It’s been a while since I did a Dexter update. He is doing FANTASTIC!! 🙂
He hasn’t had an accident in the house in weeks. His stress is down and judging from the relaxed state of his napping (seen in this photo) his happiness is up.
He and Fergus are so funny together. They politely ignore each other but about twice a week they suddenly have a wrestling match. It’s adorable.
In other news … I took Dexter to the vet today. She says he’s a different dog from the first time she saw him. She couldn’t even examine him the first time because he was so stressed/wild but today he sat perfectly still during his exam and she said she can’t believe he’s the same dog. SO YAY!!!
We talked a lot about his separation anxiety (which is really bad) and I talked to her about how I felt like I’ve hit a wall in terms of his rehabilitation. He’s doing so well learning about doggie etiquette. He’s learned not to poop and pee in the house. He’s quickly learning not to lunge at skateboards and bikes. He’s doing so great with everything except for the separation anxiety.
She suggested we put him in a small dose of Prozac for 3-6 months and see if it helps him. Alison (my vet at Kindred Spirits) is not someone who easily hands out medication. In fact she does everything she can NOT to medicate a dog … but we talked about the Rescue Remedy (which works to alleviate some of his stress) but does nothing for his separation anxiety.
The best way to describe what happens is that the second I try and leave he has a melt-down. It’s not whining or barking or even crying … he screams. It’s not even anxiety at that point; it’s terror. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. 🙁
Alison feels that all the neglect he has experienced has changed his brain function and that with the help of Prozac we can re-wire his chemistry so he can function normally.
You have all been so kind with your donations towards Dexter and your $$ has gone towards a new bed, food, diapers and all the other things he has needed.
The Prozac is quite expensive (about $100 for 6 weeks worth) and she anticipates he’ll be on it for 3-6 months so in an attempt to offset some of the costs of caring for Dexter we are selling these blank greeting cards.
For the purchase price you will receive THREE blank 5×7 cards (with envelopes) with a wicked awesome photo of Dexter and our dog Fergus on the front. You can purchase the cards HERE.
If you’re not interested in purchasing the greeting cards and would prefer just to do a donation; you can click the donation button below … Thank you for being a friend.Â 🙂
My wiener dog who was also a rescue had the same separation anxiety..He use to bite himself and cry when I left the house and I couldn’t go into a room and shut the door as he would show the same behaviour. My vet also recommended a form of prozac with the description that it would ” increase his personal space..Like puppy pot”…This worked wonders and I used this in conjunction with space tests…Where I would leave for short periods of time throughout the day ( 5 minutes to start 3x a day) and overtime increased the length that I was gone.
Dexter has come a long way and you have done such a wonderful job with him…Please keep up the great work.
That is encouraging news … my vet suggested the same course of action as well. 🙂
Thanks for letting me know about your baby.
Lots of love.
My heart just aches for poor Dexter. Last year, my boyfriend and I adopted a rescue cat, who was a stray picked up from the local pound here in Fargo. She had separation issues as well. Even short trips to the store would result in us coming home to a pee/poop situation somewhere in the house. After trying many different options (pheromone diffusers, training, having a friend stay with her, one of us staying with her) we finally gave “kitty Prozac” a go, and like with Shannon, it made all the difference. Sadie has mellowed out tremendously and we have not had any accident issues in quite some time (months). I’m crossing my fingers and toes that Dexter gets some of the same relief. Good luck!
I wouldn’t give Prozac to a person, or a dog.
Anti-depressants do “rewire” the brain, but not always in the ways you them to. They can actually worsen the anxiety and depression they are supposed to treat.
I don’t know if there’s any information out there specifically about SSRIs and pets, but you might want to read up on Peter Breggin’s stuff for humans before giving your dog psych meds.
Just like the mainstream information about meat production glosses over a lot of the more sinister details of factory farms, mainstream information about psych drugs – including the information your doctor gets, which is produced by pharmaceutical companies – glosses over the risks of taking those meds, especially long-term. I have experienced some of those negative effects first hand.
It’s your decision whether to medicate Fergus, just get all the information you can before doing so, please!
The prozac is not for Fergus. It’s for Dexter who is a rescue dog who is staying with us.
Dexters anxiety is so severe and he was really suffering and we took every consideration before we decided to try the prozac. He will be on it for only 3-6 months … and so far it seems to have given him relief.