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3 yr old depressed doggie - how to help

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by DrJarmin, Dec 13, 2020.


  1. DrJarmin

    DrJarmin PetForums Newbie

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    Hi I have a mongrel 3 year old I adopted from a rescue litter when he was about 8 weeks old. As he grew older he seems more and more nervous and anxious. He is very nervous around people he doesn’t know.

    He will hide upstairs all day on his dog bed. If he’s called he will look very nervous and scared with tail between his legs and ears back. Sometimes he will even urinate when you try to put his collar on. He will also grind his teeth if you stroke him but he will wag his tail.

    The vet has prescribed him Prozac. Initially he turned into a zombie and the vet has halved the dosage. We have seen a slight improvement.

    It has now been 6 months on Prozac and he spends his waking hours staring out of his bed. This is really sad.

    He is never aggressive and is very social with other dogs. He goes for long walks daily and meets up with other dogs on the beach and is very active, happy and and playful with them. We have two other dogs, one is a 10 month puppy and they are social and play together. As he was part of an abandoned litter his history is known from around 6 weeks old when he was fostered and so no knowledge of mistreatment.

    I don’t think the Prozac is really helping. Anyone have any further experience ? The vet seems all out of ideas and says the Prozac might be required indefinitely.
     
  2. DrJarmin

    DrJarmin PetForums Newbie

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    This is his daily routine outside of his walks.
     

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  3. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    I think any drug like this is best used in conjunction with a good programme from a behaviourist to help your dog have a more normal life.
    Used alone it’s just suppressing the dog’s reaction to things but not helping to change his attitude to them. It might also be worth adjusting the dosage if he really seems ‘sedated’ compared to previously.

    I think this is more about under-socialisation as a pup than anything else, and he may not ever be a lot different to what you see now. With the help of a good behaviourist you may see some improvement.

    If he could just find some confidence with you in the home then that could be a goal to work towards but I do think you need professional help now, to achieve this.
     
  4. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Just a thought.....
    As a 9 weeks when I got Heidi was very timid and avoided eye contact. Brilliant in every other way. I didn’t like it whatever the reason so with treats built on getting eye contact. It became a “release” for everything. If in doubt she gives eye contact. I’ve no idea how she would be if I hadn’t done it but it certainly helped with training and keeps her attentive.
    Perhaps it would help build your little chap’s confidence.
     
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  5. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Just a thought but could there be a noise or vibration at home that you can't hear or feel?

    One of my dog wouldn't go with half a mile of an electricity pylon
     
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  6. Mastiffmillie

    Mastiffmillie PetForums Newbie

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    How about CBD oil drops? I can't claim to know lots about it but have just started using it with my 4yo bullmastiff x as she has arthritis in her front leg but. From reading about it, it can also be used as an alternative to prescribed medicines to help calm and relax dogs. Apologies if I have this wrong but it may be worth looking into?

    I am using Cibapet 4% on recommendation from a friend.
     
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  7. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    That’s a very good point. I bought some thinking I’d ordered hemp seed oil:oops:
    Seemed silly not to give it a try. My mood went from worrying about everything courtesy of covid to a much more relaxed outlook and my joints - well, say no more :D
     
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  8. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    I'd advise against messing around with CBD oil. There aren't any studies out there as to safe dosages for dogs on just that yet, let alone when mixed with prescription-level behaviour drugs like fluoxetine.

    I agree with @Linda Weasel that your next step would be to get help from a canine behaviourist, specifically looking for one with experience of working with dogs who've been prescribed ADs. Many of them only take on behavioural referrals through vets, but it sounds like your vets don't work with any, which is somewhat more unhelpful. But you should be able to research qualified professionals yourself and ask about their referral procedure. Is your dog insured? Many insurance plans nowadays cover cost of medical behaviourists, so it would be worth checking your policy too.

    p.s. what's his name, @DrJarmin? :)
     
  9. DrJarmin

    DrJarmin PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks all. Unfortunately the notifications were hitting my Spam folder so didn’t see this until now.

    We did try CDB oil late last year which I got overseas and we think it helped but could have been wishful thinking.

    I don’t think socialisation should be an issue. I have always had more than one dog and there are a lot of dogs in the community which he meets daily on the beach and plays with very well and clearly is very excited to see them each day.

    I will try and find a behaviouralist to see if that can help.

    Thank you all again for your suggestions.

    PS his name is Ollie
     
  10. Katy Perkins

    Katy Perkins PetForums Newbie

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    I suggest you try behavioral changes first and drugs later. Even if you do have to resort to medications, you need to realize that these drugs take a long time to start working.
    Behavioral therapies might be more effective than antidepressants. If you start the drugs right away, you will never know if the dog responded to them or to the improvements you made to his lifestyle. They have several serious side effects so, for the sake of your dog, it's better to handle this problem naturally if at all possible.
     
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