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How to treat anxiety in dogs, treatment for tinnitus anxiety - Try Out

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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. 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). 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
Because of its anticholinergic effects, clomipramine may be a good choice for dogs with elimination problems linked to separation anxiety. 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.
A 2012 article on anxiolytic drugs, Beyond the Front Line: Trazodone and other Ancillary Treatments for Anxiety, by Margaret E. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. However, as time went on, I noticed no improvement in her behavior, even after we increased the dose, so I weaned her off it. Dodman does not feel it is necessary to do blood work or other tests prior to starting healthy dogs on SSRIs. Treatment must continue for at least 6-8 weeks before you can know for sure whether it helps. 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). 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. 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. I have learned that it takes time to overcome anxiety disorders; they do not go away overnight.
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. 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. 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. Gruen, DVM, MVPH, DACVB, discusses the use of Trazodone as an adjunctive medication, something that is added to other drugs to make treatment more effective.
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.
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. In addition, it’s proven effective in treating depression, stress, and anxiety in laboratory animals and is commonly used in cats and dogs. This VideoJug film will show you how to treat dogs with separation anxiety disorder and help you turn your dog into a secure, happy dog.
We’re showing you some tips on how to make the most of them and helping you think creatively about the look. 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. 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 is important to be aware of this, as the dosage for seizure control is much higher than that used for anxiety.
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).
Paroxetine is used to treat depression, social anxiety, and agitation associated with depression. I put her back on Metacam and added tramadol, in case pain was still contributing to her anxiety, but that also did not help.
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. 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. 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. MAOIs may also lead to high blood pressure when combined with buspirone or DLPA (dl-phenylalanine, used to treat chronic pain). 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.
This may lead you to toy with the idea of visiting your local vet for some sedatives or other anti anxiety medications.
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.
This is Charlie, he's a rescued mongrel and today, I'm going to be talking to you about separation anxiety. 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.
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. 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. It’s useful for dogs that experience stress induced digestive troubles or nervous stomachs (diarrhea, gas, vomiting, etc.). In 15% of all the cases I have to deal with, separation anxiety is at the fore, that's a high percentage and that is because this dog and all other dogs are a pack animal, they get pleasure, as we are a pack animal to some extent but we've learned also to be alone, but we're not happy alone and these dogs are not happy alone and that's where the separation anxiety comes from.
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. 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). 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. What it all requires, very simply, is slow desensitization from being a young dog or very very slow desensitization if it's an adult dog, I find there's more rescue dogs that have separation anxiety because there anxious that you're going to go and leave them again and never come back like the last owners did, so that can be quite common. Huperzine-A has some anticonvulsant properties and so may help dogs with OCD related to partial seizures.
It is an anxiety disorder that is based on insecurity and they believe may never ever see you again. The way to start is, if it's a puppy, is to start extremely young and gradually give it slow absences, now what you do is you create a goodbye bone or a Kong, you put a special filling in, freeze it, so it helps the teething and everything else and when you leave, you give it this goodbye bone, you put your coat on, walk out the house, walk out for 15 to 20 seconds walk back in, put your keys down, take it off, take the goodbye bone away, switch for another treat so it doesn't think your stealing it, and then slowly build it up from 15 seconds to your absences to 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes until you can get to an hour, once you can get to an hour and the dog is happy your are fine, you've broken the back of it, but it has to be done sensitively. L-theanine is also available in human supplements, though dosages (usually 100 to 200 mg per tablet) would only be suitable for large dogs. Make sure it's comfortable crates, we look at it as prisons, they look at is as a den and a dog with separation anxiety they can go in here, will feel more secure as long as it's introduced correctly to them, they then see that as a secure place, once again slow desensitization. Take your time if you've gone too fast, the dog will react and show you've gone too fast, take two steps back and gradually desensitize your dog over a period of time so it allows you to have those absences without your dog wrecking both your kitchen or its own life, some dogs actually self harm, they pull paws off, they will gnaw to such a degree, dogs have been known to gnaw, gnaw pads off completely and to injure themselves and to eat their way through walls and through doors, so start early if you can. There's only a limited time I can spend on this particular subject, it's quite a long subject, so you need to look a little bit further into this to be able to help some of these quite distressed dogs.

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