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  1. #11
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    I think it is possible the meds may be contributing to Boomer's recent developing behavior. Sending courage and energy that all of you will get through this.

  2. #12
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    I’ve been prescribed Trazedone to help with my sleep. Trazedone only works if I am calm before sleep. If I am already keyed up, Trazedone just makes me angry. This was my experience and I had to switch off from Trazedone. Anytime, a vet ask you to purchase meds, just purchase a few pills to try at first. I am surprised how much they charged you for Trazedone. Perhaps you can get it called into a human pharmacy ie Costco and get it cheaper there. Sometimes vets charge a premium despite the fact that the same drug at the same dosage would be substantially less for humans without insurance.

    I am not sure how it works on dogs. I know several poodles on Trazedone and it works for them. With any SSRI, it doesn’t work for all animals. My college roomate’s Pug was on Prozac and she said it helped her dog calm down substantially. Going on any new drug that stays in your system will cause a temporary disruption in the dog’s behavior. You might have unwanted side effects until the drug take full effect in 8 weeks.

  3. #13
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Thanks for that anecdote, that helps a lot actually and explains some of his unpleasant behavior after taking it... I thought about taking one of his pills just to see what he was feeling, but I chickened out. I wish I had saw your post sooner... haha our behaviorist told us to discontinue his pills and now I have like 75 trazodones.

  4. #14
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Here's a general update:

    We met with Dr. Lockhart yesterday and she basically said he needs to be given a time limit. She sees him as a substantial danger, and even though he is a good boy 98% of the time, the other 2% of the time he is capable of causing serious, irreversible, life-altering physical damage. She told us to quit the Trazodone cold-turkey and wait a few days, and then see about putting him on Prozac. But if he has one more bite that breaks the skin, she urged us to stop trying. I asked her if she meant rehoming him, and she said, "No, I mean euthanasia." I broke down crying as soon as she said those words!!

    The good news is after we stopped the Trazodone, he has been doing weirdly better. He is barking much less and eating much better. He was begging for food at the dinner table last night (which normally would constitute bad behavior, but I still put it into the category of "positive interaction initiated by Boomer") and weirdly, he decided by himself that he wanted to go for a long and winding walk last night in our neighborhood, as if he were on a mission. I just followed him. Normally after his nightly pee he darts back inside, so this was very strange. I'm hesitant to say too much about how brave and calm he was because I know as soon as I write it down, I'll jinx it!!!

    He is such a strange boy, he only seems to be dangerous in/around the house, with his own family members. He trusts me completely, but no one else in my family (though he is starting to realize they are safe). When we brought him home, we thought he was bulletproof, and put him through some immensely stressful environments: outdoor concerts, dog parks, church picnics, trips to Hobby Lobby, multiple dog themed events in one day, and he has never shown the slightest hint of aggression towards strangers. And this is with everyone always running up to pet the fluffy white dog!! (you all know!). Children coming at his face. Multiple strangers crowding him at once. He looks for all the world like a dog that couldn't be shaken about anything, and most people who meet him are charmed and say stuff like, "Wow this is the world's calmest dog! I want a dog just like him!"

    He's even been with us on a 8-hr road trip to see the solar eclipse. 8 hours spent cramped in a van that he couldn't even turn around in. He LOVED it. When we finally made it home after the weekend, I took him outside to potty and he actually tried to climb back into the van.

    So he does really well outside, away from the home. I have never heard him growl outside of our home. Even when he was absolutely terrified during the fireworks show, in the middle of the crowd, thrashing around on the end of his leash, with people still trying to pet him, he didn't try to snap. But he growled at my mom suddenly when she bent down to say goodnight to him just like she did every night. Why would a dog be more comfortable being aggressive towards his own family members?

    One of my friends suggested the possibility that maybe he is schizophrenic?? It does seem like he has conflicting voices inside him telling him what to do. At the same time that he desperately needs his space, he is also anxious when he is alone. One moment he growls to be left alone, and the next he is forcing you to pet him and nudges and paws at you if you stop.

    I just had a thought... I think he may be part Border Collie (he has shepherd ears for sure). Because BCs and Pyrs are so different, maybe he has conflicting urges... like his collie side wants to bounce around and work and perform tasks and run for days, but his Pyr side won't let him do that, causing a lot of pent up frustration that comes out every once in a while. Or something similar. I don't know the extent to which a dog can experience inner turmoil, but it sure seems like it sometimes.

  5. #15
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    I think your vet is just trying to prepare you for the worst. When Kit had a kidney infection, my vet said told me the worst case scenario of removing one of her kidney if the infection spreads. I think people in the medical profession are a bit odd sometimes. The final decision is yours and you shouldn’t be pushed into it by anyone. You have the final say and don’t feel ashamed about anything. I totally understand what you are going through.

    I think it would be good to give the Prozac at least 2-3 months to take effect. Prozac is the mildest of the SSRI family and have the least crazy side effect. For this reason, it might take the longest to see changes and has a long half life. Don’t forget to give your dog this med EVERYDAY because if you skip a day, you can see nasty withdrawal issues. I am hopeful it could work but don’t forget to consult a behavioralist at the same time. Unfortunately medicine isn’t a miracle fix all drug. It is a tool that help you reinforce positive behavioral changes.

  6. #16
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Thank you, we have been working with our vet and a behaviorist (actually the vet suggested the same one that Sebastian's Mom suggested!) and the behaviorist was the one who said hat. She was very grave this time around (our second visit in 30 days).

    Quote Originally Posted by snow0160 View Post
    I think your vet is just trying to prepare you for the worst. When Kit had a kidney infection, my vet said told me the worst case scenario of removing one of her kidney if the infection spreads. I think people in the medical profession are a bit odd sometimes. The final decision is yours and you shouldnít be pushed into it by anyone. You have the final say and donít feel ashamed about anything. I totally understand what you are going through.

    I think it would be good to give the Prozac at least 2-3 months to take effect. Prozac is the mildest of the SSRI family and have the least crazy side effect. For this reason, it might take the longest to see changes and has a long half life. Donít forget to give your dog this med EVERYDAY because if you skip a day, you can see nasty withdrawal issues. I am hopeful it could work but donít forget to consult a behavioralist at the same time. Unfortunately medicine isnít a miracle fix all drug. It is a tool that help you reinforce positive behavioral changes.

  7. #17
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I am so happy to hear that he seems to be doing better today. I forgot to mention in my last post that I, too, have taken Trazodone, and anything over a tiny dose made me pretty panicky. Obviously, Chester tolerates it far better than I do!

    I also wanted to mention that there is a good possibility that Halloween could be a really stressful day for him. I know Sebastian, who is normally very confident and gentle with people, HATES costumes, and barks ferociously at every person in costume he sees. Even though I live in a neighborhood full of kids now, I donít hand out candy, because I donít want the dogs to scare the neighborhood children and ruin their night. If you DO hand out candy at your house, I would have someone sit outside with the candy, to prevent the constant ringing of the doorbell, which can stress an anxious dog out, while you sit inside with Boomer. I find that classical music helps to calm my two down during times of elevated stress.

    Sending lots of love and good energy that the Prozac will help Boomer!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
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  8. #18
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    bigboomer....I think I have mentioned before that Holly was on Fluoxetine (Prozac) for most of her life....she was put on it at 1 year
    it definitely helped her take control of her anxiety issues and allow us to help her

    I am hoping that some form of Prozac...paxil will help Boomer & you

  9. #19
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Thanks for the advice... he's been doing pretty well with foraging toys and increased training with different members of my family (both human and dog side!) but seems to have decided spontaneously that he no longer feels comfortable around my mom. He used to be buddies with her, and I can't think of anything that's changed. While he was on the trazodone he started growling at her (and bit her) and now that he is off of it, he is mostly back to his pre-trazodone state but has retained the suspicion of my mom. He barked from upstairs today at her walking across the house downstairs (we have a walkway where he can see everything). She turned and started talking to him in a nice voice so he would know it was her. I thought he would settle down, but he surprised me by continuing to growl at her. Have any of y'all experienced changing attitudes towards a person like this?

  10. #20
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Wow thank you so much for making me think of that. He would hate seeing all those costumes... he barked at my dad today when he walked out with his glasses on top of his head instead of on his face like normal... he couldn't seem to recognize him even with that tiny change. He is so sensitive to change...

    Quote Originally Posted by SebastiansMom View Post
    I am so happy to hear that he seems to be doing better today. I forgot to mention in my last post that I, too, have taken Trazodone, and anything over a tiny dose made me pretty panicky. Obviously, Chester tolerates it far better than I do!

    I also wanted to mention that there is a good possibility that Halloween could be a really stressful day for him. I know Sebastian, who is normally very confident and gentle with people, HATES costumes, and barks ferociously at every person in costume he sees. Even though I live in a neighborhood full of kids now, I donít hand out candy, because I donít want the dogs to scare the neighborhood children and ruin their night. If you DO hand out candy at your house, I would have someone sit outside with the candy, to prevent the constant ringing of the doorbell, which can stress an anxious dog out, while you sit inside with Boomer. I find that classical music helps to calm my two down during times of elevated stress.

    Sending lots of love and good energy that the Prozac will help Boomer!

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