting, and then she would get worse again. I have learned that it takes time to overcome anxiety disorders; they do not go away overnight.
If needed, I am prepared to keep Piglet on these drugs for the rest of her life. She is tolerating them well, with no side effects and continued normal blood work, and the improvement in her quality of life is so dramatic that I no longer fear having her on them. I have come to realize that there is no harm in relying on drugs when they are needed. In hindsight, I wish I had tried using alprazolam for our walks when Piglet's reaction to outside noises first escalated; I think she would not have gotten so bad if I had treated the problem early.
I would never recommend anxiety drugs as a first choice, before trying to address anxiety with natural methods, but when a dog's quality of life is at stake, the drugs can perform miracles. They have given Piglet back her life, and for that I am grateful. Piglet is now 15, and still doing great. She continues to take the same dosage of sertraline It appears she will need to stay at that level, as she has developed problems when I tried to reduce it further.
I continue to give melatonin 1. On the rare occasion that her anxiety escalates usually, I believe, due to vomiting medication , I give more alprazolam every half hour to an hour until she settles down. She is doing great overall, still enjoying her walks and no longer letting anxiety ruin her life. She had some problems with "breakthrough" anxiety last fall, and I ended up increasing her dosage of sertraline to 50 mg daily.
Clonazepam remains at 1 mg in the morning and 2 mg at night. She has not needed any extra medications in seven months, other than the small amount of alprazolam plus melatonin that I give prophylactically when I have to leave her for long periods at night. Piglet just turned Because she has been doing so well since increasing her sertraline to 50 mg once a day, I have gradually reduced her dosage of clonazepam from 3 mg daily 1 mg AM and 2 mg PM to 1 mg in the AM only. Interestingly, although she had no problems with the reduction, she did react when I tried to eliminate that last 1 mg, so I'm leaving her on that.
I have not needed to give her any extra medication, even when I have to be gone for long periods. Piglet was euthanized on March 5, , at the age of She had lost most of her vision due to a combination of factors, and had developed canine cognitive dysfunction. As a result, she was getting stuck in corners and could no longer enjoy her walks, or her life. I made the difficult decision to let her go. Looking back on her life after she was gone, I became more aware of how different Piglet was after developing generalized anxiety disorder, even when the medications were able to keep her symptoms under control well enough for her to function.
My takeaway message is to take early signs of anxiety seriously, and to start medication sooner rather than later, particularly if signs are getting worse. Do whatever is necessary to shield your dog from whatever is causing anxiety, and use medications along with behavior modification to prevent anxiety and phobias from taking over your dog's life. Dosages below are given in mg milligrams per kg kilogram of body weight of the dog. Note that some of these drugs are available in liquid form if smaller doses are needed, or you could use a compounding pharmacy.
When using benzodiazepines for noise phobias or separation anxiety, it is best to give them one to two hours before the anticipated noise or stimulus, and then repeat as needed. Benzodiazepines should not be given with the antifungal medications ketoconazole or itraconazole. Cimetidine Tagamet , erythromycin, propranolol and valproic acid will slow the metabolism of these drugs and can create excessive sedation.
Antacids decrease absorption and should be given separately, at least two hours apart. Benzodiazepines should be used with caution in the case of liver or kidney disease, or narrow angle glaucoma. Side effects such as sedation or increased appetite usually go away with continued usage. Dodman says that when buspirone doesn't work for anxiety issues, it is usually due to the dosage being too low.
This dosage can be doubled if needed. Buspirone can also be used for dogs with motion sickness. Give 1 mg per pound of body weight an hour before leaving. Prozac is his first choice for treating dogs with separation anxiety and fear aggression. I have grouped these two types of drugs together, as they have similar properties and side effects. Start with a low dose and increase as needed every two weeks up to the maximum dosage. It may take four to six weeks to see improvement.
Restlessness or twitching indicate the dosage is too high. Because of its anticholinergic effects, clomipramine may be a good choice for dogs with elimination problems linked to separation anxiety. Both TCAs and SSRIs may cause side effects, including dry mouth which may show up as frequent lip licking , urine retention, heart rate disturbances, constipation and gastrointestinal effects such as vomiting or inappetence.
The most common side effect is sedation. Loss of appetite is also common, but usually goes away after a few days. TCAs can cause bone marrow suppression and may affect the liver. They may also lower seizure threshold in epileptic patients. These side effects may be more likely with clomipramine. It is best to check blood work two weeks after staring these drugs to make sure that your dog is not having any adverse effects, then continue to monitor every six months to a year thereafter.
They should be used with caution in dogs with liver or kidney impairment, heart problems or seizure disorders. Older dogs should have blood work done and possibly an ECG to check for cardiac arrhythmias before starting these drugs. The dosage may need to be reduced in dogs with liver or kidney disorders. Dodman feels it is safe to combine most behavior medications, and some even enhance the effect of others e. It's also OK to switch from behavior medication to another without an interval in between.
Other combinations that may be effective include combining Prozac with buspirone or Elavil, or combining Elavil with beta plockers, such as propranolol. TCAs can be combined with SSRIs cautiously, using low dosages of each, which may reduce the potential for side effects and speed the time they take to become effective. The most common risk when combining SSRIs or TCAs with each other or with other drugs is serotonin syndrome, characterized by lethargy or agitation, incoordination, fever, tremors or seizures.
Serotonin syndrome can be dangerous, even fatal. TCAs may lower seizure threshold, and may make glaucoma worse. They may lower thyroid levels, which is not a problem but could lead to a misdiagnosis of hypothyroidism. They can have cardiovascular effects, so care and monitoring is needed during general anesthesia. The use of cimetidine Tagamet may slow the removal of these drugs from the system, allowing them to build to toxic levels.
Cyproheptadine an antihistamine sometimes given for allergies may decrease or reverse the effects of SSRIs. Because of the long half-life of drugs such as fluoxetine Prozac , you should wait at least 5 weeks after discontinuing use of SSRIs or TCAs before using Anipryl or amitraz. Tramadol Ultram While I have seen warnings against using the pain medication tramadol with SSRIs or TCAs due to the potential for serotonin syndrome, the veterinary behaviorist I consulted said that her colleagues have used them together with caution, and I have done so with Piglet.
It makes sense that if high doses are not being used, the risk of serotonin syndrome should be reduced. Tramadol is safe to combine with benzodiazepines. Dodman says that melatonin is very safe and cannot be overdosed. He would give 3 mg for dogs weighing 40 to 60 pounds, but says it's fine to give 6 mg or even 9 mg if needed. He has given as much as 9 mg to a Golden Retriever on the Fourth of July with good results.. Although no studies have been done, pharmacists have told me it is safe to combine melatonin with any of these other drugs, at least on an occasional basis.
Melatonin is a hormone used to treat jet lag in humans. It has been found to be effective in 80 percent of dogs with thunder phobia. Recommended dosage is 3 mg for dogs over 35 lbs, 1. Higher doses for larger dogs are sometimes used. I am using melatonin with Piglet on occasion when I feel a little extra help is needed. Dodman recommends beta blockers for dogs with separation anxiety, storm phobia, and other phobias.
They can also help when fear leads to aggression. Beta blockers are prescription medications used to treat heart disease. They help reduce anxiety by decreasing the "flight or fight" response. Propranolol takes about an hour and a half to take effect, and the effects last for a few hours. A longer-acting up to 8 hours version called Inderal is also available.
Typical dosage for anxiety is 0. Side effects are uncommon, but heart rate may be decreased, which can cause weakness. May interact with sedatives, cimetidine, insulin, lidocaine and theophylline. Dodman's "new favorite secret weapon" when quick action is needed. He prefers it to alprazolam Xanax as it won't cause paradoxical excitement, increased aggression, or addiction.
Dodman's first choice for dogs with storm phobias. He recommends dosages up to 0. The drug takes effect in about half an hour and lasts three to four hours. Clonidine, a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure, is also used to reduce the "flight or fight" response. It can also cause low blood pressure and slow heart rate. Recommended dosage for anxiety is 0. It is given once a day with food. Effect lasts about 6 hours; may take one to two weeks to reach maximum effect.
Should be weaned off to avoid a sudden spike in blood pressure. Do not change dosage without a vet's approval. May increase the effects of other sedating drugs such as opiates and barbiturates. Combining with TCAs may block the hypotensive effect, but combining with amitriptyline has caused corneal lesions in rats. Due to the cumulative effect on heart rate, caution should be used if combining with beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, or digitalis.
A article on anxiolytic drugs, Beyond the Front Line: It can be given daily, or only as needed. Side effects are generally mild and may include gastrointestinal upset, sedation, excitement, and panting.