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Canine Anxiety meds

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Meadow 3 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #69132


    Maureen asked someone to start this thread for her.

    Myself personally would like some in site on this..though I am thinking Carmel’s anxiety is less them it has been. Cheyanne is worse especially if Carmel is not with her. Someone suggested Melatonin the night before her Vet visit… but turned out she was fine the last time she went (took Carmel in with her).

  • #69134


    Thank you, Pat! I really need to discuss this, and hopefully garner some input. ALL input is welcomed! *This is long. I’m sorry. No one can help, unless you understand the extent of what has been going on – if anyone is patient enough to read this, I thank you in advance!*

    Faith has always been hyper and anxious. Her anxieties are of things like: car rides, cats or kittens (not including my own cat), a house where a barking dog frightened her even years ago, anyone touching my cell phone or any noise coming from any cell phone, sounds from a dog toy, anything big that is being lifted (moving a chair, carrying a fan from room to room), etc. She is NOT anxious with thunder, power tools or vacuum cleaner.

    Faith gets skin infections a LOT. It could be a Golden thing… but I’m wondering if it’s a “Faith thing” — you know? When your mental defenses are down, you are more susceptible to health problems?

    Faith went to the beach in June – and ended up with infected bug bites all over her stomach – which of course she licked and made into a raging infection. It required a vet visit, anti-biotics, special anti-fungal shampoo and ointment, as well as Metacam for pain.

    A week after that cleared up, we went on vacation – as a whole family, dogs included – to my cousin’s country home with a beautiful salt water pool. Faith was lethargic the entire visit. We thought it was all the commotion and attention she was getting. She swam but mostly relaxed in the shade for 3 days. Once home, I noticed blood on Faith’s neck. Opening her fur, I was horrified to discover a GIANT RASH. Off to the vet! He shaved her fur, exposing the awful rash (Pic 1 below).

    Vet said it was a bacterial infection – highly contagious. Fever, pain, rash. Antibiotics, more special shampoo, more ointment, more pain killer/anti-inflammatories.

    THAT healed up…. and 2 weeks later, the rash came back on her stomach. Back to the vet – more antibiotics, more ointment… you get the idea.

    *THAT* healed up… then Faith started chewing on her elbow on one side, and the base of her tail. I saw blood on her fur by her tail last week… parted the fur – yep – ANOTHER bad infection! I don’t want to keep loading her up with antibiotics!!!!! That cannot be good for her, her liver or her immune system.

    I shaved her tail in that area, started putting on the ointment and giving her Metacam and put her in the cone of shame. She started exhibiting WEIRD behaviour. More weird than usual. She started spinning – circles and circles that we couldn’t stop though we tried. She would spin like that till she caught ANY fur on her tail – and she would chomp down and tear and tear and tear at her own fur till she pulled out MOUTHFULS of her long tail feathers!!!!!!!!!! It was HORRIBLE!!! Even with the cone, by spinning and using centrifugal force, she kept being able to grab onto her tail – and she would rip and rip her fur out. 🙁 🙁 🙁 She created new bloody areas! (Pics below)

    I started adding “Rescue Remedy” to her water dish, in addition to Metacam and the vet’s ointment. But all the things that normally caused her anxiety are now causing her TOO MUCH anxiety. Out of control! I picked up Haven in the yard the other day to put her collar on her, and Faith went after me! She jumped at me, scratching me head to toe – I had to use my knee to block her as she was jumping at me. I was actually a little scared. She wasn’t seeming angry – just ANXIOUS! Like she couldn’t wait for HER collar to be put on – she was just out of control. 🙁

    I AM TOO WORDY!! Faith has been on WAY too much antibiotics in the last few months, and I’m concerned. Faith has had several significant changes that likely are contributing to her out-of-control anxieties: calm alpha male neighbor dog just died at age 15, my son went back to University last week and my daughter Keira (Faith’s true love!) moved to Toronto for college the following day. I went back to work full-time a year ago, and my husband who was laid off just got a part-time job. My youngest daughter’s highschool started back up. TONS of changes in Faith’s life!!!

    To my question: Are canine anti-anxiety meds better or worse than living on antibiotics and increasingly anxious behaviour?? I see Faith as *suffering* emotionally, and it makes me very, very sad for her. Her walks have decreased – due to Keira (her main dog walker) leaving, the heat being too much, and me only walking her on my days off. My good friend volunteered to walk Faith at least once a week maybe more, to help Faith.

    I don’t want to hurt Faith MORE by giving her daily meds to calm her… but to see her suffering like this… it’s breaking my heart for her. I would *love* for her to feel dreamy and happy, if that’s a possibility.

    Experience anyone? Thoughts? Ideas you might wish to share? It’s my responsibility to help Faith, and beyond what I’ve already done, I don’t know what to do. 🙁


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  • #69139


    Maureen I have no solutions for you but please know that you and Faith will be in my prayers that you can get to the root of her problem. When I seen the pictures I tea red up, the poor baby and you must be beside yourself. Paws crossed for you both. Keep us posted on her condition.??

  • #69140


    Thank you, Laurie. Prayers sure are welcomed. I’m sure there are dogs out there who have it worse… I just really want to help Faith to enjoy her life in a healthy way.

    We have also begun doing more positive training with her as well – meant to mention that in my long post. When she starts pacing and prancing and bashing into doors with her face, digging into the door mats, my daughter’s bed sheets, etc, if I get a text on my cell phone, we are having her do things for treats – sit and stay, or down and stay, then a recall and giving her a treat. We’re trying to use all her training to our (and her) advantage by redirecting her brain to a proper activity, rather than an anxious, useless one.

    It’s helping a bit. We are trying to add as much positive attention we can, whenever she is not exhibiting this anxious behaviour. But I keep wondering if there’s more I could offer her. I don’t know if a daily medication is the answer… but right now, I just want to help her…


  • #69144


    Maureen I’m sorry to hear about the issues Faith is having. That first picture with her raging red neck looks very sore and painful :(.

    Have you had her thyroid checked? I think skin issues are one of the many symptoms of hypothyroidism and it is quite common in Goldens. I don’t have any other suggestions unfortunately.

    Also a holistic may be of some help in managing things with more natural remedies.

    I know it’s frustrating when there is no clear cut answer and they can’t tell you what is wrong. All the changes in her life are playing a part in things I’m sure.

  • #69172


    No, I haven’t had her thyroid checked – thank you for that idea, Christine. We have to make another vet appointment, I’m sure, so I will ask him about that. I have been wondering, since she can lick these areas (she is creative at reaching them!) if she is carrying infection in her mouth, and then spreading it to other areas on herself. That’s why my husband is pushing for more antibiotics again… but this simply cannot be good for Faith. But are meds for anxiety any better? I wish I knew.

    I don’t know what a holistic is. Would someone like that be in the phone book, do you think? I’ll research that. Thank you for the idea – it gives me another tree to bark up.


    *Ok – I went online and looked up thyroid dysfunction symptoms and Faith doesn’t have any of those symptoms – her fur is shiny, it only ‘falls out’ when she grips it and tears it out herself, and there is no flaky skin or black areas of skin at all. But even ruling out something is a step in the right direction, so I thank you for that idea! I am researching holistic things now. It seems to be a lot about “skin irritations”… but I think Faith’s problems stem with anxiety, and then become skin irritations. I’ll keep researching…

  • #69217


    Maureen I’d be getting a second opinion for Faith’s skin issues. I would see a Vet that specializes in homeopathy as she might be better off than taking a load of drugs. I wouldn’t want to be using Metacam long term as it can affect the liver. I live Nelson Melatonin when it’s needed and that seems to help. Could there be something in your house that she could be allergic to. Any cleaners, Fabrize or anything new.

  • #69218


    If I have any issues beyond something simple I’m in the car and driving to the University of Saskatoon Vet Teaching Hospital for the answers as most Vet’s do not know more than the basics. I know the University of Guelph is the place I’d be going for some answers as that looks pretty serious and I can only imagine how poor Faith is feeling.

  • #69220


    Not much to add – I second the thyroid because of the skin. Harley only showed 2 symptoms but needs a big dose. I would recommend finding a vet that knows goldens well or sending the blood to Hemopet.

    Solving the skin issues first might be best as they might be causing the increased anxiety. Those sores look beyond awful-poor Faith. Saying that anxiety meds might be helpful to get her through this for the short term – jump start her recovery.

  • #69221


    Well, a trip to the vet is on the list of things to do – which is why I did this post first. I was wondering if anyone had experience or knew about anti-anxiety type meds first though. Ok – the past several times, the vet says the same thing, “infected area, needing antibiotics, yadda, yadda”. I am kind of grasping at straws to think of something beyond that, to help Faith. I could ask him about testing her thyroid while we’re there.

    I looked up homeopathic or holistic treatments – I’m not finding anyone in my area yet, but I will keep searching. The answer might be there. And no – nothing new in the house. In fact, as my allergies to Faith have kick-started horrible breathing problems for me this summer, we got rid of carpets in the house to help the environment. If anything, that would have helped Faith’s problems too, I’d imagine.


  • #69222


    Poor Faith! I agree with Sue if your vet can offer no workable solutions I would be off to U of Glueph where all specialties of veterinary medicine reside.

  • #69224


    As much as I appreciate people trying to help Faith and I (Thank you!!), I still haven’t had anyone address my topic: Anxiety Meds or even just anxiety help. The skin problems stem from the larger problem – anxiety. Anxiety likely causes immune system weakness letting infection in – anxiety causes her to lick small things like bug bites into infected areas – anxiety causes her to behave strangely in the ways mentioned in my original post.

    Does anyone have input about anxiety or anxiety meds for dogs? So far, I am trying to get her walked as often (and long) as possible, we are doing positive training methods to distract her mind from anxieties like the sound of my cell phone (which goes off a lot now that 3 of my 4 kids are moved out and needing to text home) and giving her Rescue Remedy in her water dish.

    Maybe I threw off my own topic, by posting the pictures of the end result of all her anxiety? Sorry for the confusion there. Does anyone here have a Golden with anxiety issues? Does anyone know anyone who gives their dog medication help for anxiety? I want to help Faith with the root of the problem, rather than “putting out the fires” again and again.

    Faith’s skin is fine, pink and healthy – her fur shiny and lush. The vet checks her eyes, gums, teeth and ears with every visit – all are good. My concern isn’t her skin – it’s her high anxiety. Is there anyone with any experience with my main topic?


  • #69228

    Claudette Kinkade

    Oh, Maureen – it made be so sad to read your post. Please re-read Sue’s posting – that is what I would be doing. You need answers that your regular vet cannot give you. Poor Faith, how awful she must be feeling. I think Faith’s skin issues need to be addressed too, anxiety and skin issues go hand and hand, I think. You have spent so much time and money going to Faith’s regular vet with no positive outcome – go one step more and do what Sue suggested. Good Luck, I know how much you love Faith and want to help her. Lots of changes in the entire families lives, but don’t give up – there are answers out there, just need to go to the correct place to get them. Please let us know how things go for you.

  • #69232


    Taking a day off work for both my husband and I, putting Faith in a car (which causes heightened anxiety) for a round trip of 5 hours, plus the time of being in a new, stressful environment and the expense of a specialist in Guelph are all things that are not feasible for our situation at this time.

    I don’t feel that I should need to go that far and to those extremes to get information about anxiety. Her vet does not believe Faith has a skin disorder, nor do I believe that. Faith licks and chews on her body parts as a result of anxiety, until the skin gets infected. Again, sorry to have confused the true issue, which is underlying anxiety.

    I actually thought that with a “roomful” of Goldens here, that someone else may have dealt with over-arching anxieties in their dog, and might have suggestions for things they have tried.

    I’ll keep researching holistic anxiety treatments. I am not fond of a daily chemical solution – that’s still my last resort. But if I think it’s the best option, then we will do that. Her care and health (body AND mind) are important to us, as her advocates and owners.


  • #69233


    Hi Maureen,
    So sorry to hear about Faith and her condition. I don’t have any advice about the anxiety issues but just wanted to let you know about Murphy’s skin issues. Murphy was always getting terrible skin infections, mainly on her belly and looked a lot like what Faith is going through. Lots of antibiotics and steroids, the vet told me she would have to be on steroids for the rest of her life….I couldn’t accept that and thought I would look at changing her diet. I put her on a diet of raw chicken thinking she may be allergic to grains….long story short she was allergic to chicken. She got way worse. So now she is on PC kibble of salmon and potato and has been skin infection free for 5 years. They better not stop making this kibble because it has been life changing for Murphy and us. She still has stomach issues when other people give her treats, diarrhea and such but no more skin problems. The only treats we give her are the plain milk bones and cheese and she is OK with that and no longer has those horrible infections.Maybe Faith’s anxiety issues and rash could be linked to food allergies? Just a thought. I hope you find answers to Faiths problems.
    Linda & Murphy

  • #69234


    Sorry Maureen I guess seeing the pictures of Faith threw me off. I know first hand how frustrating it is to find some answers. You probably saw this link but I’m posting anyway.
    I have used and use Melatonin for the dogs. I found that it chilled them out especially Nelson who get’s anxious when I leave and seems to be here there and everywhere non stop.

  • #69235


    Thank you Linda. I remember you telling me about Murphy when you two came for a visit. Faith is the same – very allergic to chicken. I took her off everything chicken related (even in treats – we make sure there is NO chicken additives) about 18 months ago. I switched her to Salmon kibble at that time too. But thank you for the idea. 🙂

    Sue, I just walked in the door from work, but I will read that article, thank you for that. Melatonin. I have heard of that for people to help them to relax at night to sleep, but I didn’t know it was okay for canines. I love that idea! Just something to mellow her out might help her with her anxiety issues.

    Thank you both for the ideas!


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