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Trixie

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  1. Thank you. I was just talking to the vet. He has been in consultation with a behaviourist as well and they are 80% sure that she has SOIA, but we'll run the tests anyway just to be sure. Thank you everyone for your best wishes.
  2. That was funny, I have to admit. Thank you for the giggle.
  3. I completely agree with you. I also work and help with people with MI; the analogy was made as a worst case comparison. I have had a few experiences with people who have serious and extreme illness and who have been medicated to the point of debilitating lethargy and completely flattened affect (patients with Schizoaffective Disorder, various Psychosis, Schizophrenia and some concurrent disorders). It is very heart rending and one of the reasons some people refuse to take the medication. Luckily there are better medications out there for most people which allow them to function wonderfully well. Unfortunately, there aren't many choices for dogs. There aren't enough choices for people, either - and until the stigma of mental illness is educated out of the general public, there will never be the funding necessary for research to find better medication that has less severe side effects. I was raising money for the Defeat Depression Campaign in October and it was really surprisingly difficult to get sponsors! People raising money for other illnesses had no problem making their goals. I am glad that you made the public service announcement. Someday I hope we will know enough about treating mental illness in humans to be able to also treat our best companions.
  4. Thank you, GentleLake. Yes, losing one of your best friends is quite hard on the heart. My vet wants to do some tests for that and a few other things and will send it South (I think Guelph U in Ontario) to see if that's it.
  5. Thank you all for your responses, I apologize for being touchy. I live in Canada, in Northern Ontario. No behaviorists here. I will ask my vet if he can consult with one from down South. I am really struggling with the idea of putting her down, and you're right, Pam, I need to ask myself those tough questions. Can I live with this for her whole life and watch it get worse? Can I risk someone or some thing getting injured? My vet has told me about some medications that essentially act like lithium in humans - stops the episodes but flattens them out to almost comatose. I don 't want that for her either. Again, I am still looking for any possibility of hope that there is an underlying, treatable issue that causes these symptoms. She was spayed as a pup, so it is not likely hormonal. Has anyone heard of a thyroid imbalance as a causal factor? I am keeping a log of her behavior and episodes now to determine any patterns, how many episodes occur, etc. to chart if there will be a lessening of episodes since going on the full dose of anti-anxietal med.'s. It is interesting that sound sensitivity was mentioned - she is VERY sound sensitive. For a long time she would get upset when I washed and dried lettuce, got a new milk bag out, etc., now it's the tea kettle and the microwave (only after 9pm), snow coming off the roof etc. She is also very dominant with the other dog (mutt) and frequently, her issues with that send her in to full blown rage. Thank you for your input, all. I will consider all of your ideas and advice. My soul is still hurting from losing my 11 yr. old Siberian Husky just a month ago, I am sure that has some effect on my reluctance to let my BC go right now. If you think of or hear of anything new - like medication or other causes, please post.
  6. If it "needs to be treated appropriately", treated how? That is what I am trying to find out. Until all possibilities are exhausted, until I know there is no treatment, until I am sure there is no underlying cause that could be treated, I am not putting her down. I posted to get help and information, not judgment.
  7. We don't have such specialists up here, but in my Vet's experience, and from the research I have been doing, she exhibits classic symptoms. As I have learned, it is rare, but not so rare as top not have some information about it available on line. It used to be called "Cocker rage" as it was observed predominately in Cocker Spaniels in the 60's and 70's. It has been diagnosed more frequently now in Bernese Mountain Dogs and a few other breeds, including BC's. A few decades ago people would not "diagnose" it as such, just put down the dog as unpredictably aggressive. There is some theory that it is seizure-like in appearance behaviourally as well as in brain scans, but anti-convulsive medications for epilepsy have not been shown to be effective. I am hoping that someone has experienced some success with some treatment that I can also try, as I really do not want to lose her. At this point I am monitoring her behaviour, watching for specific triggers and looking for any other correlative situations. Also, now that I know what it looks like when she is having an episode as opposed to a jealous or stimulus reaction tantrum (like her consistent hatred of the tea kettle), I do not try to do any training/discipline or interfere unless there is an imminent threat of injury to one of the other animals, or to myself. Now that I know NOT to interfere and just monitor, I have had a lot less bites. The main concern I have is that she severely injures one of the other pets or a visitor, my daughter or dog sitter.
  8. My 4 yr. old BC has been presenting with "episodes" of rage since she was quite young, but I did not know that it could be SOIA until a few weeks ago when it was becoming too much and too often to deal with. I had up to then been trying to train her out of her behaviour, but have realized that when she is experiencing an episode, she can not even hear me. She presents classic symptoms, with the pupil dilation, biting and attacking whatever is close ( such as my leg or hand, or the cat or other dog), slavering and growling/barking. The rage usually lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to just less than a minute. When she "comes out of it", she is confused as to why I am so upset, and acts just like a normal dog I am giving her an anti-anxietal which seems to help regulate some of the triggers that used to often put her into a full blown rage somewhat; she still exhibits the aggression episodes with no discernible trigger unpredictably. If anyone else has had to deal with these symptoms, here are a few questions: Has anyone had any underlying issue such as a thyroid abnormality or blood sugar regulation diagnosed as a causal factor? What medications have been prescribed for SOIA that have shown reasonable efficacy? What has been the progression rate of the symptoms? Does anyone have any other information or advice regarding what to do with my dog besides euthanasia? I am hoping to be able to soon afford the blood tests in order to hopefully find a treatable, underlying cause, as the Vet has suggested that there may be something else going on? Please share any information from your experience with this. Thank you.
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