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  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) ecfinn's Avatar

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    Default Prozac for a Pyr?

    Our 5.5 year old rescued Pyr, Bear, seems to be having some trouble self-soothing after he gets worked up barking at something. Several times in the last few weeks he's gotten started barking, I'll go in to see what's going on. I usually find him laying on the floor barking his head off. So I ask him to get up and come see what it is. Each time he's gone right next to me and behind me as if he's watching me. When I look out the window and tell him "It's ok its just a so and so" I turned around and he starts barking/growling right at me. It only seems to happen with me and not my wife. In working with our trainer/behvariorist who also happens to have her own rescued Pyr she has suggested putting him on a low dose of Prozac to help him self-soothe when he gets all worked up. I think she called it "transferring" the aggression from the object that needed barked at to me. She doesn't think this is something he'll be on forever, only until he learns to self-soothe again. She's apparently got a number of rescue dogs on very low doses of Prozac and its been quite successful for them.

    Is this unusual for a Pyr? Does anyone else have a Pyr on Prozac?

    Eric

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Maggie's mom's Avatar

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    Hi Eric--
    I'm considering putting my Pyr on Prozac as well. I'll be very interested in any replies you receive; or your experience with it if you decide to put Bear on it.
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Holly has been on "Prozac" since she was a year old, she is going to be 9 in November. She was put on the drug because of her very high anxiety issues. As a puppy she would crawl under our deck & whine, not to be lured out with treats of any kind. When trying to socialize her, I noticed she would get so anxious, drooling, shaking, eyes wide, ear back & tail so far under her you never knew she had a tail. It got so bad, she wouldn't get in the car, nor could she even walk down a street. She was never a warm & cuddley puppy, she was a mental mess. At one point we tried to reduce her doseage, and found that after a time, her symptoms started to gradually return. Now she is a sweet thing, asking for attention, especially from hubby whom she adores now! (she wouldn't let him get near her for almost a month when we first got her, and we got her as a puppy) Holly has a certain amount of confidence now, and her little Aussie, Angel, helps with that also. She still prefers not to be around too many people, and we respect that & never put her in an uncomfortable situation. She knows that friends over for dinner means the possibility of food treats, so she comes out as she gets comfortable for a handout. I keep up on her blood work & nothing has ever shown up out of the ordinary. I have communicated with an author of a book on LGD's & she has confirmed that sometimes there are Pyr's who have a difficult time adjusting to being a companion rather than a working dog. I am glad that we didn't give up on Holly, we were going to re-home her, she is the sweetest, gentlest, most loving girl and sometimes even goofy girl with not a mean bone in her body, can't imagine what life would have been without her in our lives.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Maggie's mom's Avatar

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    It sounds like Prozac was a lifesaver for Holly! That's really encouraging. Did Prozac make her sleepy or lethargic, or just mellow out her anxiety? I don't want Maggie to be gorked out...just not such a basket case. Also, are there considerations re: dosing like there are with anesthesia and Pyrs?
    I'm going to talk to Maggie's vet about Prozac when I take her in June. I've run out of alternatives.
    Thanks for sharing Holly's story...so glad everything worked out so well!!

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) MiyasMomma's Avatar

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    I too am glad it worked for Holly. Poor baby.
    Miya's Momma

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  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Nope, Holy didn't get lethargic, she is now that she is in her late 8's!
    But remember, Holly has severe anxiety, not just a problem in "settling down".
    I have read several books & articles by Dr. Nicholas Dodman from Tufts University, regarding the use of an anti depressent to aid a dog in overcoming a behavior. He usually uses a drug then tries to modify/change the behavior then slowly weans the dog off the drug. Taking Holly off of her meds is not an option, we already know that.
    There has not been a problem with her taking the drug & anesthesia. She has had her teeth cleaned without incident, but I do let the vet know of her medication.
    I think of Holly taking this drug as if she were a human. Some people need certain drugs for certain problems, heart, cholesterol, and even depression & anxiety. The body needs this drug to be in balance.
    Holly is still a barker & defender of her "territory". Which as you know can be frustrating! But to us it is beautiful to see her bark & have her tail up & confident.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) grey7399's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick's spirit View Post
    Nope, Holy didn't get lethargic, she is now that she is in her late 8's!
    But remember, Holly has severe anxiety, not just a problem in "settling down".
    I have read several books & articles by Dr. Nicholas Dodman from Tufts University, regarding the use of an anti depressent to aid a dog in overcoming a behavior. He usually uses a drug then tries to modify/change the behavior then slowly weans the dog off the drug. Taking Holly off of her meds is not an option, we already know that.
    There has not been a problem with her taking the drug & anesthesia. She has had her teeth cleaned without incident, but I do let the vet know of her medication.
    I think of Holly taking this drug as if she were a human. Some people need certain drugs for certain problems, heart, cholesterol, and even depression & anxiety. The body needs this drug to be in balance.
    Holly is still a barker & defender of her "territory". Which as you know can be frustrating! But to us it is beautiful to see her bark & have her tail up & confident.
    LIKE - again. It must be so danged heartwarming to see a "HAPPY" dog rather than a mental mess cowering somewhere. Good dog parents!!!
    He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.

    You are his life, his love, his leader.

    He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.

    You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion...................Author unknown

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Maggie's mom's Avatar

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    I'm not wanting to use it just to settle Maggie down. Geez...if anyone needs Prozac to settle down it would be Jasper, but I don't feel that would be appropriate for him. I want to try it to see if it will help Maggie's leash aggression.
    I just started with a new trainer today (our THIRD! ) I have a sinking feeling that Maggie is going to need a little something "extra" to mellow her out and enable her to calm down enough for the training to help. She gets so anxious and weird when I've tried formal behavior training in the past, and nothing else is working. She is getting worse, and has started even lunging at random people walking on the trail. If this training doesn't work, it means I won't be able to take Maggie on walks anymore. I don't think that's fair to her, so I really want her to get over the reactivity. If Prozac works, I hope it will be a temporary training aid; but if she has to be on it for life, at least she can enjoy a normal life without high anxiety and aggressive behavior.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) ecfinn's Avatar

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    Well we've decided to put Bear on the Prozac. Our trainer's plan is to help him figure out how to self-soothe, get over his behaviour issues and hopefully wean him off of it. We're hoping its not a long term need for him, but even if it is it's only $4 /month from Target so its not like its an expense related decision. We'll give him his first dose after dinner tonight and we should start to see some changes within a week according to our trainer.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

    Eric

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) MiyasMomma's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecfinn View Post
    Well we've decided to put Bear on the Prozac. We'll give him his first dose after dinner tonight and we should start to see some changes within a week according to our trainer.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

    Eric
    Good luck Bear, a small prayer to St. Francis for you!
    Miya's Momma

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