Join Date: Aug 2014
Dogs Name: Atlas
Dogs Age: 2
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Quick update on this:
For whatever reason, Atlas appeared to improve on thyroid medicine, despite the fact his primary vet and a couple other vets felt his blood work did not indicate thyroid problems. I called and emailed a couple board certified veterinary behaviorists and have not had much luck reaching them. Given the fact that the nearest is a 12 hour drive from me, simply hopping in my car for an appointment is a tad bit difficult. But I have hope they'll get back to me eventually.
That being said, we have opted for a different treatment plan for Atlas. Rather than continuing thyroid medication (since there was no medical proof he needed it, it just worked for him for whatever reason), his primary vet prescribed 20mg twice daily of Prozac for my anxiety ridden dog. She discussed his case with a few other local vets and a couple more across Canada and given his normal bloodwork, but his OCD/Anxiety ridden tendencies, she feels we'd have more luck treating the anxiety first while working on the behavior side.
Atlas has been on Prozac for about 2 weeks now. He is still alert, but not hyper alert to everything. He no longer paces and he sleeps through the night now rather than waking himself up by barking. He still isn't happy when people come to the door, but he no longer spins in circles and screams. He barks, but he is much, much easier to redirect and calm down. He no longer takes hours to calm down if someone knocks on the door, which is a HUGE positive. Before his medication, he was basically a write off the rest of the day if someone stopped by unexpectedly, and would have to sit in a quiet room for hours because the smallest noise would incite spinning and screaming. Now, I simply leash him, redirect him from the door and ask him to sit or lay down. Over the course of 10-15 minutes, I can see his ears go from actively pointed at the visitor to tucked back and relaxed because he's no longer concerned about them. That being said, he's still muzzled and leashed whenever he's not kenneled, but he can sit calmly in a room with people and not lose his mind if they move suddenly. He isn't so obsessive about things either - before prozac, he would literally stand and drink water when he was feeling anxious. Some dogs lick, some dogs chew... mine would just drink water. He would drink and drink and drink until he threw up water and then he'd drink some more. Now, I've noticed he still drinks water, but he doesn't seem to do it obsessively. According to his vet, a dog his size should drink about 2.5 liters a day, give or take his activity level and the temperature. Over the course of 1 week, his intake averaged just over 2.5L.
The vet said I wouldn't notice "real" changes until we gave the drug 4-6 weeks to really settle in his system, but I'm feeling quite positive at how well it's working so far. My dog isn't dopey or loopy, it's just like the drug took the obsessive, hyper sensitive side of him away. He has more attention for things now and actively looks to me for direction when someone comes to the door, rather than simply shutting down and freaking out. After 6 weeks, we may need to adjust the dosage, but that will be a matter of trial and error.