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 Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs

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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:31 am

I really hoped it wouldn't come to this point, but I feel as though at this point and time, we need to do this.

I have been gone about 11 days, and in that time Sheba has gone after Luna approx. 6 times, and I watched her do it last night. I was face timing with my girls and Sheba had lost interest and was laying on the ground. I watched Luna jump off the couch and I could see her trying to skirt around Sheba, but she went for her neck anyway. Chris (the boyfriend) is trying hard to keep things neutral, but I know he can't take much more and neither can Luna. He told me yesterday after Sheba went for her she just huddled on the couch whining and visibly shaking.

So, at this point I'm looking at drugs. I'm thinking anxiety medicine will help calm her down, and right now natural is just not an option. Once I return home I would like to shift her towards a more natural behavior mod, but Chris is just not experienced enough for that. So, what do you guys suggest?
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Oh wow, that must be so stressful for you being away! I think it's definitely worth looking into to keep all the girls safe until you can get home to work with Sheba. I know you want to wait to get her spayed, but it might be worth getting that done as well. At this point it might be a contributing factor to her aggression and it might be better to get the spay done before this develops into a habitual behavior.

I don't have any experience with anti-anxiety drugs directly, but I know our neighbors next door use them for their dog. He is dog aggressive toward certain dogs (loathes Dizzy!) and HATES kids. The meds have helped him when he is home alone during the day, but have not made any changes in his aggression. Hopefully your vet can offer you some options for her that can at least keep the situation semi calm while you are gone. Is keeping them totally separated an option? Using baby gates and crates to shuffle everyone around?
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:28 pm

When you say Sheba goes after Luna, do you mean attacks? rough play or what? I can tell you right now drugging an animal because of a behavioral issue is ridiculous. If you think behavior modification starts and ends with drugs you are sorely mistaken. Even with people in order to switch an unwanted behavior there is a process of treatment that occurs long before any drugs are even mentioned. Try seeking out a dog trainer/behaviorist before you throw your money at drugs you hope will change a behavior. At best your dog will appear more lethargic but I doubt that will stop her from doing what she is doing.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:34 pm

Another thing to keep in mind with the drugs normally used for this type of issue is that they take time to work. Our neighbor's dog is on prozac and they said it could take up to 6 weeks to work.

To WolvenSight, Kelsey has been working very hard with Sheba and from what I could tell things had been improving. Currently, she is required to travel away from home for about 2 months for work and since she has left, the situation between the dogs has become a problem again. Lecturing her on finding a behaviorist is not going to help her. It is not rough play, it is full on aggression and Sheba has injured Luna. She is looking for something that can help keep both dogs safe until she gets home and can implement a training program.
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eddycaaa
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:40 pm

Are you looking for over the counter drugs? I know the antihistamine in benadryl is safe for dogs, although that will knock her out completely. If it will prevent her from seriously injuring Luna than I think it will be worth a shot.

I thought spaying a bitch might cause her to become more agressive?
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It has been found (O’Farrell and Peachey, 1990; and also discussed in Hart and Eckstein, 1997) that the only two behaviors affected by spaying of female dogs was “aggressive dominance” toward guardians and indiscriminate eating. In this case, the aggressive behavior increased after spaying. source
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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:43 pm

WolvenSight, I highly suggest you don't go attacking people when you know nothing about what I have or haven't done with my dog. You just look ridiculous. I will not engage with you if this is how you want to go about having a conversation; thanks.

Yeah Jen, I know there is a time for the drugs to get in her system. Anything that helps her though I will not discount Sad.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:48 pm

That's interesting Erica, I'm really not sure, although I believe both Luna and Sheba are unaltered and that could be an issue (I was thinking bitch fights). I could be totally wrong though... Smile Thanks for the link!

Other over the counter stuff to try would be Valerian, rescue remedy, and 5 htp. I think 5-htp acts more like an antidepressant/anti-anxiety med vs. a sedative.

For Dizzy I have tried benedryl, valerian and rescue remedy. Benedryl and valerian both had the opposite effect and hyped him way up. Rescue remedy works for him, but I have to give him 10-12 drops.
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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:56 pm

As for the spaying thing, Ceara asked her breeder about that and she said that spaying will not change anything. I can't remember all that she said, but she said it won't change Sheba's behavior.
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Ericobeasto
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:59 pm

Ive heard a little about prozac, but have not done a lot of research on it. Maybe look into that for dogs, that could be a option. Just curious, does it seem like certain situations, or times when sheba gets aggresive?
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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:01 pm

Overall, it is unpredictable. Some days the same situations are fine, and other days if Luna were to walk 3 feet away from her she deems that too close. That's the main problem, really. It's like a switch goes off and she's a completely different dog.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:34 pm

I don't know if this is a silly suggestion (I really don't have much experience with his), but would tethering Sheba to Chris be an option so that he can correct her right away if he sees any change in her body language or behaviour? For example, if Luna is to walk by, then Chris can distract Sheba with a treat or just give her a "leave it" command? I could see the tethering becoming dangerous or an obstacle if she did lunge at Luna though, and then Chris is tethered to Sheba!

In my opinion, i wouldn't rule out medication though. When Gus had really bad separation anxiety, my vet also gave me anxiety meds for him. I gave him half the dosage once (the full dose was already the lowest dose because my vet wanted to start slow), and it didn't seem to make a difference. And I just decided that daycare and a whole lot of training was a better option for us. Obviously this is a very different situation, and you are not making this decision lightly, nor are you just throwing drugs at her and hoping to solve the problem.

How many times (on average) does this usually happen? If it seems that it's happening more often right now while you are away, then maybe she is just really stressed at her change in routine, which would be your absence, in which case, the anxiety meds (or just rescue remedy) might help, even if it is just to lessen the amount of times this happens before you get back! Six times in 11 days must be stressful for you AND Chris!
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:46 pm

The only thing with tethering is that Sheba prefers to sleep/lay down over by the fridge where it is cooler and she is away from everyone. I'm not sure if forcing her to be with everyone would help the situation at all.

It's not that Shebs is aggressive..it seems to all be linking to resource guarding;which makes it difficult when there isn't anything that I see has a resource yet she does (meaning her space bubble at that point in time).

Medication definitely has it's place and it's use for animals. This is not a situation where I am saying, "fuck it!" And throwing drugs at her. We have been working on this for about 3 ish months or so.

Yes, it has definitely gotten worse since I left and we both expected it...but neither of us were prepared for a "relapse" as severe as this. I have been mulling over the idea of a crate/rotate, but I don't know if avoiding the situation would have a backwards effect or not :/.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:54 pm

Like a mix of bipolar and cocker rage syndrome. Perhaps your boyfriend can rotate crate time and play time until either the meds kick in or you get home. That way they aren't loose together while you're away. I don't think crate rotating will help nor hurt the situation, only keep them safe until you come home to really work with them. Maybe you could try a muzzle when they are together as a precaution? It's rough having a dog you just can't trust with other dogs. I hope something works to get you all through safely until you can return home. Good luck.

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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:54 pm

I totally know how you feel! Gus is not aggressive either, but is a food guarder! We had this problem when we were dog-sitting a border collie. If the border collie even sniffed at the room where the food is kept, Gus would attack. We had 2 humans in the house, and even that had us stressed out for the whole week.

I agree that forcing her to be with everyone wouldn't help the situation. I don't think that by crating, you would be avoiding the situation though. I think that by preventing it, you might make it easier to deal with when you get back so that it doesn't become a normal behaviour for Sheba.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:05 pm

I also wonder if a muzzle would work for the time being. You could at least use it in combination with the drugs as well until they start working. Its not ideal but at least the over lapse would make it so Luna does not get hurt. Maybe if she attacks her, you could just put the muzzle on after so maybe that would help her learn. Just a thought, I really have no experience in this area.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:18 pm

I don't think I would debate it at this point.  I would call the vet and ask if there is something that you could put her on for the next few weeks to calm her down.  Explain that you need something that works quickly and when you return you will work on longer term solution.  At least if you ask, you would know the options they can provide and do some more research. I know for Lexi I was given an anti-anxiety drug that would calm her down within a few hours.  She would get stressed on walks and have seizures, but the calming medicine worked to eliminate her seizures on walks at that point in her life. I needed to do the walks to help her overcome her anxiety.

Also, my cat attacked 3 vet techs that last time I took her and she literally clawed up one of their faces.  This last time, my vet prescribed a minor sedative pill 2 hours to take before she came into the clinic.  When she went in to the office, she was like a perfect angel.  Maybe meds aren't always right, but I feel horrible everytime I see that vet tech now and the medicine eliminated the issue on a temporary basis.  Everyone knows longer term you are looking into all your options, so you only need a short term solution. So, I would at least ask vet for options. I know for cats they also have things like feliway to calm them down that do work immediately. not sure if they have something similar for dogs.

I would also consider others suggestions to have your boyfriend keep the dogs seperated until you return especially since it sounds like this is just resurfacing of old problem.  It may even get a lot better just by your returning when you will.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:24 pm

Is it just Luna she attacks or does she do it to Kennedy too? Just trying to see the pattern sorry if it you already answered it in another thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:51 pm

I'm sorry I have to reply to everyone like this, I'm on my phone and still don't know how to work the multi quote button lol!

TwisterII and siku&nikolai- We have tried a muzzle but it stresses Sheba out and it's just not worth it to have her get more amped up then she already is. We've tried different types of muzzles and she can't handle any of them.

I will tell Chris to crate and rotate. The girls aren't going to like it, but what else can we do at this point? Sheba howls in protest and poor Luna just cries, but he's got more of a stone heart when it comes to that stuff then I do Wink.

I will call my holistic vet back home on Monday (they aren't open Fridays) and get her opinion. The only thing is that she hasn't seen Sheba since she was around 9 months I believe, but I'll just have to deal with that if it happens.

And Sheba only goes for Luna. Her and Kennedy got into it once, and she does try to push Kennedy's buttons..but the difference is that Kennedy puts Sheba in her place vs Luna who just wants it to end.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:59 pm

I don't consider me stating earlier that I think drugs are ridiculous and there are better options is an attack. More like an opinion without the proper background information. Textual responses always seem that way. Best of luck to you and your dogs.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:54 pm

I'm really sorry you are having to deal with this, I know you've been working hard with Sheba. I can't really add much in the way of suggestions the only other thing I can think of is pheromones. Perhaps getting a diffuser would help calm the girls. I have had success with putting the spray on a bandanna and attaching it to Orion but that is in situations where a difuser is not feasible. It may help relax Sheba just enough to stop her triggering so fast so Chris has a chance to intervene or make the lot of them calmer during crate rotation or at the very least it might help Luna relax a little after Sheba goes her. I guess I would attack the situ from as many angles as possible, synthetic drugs can often be used in conjunction with natural solutions like rescue remedy and pheromone spray so I'd employ the lot personally. Best of luck
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:37 pm

Comicalm worked wonders for Seamus' CCD. Many people jumped down my throat (not here- BC FB groups) for wanting to medicate. It has been his saving grace.

While certainly not the same scenario, I think while you're gone medication can help but I wouldn't go the tranq route- some vets will suggest that and it's not a good place to go. She will need behavior modification in conjunction with Rx but wanting to try medication isn't a horrible thing. I would contact a behaviorist in your area or one who your vet trusts.

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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:28 pm

On thing to keep in mind when it come to behavior modifying drugs is that some of them like the tranquilizers can actually make them more out of it and more likely to act aggressively so unless she is to drugged to move be careful what you put her on. But I think you need to do what you need to to keep your girls safe. Drugs also can help put dogs in a more receptive mood to training. Have you considered putting the other one on something? To help with her stress? Or do you hope that with Sheba on drugs and finger crossed behaving better the other one will do better.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:56 pm

To medicate your dog is YOUR decision. Would I do it? Hell yeah, if I thought it was the best option for my dog. I also wouldn't feel bad about anyone thinking less of me because I made a decision for my dog...an educated one that I felt was necessary.

Now, have you tried an electric collar? Go ahead, nay sayers, but I think it could work in this situation. You will have to be trained to use it, but if you go to a well-versed trainer you can use it and have it start working quickly..we almost did it with Cato, because of his nuisance barking. We took a different route and couldn't be happier, because I'm not into electric collars..then again, Cato wasn't trying to eat Delilah. If that were the case, I'd give it a shot.

I think you are throwing in a wild card by trying medication, but it is up to you. Whatever you do, DO NOT USE ACEPROMAZINE. I gave this once to Cato, because it's a tranquilizer for dogs...I gave half the recommended dosage and he lost control of everything; he was walking and acting like he was drunk. Sure, it will get rid of the behavior, but your dog won't be able to walk or exhibit anything...at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:41 am

I had actually played around with the idea of shock collar training, but I hadn't fully considered it since it is a shock collar lol. And I'm surprised this hasn't come out yet, but NO, I will not be rehoming Luna. Sheba still has issues that need to be addressed and removing Luna is just pretending the situation never existed. Thought I would address that before it came up.

There is a training facility in Missouri called Controlled Chaos and the trainers do protection work and other training like that. I don't know if they do shock collar training (I don't think so) but I follow them on FB and I've checked out their website before. Granted I've only done limited research, but I feel like a facility like this would be better suited for Sheba then a behaviorist since that got us pretty much no where all ready.

If I didn't have to go a medication route, that would be preferred. I was looking into anxiety meds for Sheba, but I don't know much about them which is why I posted this thread. I will send Rescue Remedy home and have Chris play around with it a little bit and see if that helps her. It's the unpredictability that led me to believe that medication might be the route to take.
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PostSubject: Re: Debating about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs   Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:01 pm

Personally, for a dog who is already showing random aggression to another dog, adding such an adversive will add more of a negative association towards Luna... In essence it has a very large possibility of making the problem worse- but quieter. Which can make Sheba a ticking time bomb. I would highly recommend NOT using an e-collar. I have seen first hand what they can do to dogs.

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