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Anxiety... HELP!


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As my temporary move draws near I'm starting to get really worried about Maggie's confinement anxiety. She's fine loose in the house or yard by herself, but as soon as you restrict her area, and especially if she's crated or kenneled, she gets very anxious when left alone.

 

The place I'll be living at for the summer has a resident dog and I'm renting the basement so she won't be able to have free run while I'm at work for 8 hours a day.

 

My parents have been working on crating nicely for the past three weeks while I was abroad, but despite herbs from the holistic vet and flute music, she still can only be left for about 10 mins w/o barking.

 

I've considered talking to the regular vet about a prescription for clomicalm, but hate to rely on drugs, and I've also considered buying an anxiety wrap, but I don't know if that's safe to use when a dog is crated. Does anyone have experience w/ either and/or any other possible antianxiety suggestions?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated while I try to troubleshoot this problem.

 

Thanks!

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Bailey gets very barky and anxious when left in his crate... but only if we're in the house and he knows. If we crate him and leave the room it'll take him five mins to get so worked up, if he hears the front door close and he knows we're out he's fine. I take it Maggie is bad when home alone as well as when people are home?

Could you try leaving a tape playing of you talking or something like that? Or maybe find someone that could have her while your at work?

 

Good luck

Claire

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I've mentioned this before, but I'm a big believer in Melatonin. It's been very effective in calming my thunder phobic dog. Last week we had a pretty good storm, I gave Mikey 3 mg. and in about 15 min. he went from laying on my lap trembling :rolleyes: to running around in the front yard with the other dogs, in the rain . Another gal I know has an older BC, she said he was getting really bad about thunder and such, I suggested the Melatonin, she tried 3 mg. not much help, she gave him 6 mg. and it worked she couldn't beleive it, said she wished she'd done this years ago. It's cheap, and I like using it as opposed to ace or the like. You might try it.

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Clomicalm worked really well for Shoshone's anxiety driven snarkiness to Sammi and her fear of strangers. You'd need to get it from a vet, preferably a vet behaviorist. It has to be taken daily for about 4-6 weeks, then the dog stays on it while behavioral stuff is implemented.

 

We get the generic stuff from our vet, $50/6 month supply. I've got several friends who use melatonin for their anxious dogs, and it works well for them. Didn't do beans for our Quirky Girl, but every dog is different.

 

I'd try the melatonin first, simply because it's easier than going to the vet.

 

Would there be an option of doggy day care a day or two a week? And, can you gate off a portion of your basement, so that she's not free run, but has more room to move around and feels less confined than in a crate?

 

Good luck!

 

Ruth n the BC3

 

Good

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I used Clomicalm on Kate when she was going through some separation anxiety issues - aside from her usual anxieties, and while she improved, it may have happened with out the medication. No relapse after discontinuing it. For short term, why not?

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Just a link for you to peruse about treating anxiety disorders with drugs. I'm not necssarily advocating this course of action, just providing info so you can decide what's right.

 

PHARMACOLOGIC TREATMENT OF SEPARATION ANXIETY

 

There are a number of relevant articles on the subject by the much-respected Dr. Karen Overall. The server with these articles seems to be down at the moment, but here is the link to the index of articles. Hopefully it will be back soon.

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Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy wrapping up a summer class - thanks for all the ideas/questions so far; I'll try to answer in order.

 

Claire: Maggie is just as bad when people are home as not, and possibly worse, as far as I know. Since I'll be in a new city it's probably going to be difficult to find a dog sitter - especially since my pay for the summer is just barely going to cover my normal expenses and Maggie requires a savvy handler. She will be able to come with me to work once a week, so that should help some.

 

Little Bo Boop: Melatonin sounds like a possibility - any good sites for info on dosages/maximum levels and possible side effects? Where do you get yours?

 

Ruth: Does the 4 to 6 weeks on Clomicalm before behavior mod mean that it takes that long to reach therapeutic levels? I'm looking at only a week before I leave unfortunately - my 3 week trip really has set me back more than I thought it would. :rolleyes: At least the Clomicalm is cheaper than the herb we're using right now; if used exactly as specified, I got a 6 week supply for $100!

 

Dog daycare isn't really an option, even if finances weren't an issue - Maggie is pretty picky when it comes to interacting w/ other dogs and kenneling stresses her out immensely.

 

I could gate off the basement (it has a door separating it from the main part of the house) but I'll still run into some problems I think; the last time I tried that where I currently live, she managed to rip some of the carpetting up and since I'm renting this place I really can't afford the risk w/o some extensive work on the confinement issue.

 

 

BC friend: Covers on her wire crate are dragged in and shredded and her behavior in her airline crate is generally worse than in the open wire crate, hence my thought that it's not the separation from me as much as the confinement itself.

 

Alaska: I have Karen Overall's book "Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals" so I'll reread the article on separation anxiety in there, I bet it's similar to the one online. Thanks for the link!

 

Keep the suggestions coming - you guys are such a great resource; I don't know what I'd do w/o you!!

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Maggie,

 

Yep, it does need that much time. The effects in Shoshone were subtle, though, and I remember around week 2 thinking she seemed calmer. Our big "It's working!" realization came when we had our friend Patty come over, right at the 6 week mark. Patty has Tourette's, and Shonie had always slunk out of the room and wouldn't come back in. With the Clomicalm on board, she was practically sitting Patty's lap, and several times nudged her hand for cookies. She also looked directly at Patty instead of avoiding her.

 

At this point, I really think your best bet is a vet behaviorist. Good luck, I know this is a big challenge.

 

Ruth n the BC3

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Thanks for the added detail on Clomicalm; I think I'll talk to my vet about it for sure now.

 

I wish a behaviorist was an option, but it's not, due to time constraints, location, and available funds (I'm a college student; animal behavior and well being major interestingly enough).

 

I pulled out my flower remedy book and found a few possibilities there that I might check out. The KV Vet catalog I have also has a homeopathic remedy for anxiety that I'm considering - I swear by homeopathic stuff myself.

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