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 Post subject: Anxious Dog
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:12 pm 
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Be afraid... be very afraid
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 295
Location: HadToMove
Help me PPK! I am at my wits' end. My beloved 12 year old malinois has always been afraid of storms, but lately she is becoming frantic. She has eaten two metal crates, so I no longer crate her, just keep her confined in the laundry room. She has eaten a washer, about 50 rolls of toilet paper, towels, and an ironing board. She removes barricades, bloodies her paws moving weights, and in general causes much damage to herself and property.
I have tried her favorite toys. I have tried hiding treats to make her use her brain. I have tried putting things in the room that she could destroy - but once she gets started, it seems that she loses control.
The veterinarian will prescribe anti-anxiety meds, but I wanted the opinion of really smart, caring people. Are there holistic remedies I can try? Other suggestions?
Thank you, PPK!

P.S. It's been awhile, but you all are just as awesome as I remembered!


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 Post subject: Re: Anxious Dog
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:30 pm
Posts: 3210
Location: Almost Boston
If she really is that upset and is injuring herself, meds are probably a good idea. There are natural things you can try alone or in conjunction with meds:
-Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap
-Desensitizing to sounds using a cd of thunder sounds (many available, just google "thunderstorm desensitization cd".)
-Nutritional supplements like L-Theanine or melatonin
-Providing a safe space to hide (a lot of dogs like to go into the bathroom during a storm, so you could try putting a bed in there for her.)


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 Post subject: Re: Anxious Dog
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Be afraid... be very afraid
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:10 pm
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Location: HadToMove
Very helpful suggestions. Thank you so much!


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 Post subject: Re: Anxious Dog
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 4:26 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:16 pm
Posts: 1151
Location: ATX
Hah, we're currently riding out a storm here too. I sympathize! Thundershirts have been great for our dog. Also keep dryer sheet on hand to eliminate the static electricity that some say builds up in dogs' fur and causes anxiety. Also try the supplements rc suggested, and in addition look at shen calm (Chinese herb) and Rescue Remedy. You can also look into TTouch, which I've never used but have been meaning to look into myself!

This is a blog post by our trainer from Chicago about storm anxiety -- she gave us most of the advice we follow:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=27181&view=unread#unread

FYI - I haven't had much success with anti-anxiety meds that are not taken continually. One of our dogs was prescribed a few things for car trips and other specific instances, and they didn't really seem to reduce anxiety as much as make him so lethargic that he couldn't act on his anxiety. Hopefully there's something out there that works better for you! We've used Clomicalm with great success (clomipramine) but that is one that you give daily and our dog had many more anxiety issues than just storms.


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 Post subject: Re: Anxious Dog
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 6:05 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:46 pm
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Location: Brasil
i did a course on T Touch a long time ago- it's interesting but i'm not sure it's any better than any other type of calm doggie massage. I know with my storm-nutty dog the thundershirt helped. But as she got older the storm anxiety got worse and worse, i hate to say.

_________________
Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
I'm just a drunk who likes fruit. -- Desdemona


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 Post subject: Re: Anxious Dog
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Be afraid... be very afraid
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 295
Location: HadToMove
Massage and her tennis ball work wonders if we are here when the storms hit - it's when we are gone, even though she has the other mal to keep her company, that she becomes destructive.
These tips and the shared experiences have been really helpful - I really can't thank you enough. I cannot bear the thought of not having her with us, especially in her senior years, and one alternative is to find her a home with a person who is there all of the time. Well, that alternative came up after she ate the washer. And dragged the other mal across the floor while she was still in her crate. And turned 50 rolls of toilet paper into fluff.
It was quite the mess. Mr. LL was not amused.
No one said it was easy to have two indoor dogs - even if they do get walked 3+ miles a day.
Both of our mals are rescue dogs, and in my mind that means we can never give up on them because someone else already did.
So, thanks again!


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