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Dogs and anxiety meds,pitbull protection dogs,terrier breeds list with pictures - Easy Way

Category: Anxiety Dog Training | Author: admin 18.10.2015
Chill Pills: Behavior-altering drugs can help dogs with phobias or anxiety disorders – but you have to learn which ones work best in each case. Ten years ago, my dog Piglet (pictured above) woke me in the middle of the night, trembling violently and utterly terrified. Piglet was normally a confident dog, cautious with people but not fearful, comfortable with other dogs, eager to explore new places. As we could avoid “scary noises” most of the time, her anxiety attacks were not frequent and she was able to live with her phobias pretty well. Following is a summary of the different types of anti-anxiety drugs, what they are commonly used for, and what you need to know before using them. I’ve found Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook to have the most current information on drug dosages and interactions.
See below for more information on dosages, interactions, side effects and contraindications.
Benzodiazepines are fast-acting drugs that can be used on an as-needed basis for dogs that need periodic help with anxiety, such as those afraid of thunder or fireworks.
Benzodiazepines commonly used with dogs include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), and diazepam (Valium). Their safety range is very wide, and they can be combined with most other medications, including TCAs and SSRIs, as well as with pain medications such as tramadol.
A combination of Prozac (fluoxetine) and Clonidine would be his first choice now for dogs with storm phobias, while in the past he has used clomipramine and alprazolam (Clomicalm and Xanax). Diazepam is more sedating than the other drugs in this class, and may have less anxiolytic effect, so it is generally not recommended for anxiety. Because buspirone has few side effects and does not cause sedation, it is an excellent first choice for treating dogs with aggression or anxiety that is not too severe.
I learned about buspirone from Amy Cook, a dog trainer in Oakland, California, who has a special interest in fearful dogs. Buspirone also helped a client's dog that was growling and urine-marking after the arrival of a new baby. Buspirone helped a number of Amy’s clients, as well as the dog of a colleague that had developed noise phobias and was unable to continue her flyball participation because of 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.
Tricyclic antidepressants are used with dogs to treat anxiety, panic, phobias, and obsessive compulsive disorders, such as shadow chasing and lick granulomas. The tricyclic antidepressants most commonly used with dogs are amitriptyline (Elavil) and clomipramine (Clomicalm). 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. Clomipramine is best suited for situations involving anxiety, including separation anxiety, as opposed to reactivity. I tried giving Piglet  amitriptyline for her noise phobia before she developed generalized anxiety disorder. Piglet tolerated the drug very well, and she did not have problems with sedation or other side effects.
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. SSRIs are antidepressants and anxiolytics, used to treat aggression, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
It is important to do blood work before starting, especially for older dogs, and monitor periodically after that.
Fluoxetine (Prozac) is the most commonly used SSRI with dogs, and has the longest half-life in people. The usual methodology is to start with a low dosage, and then increase if no improvement is seen after 3-4 weeks.
Fluoxetine is used to treat aggression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, separation anxiety, panic and avoidance disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Suddenly, Piglet became progressively worse over several days, culminating in a full-blown anxiety attack; I do not know what caused it. I finally decided to increase her SSRIs, though both my vet and the veterinary behaviorist were concerned with doing this. In hindsight, I believe that the SSRIs (fluoxetine and sertraline) and the TCAs (particularly clomipramine) helped more than I realized at first. Piglet enjoys her walks and explores new places again, and no longer avoids the areas where she might hear loud noises.
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. 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. Anxiety Wrap (“It’s a Wrap,” December 2002). Also see Thundershirt (also available at Amazon).
Two of the articles above, Relieving Anxiety and Reducing your Dog's Anxieties, are also available in the WDJ booklet, Mending His Ways: Saying Good-Bye to Bad Behaviors available from the Whole Dog Journal.
Melatonin (see below), SAM-e (s-adenyl methionine) and magnesium are also used to treat anxiety. One person reported her dog's anxiety improving greatly when she added fish oil to the diet.
L-tryptophan, an amino acid, and alpha-casozepine, a component of milk whose action is similar to benzodiazepines, have been found to help ease anxiety. An aromatherapy product called Chill Pill made by Aura Cacia may help calm some nervous dogs. Mutt Muffs and Happy Hoodie block loud noises and have helped some dogs who are afraid of fireworks or thunder. 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.
I have grouped these two types of drugs together, as they have similar properties and side effects. SSRIs must be given a minimum of three to five weeks in order to assess the effects, and may take six to twelve weeks to reach full effectiveness. 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. MAOIs, such as Anipryl and Amitraz, are the exception, as they are dangerous to combine with SSRIs, TCAs, and many other medications.
TCAs and SSRIs can be dangerous to combine with each other or with other drugs, including antihistamines, anticonvulsants, anesthetics, MAOIs (see below), and even herbs such as kava kava or St. 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. A 2012 article on anxiolytic drugs, Beyond the Front Line: Trazodone and other Ancillary Treatments for Anxiety, by Margaret E. The article also contains information on benzodiazepines, clonidine, buspirone, gabapentin, and neutraceuticals, along with recommendations for specific situations.
I was advised by both my vet and the behaviorist that Ace could be used for emergencies, to force her to sleep if absolutely nothing else was working, and I did use it once, when she was still up at midnight after being up all the night before, and after giving both alprazolam and melatonin without success, but it is not something I am comfortable using or would recommend. New research indicates that gastrointestinal disorders are frequently at the root of repetitive oral behaviors in dogs, including excessive licking of surfaces and fly biting. I found the best drug prices at Costco, where even non-members can order online and shipping is free.


Target is also offering a $4 generic drug program that includes Amitriptyline, Fluoxetine and Buspirone. Also see Thunderstorm Phobia by Sara Reusche, CPDT-KA, CVT, for a good overview of using both natural methods and medication as needed by a dog trainer with a special fondness for reactive and anxious dogs. Includes information on trazodone, benzodiazepines, clonidine, buspirone, gabapentin, and neutraceuticals, along with recommendations for specific situations. While the most effective way to break these habits are through rehabilitation, training, and behavior modification – this takes time. There are a variety of anti anxiety alternatives that can be used in the interim.  Some people have success with compression wraps such as the Thundershirt, Anxiety Wrap, Storm Defender, Zen Dog, and Happy Hoodie. If you find yourself needing some additional help I recommend taking a trip to your local health food store to purchase some herbs or supplements that can aid in reducing stress and anxiety.
Herbal remedies are relatively safe and use the healing power found in nature to treat common conditions and ailments.
Always do your own research and when possible consult a holistic veterinarian or other professional for dosage information.
Many of the following herbs come in a variety of forms (capsules, powders, liquids).  The best way to administer these herbs to your dog is to serve with food (unless stated otherwise) or to mix with water into a tea and serve cooled for pets to drink. This herb is quite popular and well known for treating anxiety disorders and depression in humans.
This plant helps to treat nervous, anxious pets and also can be used as a mild to moderate pain reliever. This herb is used to treat nervousness, tension, anxiety, phobias, excitability, travel sickness and epilepsy in dogs and cats. This herb has a wide range of positive benefits associated with it.  Relating to anxiety, chamomile has been known for it’s calming effect and is found in most anti anxiety pet products.
Below is the story of my struggle to help her cope with these phobias and, eventually, generalized anxiety disorder. I tried many natural treatments, including T-Touch, an Anxiety Wrap, melatonin, flower remedies, Adaptil dog appeasing pheromone products (diffuser, collar, and spray now available), counter-conditioning (scary noise = treat) and just about everything else I heard of that can help dogs with anxiety and phobias.
When she was frightened by beeping sounds, she would pant, pace, tremble, try to hide, dig compulsively both indoors and out (to the point of making her nails bleed), and come to me for attention and comfort, though comforting her did not help. With the exception of clomipramine, the FDA has not approved the use of these drugs in dogs, as the drug companies have not submitted the necessary research.
Some of the following is taken from that source, and some from various papers written by noted veterinary behaviorist Dr. They can also be used in combination with TCAs or SSRIs when first starting treatment to hasten the effects, or on an ongoing basis, either regularly or as needed to prevent or lessen acute anxiety episodes. These drugs are used to treat anxiety, noise phobias (including thunder phobia), panic attacks, and separation anxiety. Dodman has had a lot of problems with Xanax (alprazolam) causing paradoxical excitement in dogs. There are two recommended dosage levels for clonazepam: one for seizure control, and one for anxiety. It is the shortest-acting of this drug class in dogs, and does not take effect as quickly as the others. Her anxiety was under control, but she seemed to be on something of a roller coaster, becoming more reactive each hour after the alprazolam was given. Because the recommended dosage range of clonazepam for anxiety in dogs is similar to that for alprazolam, I tried giving Piglet the same dosage (1 mg), but quickly found out that was not enough. Amy has dealt with fear and anxiety in many dogs, including two of her own, and has learned a lot about the medications used for treatment.
Dodman's first choice for treating generalized anxiety and noise phobias, but he says it's important to give a high enough dosage.
That dog responded wonderfully to Buspirone and was able to return to her flyball team with the help of this medication. It’s important to do blood work a couple of weeks after starting this drug (as well as before, for older dogs), then monitor every six months to a year thereafter. Dodman does not feel it is necessary to do blood work or other tests prior to starting healthy dogs on SSRIs. SSRIs are stronger, more effective and longer-acting than TCAs, and may take longer to fully assess their effects.
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. Instead, my vet suggested using Buprenex (buprenorphine), which is put into the cheek pouch and absorbed thru the mucosal membranes (this works very well with cats, they don’t really know how well it works for dogs). 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.
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 would encourage anyone who tries TCAs, SSRIs or buspirone to not give up too soon, keep using them for at least one to two months and preferably longer, before deciding that they’re not working and trying something else. I have learned that it takes time to overcome anxiety disorders; they do not go away overnight.
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 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. She continues to take the same dosage of sertraline (37.5 mg once a day), but her clonazepam has been reduced to 1 mg in the morning and 2 mg at night. 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.
She had lost most of her vision due to a combination of factors, and had developed canine cognitive dysfunction. 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.
Wrapping them in a bit of string cheese has solved that problem for us, but I've since found that Pill Pockets work even better -- the smell is very enticing, and you can pinch off just enough to cover the pill, making each one last a long time (I used to think they were too expensive because I thought you had to use a whole pill pocket each time you gave pills). Cimetidine (Tagamet), erythromycin, propranolol and valproic acid will slow the metabolism of these drugs and can create excessive sedation.
Dodman says that when buspirone doesn't work for anxiety issues, it is usually due to the dosage being too low. They should be used with caution in dogs with liver or kidney impairment, heart problems or seizure disorders.
Dodman recommends beta blockers for dogs with separation anxiety, storm phobia, and other phobias.
Dodman talked about a new class of drugs used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in dogs. They will work with you and your vet on anxiety and other behavior issues, including medications.
Hopefully your pet is safe and sound and got through the holiday without any alarming incidents. I would estimate at least 50% of dog owners would report their dogs displaying symptoms of heightened anxiety or high stress levels in response to particular situations. While all natural, anti anxiety products are preferred over antibiotics and sedatives, oftentimes, you don’t know what ingredients were used and in what amounts. The reason herbs are much safer is because they’re non-addictive, mild, and often do not cause drowsiness or a range of other discouraging side effects. Take care NOT to combine any herbs with prescription medications and avoid continuous extended use.


In addition, it’s proven effective in treating depression, stress, and anxiety in laboratory animals and is commonly used in cats and dogs.
It won’t cause drowsiness, impair normal behavior or performance making it the herb of choice for use when traveling, training, and participating in obedience or showing. The seminar included updated information on psychopharmacology of behavior problems, including fears and phobias. While I would urge anyone dealing with anxiety issues to first try natural methods of treatment, it is important to know there are medications that can offer your dog quality of life that may not be obtainable in any other way.
Soon she was spending most of the night awake, pacing, panting, unable to rest and pawing at me to get up as well. It is also important to do behavior modification as well, as drugs alone will rarely resolve a severe anxiety problem by themselves, just as behavior modification alone often will not work without drugs.
However, many of these drugs were tested on animals before use in humans, and they have been used off-label by many vets. For example, one might use a benzodiazepine with tricyclic antidepressants for a dog suffering from separation anxiety with a panic component. They should be used with caution in fear-aggressive dogs, as they may lower fear-based inhibition and increase the likelihood of the dog biting. As with all anti-anxiety medications, you should start with a low dose and increase only as needed.“The key to treatment for noise phobias and panic is to give the benzodiazepines early and often,” says Dr.
It takes effect very quickly, within 20 minutes of being given, and does not tend to cause sedation. It is important to be aware of this, as the dosage for seizure control is much higher than that used for anxiety.
I generally had to get up once during the night to give her a dose, as it was too short-acting for her to be able to make it all the way thru the night without waking and becoming anxious.
These drugs do not take effect immediately, and several weeks’ treatment may be needed before their effectiveness can be fully ascertained. 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). They are considered safer than TCAs, but they can have side effects, including gastric upset and sedation. Paroxetine is used to treat depression, social anxiety, and agitation associated with depression.
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). I put her back on Metacam and added tramadol, in case pain was still contributing to her anxiety, but that also did not help. As a result, she was getting stuck in corners and could no longer enjoy her walks, or her life. 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. The dog is currently being weaned off anti-anxiety medications and so far has had no further signs of anxiety. Vetri-Science, a company whose products I like, offers Composure Liquid (available at Amazon), also called Calming Formula from Pet Naturals (same company, also available at Amazon) for dogs and cats that contains l-theanine and other ingredients. It is marketed as De-Stress from Biotics Research in Canada (available at Amazon) and Zylkene in the UK. Note that Pill Pockets are now available in a Duck and Pea Allergy Formula for dogs with food allergies.
Older dogs should have blood work done and possibly an ECG to check for cardiac arrhythmias before starting these drugs. They can have cardiovascular effects, so care and monitoring is needed during general anesthesia. 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. Propranolol takes about an hour and a half to take effect, and the effects last for a few hours. This may lead you to toy with the idea of visiting your local vet for some sedatives or other anti anxiety medications. Some main functions of the liver include removing harmful compounds from the bloodstream, detoxifying waste and poisons, and breaking down medicines administered to your dog.
Because of it’s relaxing effects it’s often used on dogs with mild anxiety, fears and phobias, dogs suffering from separation anxiety, and dogs with obsessive-compulsive behavior.
It generally treats a wide range of stress and anxiety issues in dogs ranging from hyperactivity, tension, restlessness, insomnia, and other related issues.
More specifically, chamomile is known for calming nerves and the stomach with its antispasmodic and mild sedative effects for the digestive system.
Clonidine helps with storm phobias, noise phobias, separation anxiety, and other types of fear-based behavior problems.
The alprazolam did not sedate Piglet; it just relaxed her enough to be able to sleep, without anxiety waking her up during the night. Again, Piglet tolerated it well; she had no stomach upset, and blood work was normal after two weeks. 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. Give an amount of fish oil that provides from 100 to 300 mg EPA and DHA combined per 10 pounds of body weight daily. I also learned that I could get 50 mg sertraline for the same price as the 25 mg pills, and simply cut them in half with a pill splitter (no longer necessary now that the much cheaper generic version is now available). It can also be confusing as there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of anti anxiety products all claiming to do the same thing on the market today.
Seek a professional trainer to work on your dog’s fears and anxieties and use the following herbs only when necessary. Some people report Valerian root to be successful in reducing the seizures in epileptic dogs.  However, I wouldn’t recommend using this herb in conjunction with other seizure medication before consulting with a veterinarian or other qualified health professional. It’s useful for dogs that experience stress induced digestive troubles or nervous stomachs (diarrhea, gas, vomiting, etc.). Similar to chamomile, it’s a digestive aid and can help to reduce common digestive issues due to stress and neutralize gas.
For dogs with thunder phobia, it should be given whenever a storm is expected, rather than waiting until it arrives, though more can be given at that time, if needed. 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. Side effects are generally mild and may include gastrointestinal upset, sedation, excitement, and panting.
Costco appears to have a broader range of low-cost generic drugs than the stores below, carrying everything except Clomipramine of the anxiety drugs listed below (Clomipramine is used only for dogs, not humans).
Similar to humans, heavy antibiotic or drug use can wear down the liver over time and lead to dysfunction and eventually disease. It’s also worth noting that finding natural remedies usually consist of some trial and error. Basically, not only does this plant produce calming effects, but it also produces a sense of well being reducing stress and anxiety and promoting chemicals responsible for happiness.
Huperzine-A has some anticonvulsant properties and so may help dogs with OCD related to partial seizures. L-theanine is also available in human supplements, though dosages (usually 100 to 200 mg per tablet) would only be suitable for large dogs.



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