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About pansmom

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 04/12/1978

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Lafayette, LA
  • Interests
    animal rescue, border collies, nonconfrontational training methods, behavior modification, intelligent dogs, reactive dogs, &c.
  1. I am having trouble with this, this year, too, and didn't last year at all. I use Advantix. During the summer, I have to reapply like every three weeks (vet said that was okay--Louisiana is TERRIBLE for fleas). I also use a bio-spot repellant spray toward the end... Pest control guy is coming Monday to Talstar the front and back yard...
  2. Man am I glad our back yard is fenced in and I have never seen a skunk in these parts! Hey, I was wondering about you, Ooky! You're back! Haven't seen you around! Congratulations on the baby!
  3. That is so great that things are going better with your dog! So glad to hear it. FWIW, I actually ended up writing my old veterinary behaviorist about Vala last week (Dr. Lore Haug out of Houston) and she advised me that once you get the dog to this calmer way of dealing with storms, Dr. Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol can help if you do it in the spot where the dog goes to ride out the storms. Also, she recommended the whole slow desensitization to storm audio with a storm CD thing too. And a thundershirt. I've started the Relaxation Protocol with Vala, haven't purchased a storm CD or thundershirt yet. I'd prefer not to give Vala xanax forever, so I'm looking to help her stay calmer eventually without meds.
  4. How do you seatbelt a dog? Vala's crate won't fit in my tiny Pontiac Sunfire.
  5. Whatever happened I bet she is real proud every time she opens it up! I love watching them when the light goes on!
  6. Eileen, I once had a cat that could stand on his hind legs and twist doorknobs to open doors with his paws (he was very tall and big). I didn't teach him this. He figured this out on his own. (We lived in an apartment at that time with cheap doors that were easier than average to open--didn't latch well, etc.) It has been my experience that border collies are a lot more perceptive and creative problem solvers than cats. Therefore, I have no question that Grace was intentionally and methodically trying to open your door. And honestly what is most impressive to me is not that Grace learned how to open the door, but that she learned how to do so during a thunderstorm, while scared, working on the problem instead of going over threshold. But I agree with others that she probably wasn't renovating the doorknob; rather, she was just trying to grip it with her teeth and could tell she was getting a better grip as the metal changed shape. What a smart dog. How sad that the bitches can't get along!
  7. i agree, but only if you can desensitize them... occasionally this is easier said than done! i know pan was not normal, but i went soooooo slow with muzzling her, way slower than the vet behaviorist recommended, tons of desens for weeks, working with the vet behaviorist in email and on phone, and pan still hated it and growled and snarled... we had to LEAVE it on 24/7 since she was so aggressive and getting it on and off in the end was so stressful for her! it would ruin our relationship for a day or so. i remember i had to make a cozy for her muzzle so she wouldn't hurt herself leaving it on all the time and get sores. it was very sad. but yes--most dogs i bet could learn to love the muzzle if you introduced it right! i could see myself teaching vala to wear one very easily--of course she has zero need for it.
  8. there are purebred BCs who weigh in at 50. my vala is on the small side. o i can't afford the clomicalm either! generic is clomipramine, get your vet to write you a scrip. call around. wal mart has it and so does walgreens.
  9. Agreed. Him for failure and yourself for a lawsuit (unless he is always muzzled). Why not just get a long line.
  10. Clomicalm--Vala is 31.5 pounds and on 50 mg daily (two 25 mg pills, both taken in the morning). Vala started at 25 mg for two weeks and then we upped her to 50 mg. (Like any longacting psychoactive drug you get them up to the optimum dosage slowly to avoid ill effects.) Xanax--Vala takes 0.5 mg as soon as she gets upset (she used to predict storms 3 hours before!!!). Now she only gets upset when the thunder rumbles or it starts raining... In the beginning, if you can beat the actual storm -- like 1/2 hour before, so the medicine kicks in first -- that works even better. Your goal is to get and keep the dog totally under threshold during storms so the dog can stay calm and do some enjoyable activity like eating a kong or ice cream as another poster suggested. My vet had me start Vala at .25mg, because she is very sensitive to medication, which is 1 pill; that didn't work though we saw some improvement; two pills does the trick. Apparently Xanax is tricky and the optimum dose is different for each dog. The one thing you have to watch is it does cause negative effects in some dogs so I'd give him 1/2 a pill first (.25 mg) and wait fifteen minutes to see what happens and then give another half a pill if no effect, continuing until you get an effect. I would expect an effect at around .5 mg if your dog is the same size as Vala but some dogs need more. But keep in touch with your vet and ask him before you defy the prescription advice. The limit on Vala at her weight for Xanax is 4 mg in a daily period (dogs need way more Xanax than people to get an effect--that's sixteen pills) but we never remotely approach that. The most she's ever needed is 1 mg (that's two doses of .5 mg, about 12 hours apart, during a really heavy stormy day).
  11. I want to thank you too for giving Brodie a chance. He is a beautiful dog and looks so sweet. Fear agression is so largely misunderstood by the populace at large. The nose touch thing truly breaks my heart. When we were trying to rehabilitate my Pan, that was one thing she picked up on really quickly and it was a healing thing for her. Unfortunately, in the end, we couldn't rehabilitate Pan, but she was much much worse off than Brodie and you are intervening in all the right ways far earlier than we ever knew how. Brodie sounds like he may actually recover, and I think it's wonderful that you are doing all the right things and have come so far after only 7 weeks. For what it's worth, Prozac didn't help Pan, at all (in fact it made things worse for her), but carbamazepine did somewhat. Every dog is different though, and Pan's aggression was almost epileptic--and the carbamazepine is used to treat siezures. I second the notion that other drugs might work if the Prozac doesn't or is too hard on his stomach.
  12. Yes! This is great advice. Use the fast-acting pharmaceuticals (xanax or valium) to teach the dog that someplace is safe (recommend the bathtub or bathroom--unless you're scared of destruction--then yes, crate, but with positive things for him to do like a frozen PB stuffed kong) and eventually with the repetition of your taking them there and making it nice, they learn to go there on their own. (Others are right, Clomicalm takes time, it's just something I'm doing to help her long term, in addition to the Xanax... so she needs less xanax as time goes on. It's to make her more confident and calm so she doesn't need the Xanax as much.) Vala's case isn't as severe as Lacy's or your dog's, katieh, so this worked really quick for her. But coping with storms on their own is something that can be taught, with the right drugs and behavior mod, and the drugs don't have to be forever either--they're just a teaching tool. ETA: It's also important to be positive (but not to the point that you are coddling--Vala actually got worse early on if I pet her, because it's like I was feeding into her idea that something was wrong). When thunder rolls for example outside, I say in a very happy tone (as I hear Vala typically getting up in the next room nervously) "You ready for your kong? Kong is going to time out!" (time out is the bathroom). And at this point instead of trying to dig frantically in a panic through the floor, she actually will come watch me stuff peanut butter in her kong or just trot happily to the bathroom. I'll give her the kong and then look at the weather to see if it's going to thunder for a while. If it's a long day of it, I'll give her the xanax too. If it's only a half hour or hourlong storm, I just give her the kong and shut the door. She doesn't shake anymore or tremble. She doesn't drool. She is learning that thunderstorms aren't all that scary--as long as she can get into the bathroom she's good--she just wants to lie in there by the bathtub and work on her kong. I think it helps that I give her the xanax in peanut butter too--xanax is so fast acting--peanut butter seems to have become this godsend comfort food.
  13. This is so common there should be a local vet who can handle it. You just really need the Xanax (generic: alprazolam) first to get the dog under threshold. Then the other stuff will start to help. Please read Dr. Overall's article. My vet wanted me to try the other stuff first because Xanax is such a controlled substance; many vets down here won't prescribe xanax for animals because of that. Your vet may not have tried that. Since you've tried everything and nothing has helped, you could print out that article from Dr. Overall and bring it to your vet to see if he will prescribe xanax. As far as I know it's the only thing that calms the dog's mind down in addition to his body and right away too so you see immediate improvement and actually the dog learns over time with repeated administration of xanax + kong + positive reinforcement with the storms that they actually aren't that terrifying. But the only way to get the behavior mod to work is to bring the dog down under threshold first with drugs so the dog can still be in a thinking place during storms. The Clomicalm (generic: clomipramine) has helped too--but that, like Prozac or something, takes time. My Vala has only been on the clomipramine + xanax combo for about a month, and she's soooo improved. Believe it or not, it works really fast. She needs the xanax much less often now. We are actually hoping to get the clomipramine to a point to where it is all she needs, and only during storm season--lots of people only put the dog on it for part of the year down here for the summer and early fall--with maybe xanax here and there a few times a year for breakthrough like say during hurricanes, etc. -- that's how well it's working. And this medicine is cheap. Generic Xanax: $7 for a month's supply--during rain season. Clomipramine $12. No insurance or anything. Just from Walgreens and Walmart ETA: Since part of the problem is that he is worse when YOU ARE GONE, clomipramine should really help (it's for separation anxiety too). I'm not a behaviorist, but it sorta sounds like stormphobia + separation anxiety = fear aggression for your dog.
  14. Do you live in Lafayette? That's where I am. I have a 4 yo thunderphobic BC rescue (and have a great vet here, who has prescribed Xanax and Clomicalm). This has helped Vala a lot. She used to dig in the house during storms; now she just trots into the bathroom (the safe place we made for her) and sucks alllllllllllllllllll the peanut butter out of a kong. Yesterday, for that storm (which for us was mostly rain) she was fine and not upset all day -- maybe you're southeast of here? Who's your vet? Was your dog also upset during the fireworks? Could be a bunch of stuff is freaking him out lately. Do you give the dog anything (like a kong) when you leave the house and kennel him to help distract him during the storm and make it more pleasant? Here is the link to the previous discussion TommyCoyote mentioned: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=28578. Here is a link to pharmaceutical management and seeing improvement in thunderphobia from Dr. Karen Overall, veterinary behaviorist extraordinaire: http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/artic...l.jsp?id=136493. What have you tried before, pharmaceutically? I think Dr. Overall is right about avoiding Ace and Benadryl. Have you tried alprazolam (generic xanax)? ETA: Also have you tried kenneling in the bathroom? Your kennel may just be making him feel trapped. The tub somehow does something for the static electricity in the air or barometric pressure. Encouraging Vala to always lie there, in a larger room with the light on, and giving her a kong really helped. She goes on her own now whenever there is a storm. And she doesn't shake anymore. It also helps to be calm but super positive and not coddle the dog at all during the storm.
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