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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26331
Experience:  25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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My dog has suddenly developed anxiety attacks every evening

Resolved Question:

My dog has suddenly developed anxiety attacks every evening and along with it is going to the bathroom in the house. We've had issues with trainer her on this and now it's even worse. The attacks happen after her last walk of the evening when she comes in the house and has been going on for about a week. She is 1 1/2 years old and a German Shepard mix.

Edited to add that she was a rescue at 6 months old and is leash aggressive that is fear-based. That and the housebreaking are the 2 issues we have had with her since the beginning.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 4 years ago.
Hi there.

Have you tried any anti anxiety medications?

thanks!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No - I am out of the country and my husband is dealing with this and is resistant to drugging her. I wasn't sure if seeing a vet or a behaviorist would be more appropriate. My husband works from home and is trying to keep her with him at all times or in her crate but she is still sneaking away and going to the bathroom in the house. She was before but now it is a lot worse with the anxiety attacks. It is always in the evening after her last walk of the day when she comes inside. She freaks out and then eventually curls up in the corner and sleeps. To be honest, I think I could do more if I were there, but I am away for the next 2 months and my husband is overwhelmed with having to constantly take her outside (we don't have a fenced yard) to go to the bathroom and then she still goes inside. I'm looking for something I can convice him to do in the meantime until I get home. I just don't want her to suffer every evening until I get back and I'm afraid if we let her continue this way it will be that much harder to fix when I get home.
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 4 years ago.
Hi again.

there has been something that has severely frightened Brooklyn and this was probably before you got her. Rescue dogs are a mystery and we will never know what has happened to cause this fear.

I know you are resistant to medication but the anti anxiety medications are very helpful in reestablishing their security in their environment and will help in re training these poor things so they can lose this fear. It sometimes helps to have a dog trainer help but adding on the medication especially since your husband is becoming over whelmed may be your best alternative to help Brooklyn through these attacks.

Have your vet examine her to determine if there is a medical cause for this behavior. If this is ruled out. they can prescribe a medication such as xanax or Reconcile which are both commonly used for this condition.

Good Luck!!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well, I realize that she had some fear issues before, but we have had her for almost 1 year before she suddenly started these anxiety attacks 1 week ago. And strangely it happens when she comes in the house rather than when she goes outside. Also, although I understand medicine may help her calm down temporarily, what can we do to solve this problem long term? My husband is so frustrated with the housebreaking problem that he wants to give her away.
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 4 years ago.
No, the medication releases her from the feeling of anxiety. This anxiety is what is causing her to eliminate in the house. Once this has been resolved, this behavior will stop. Like I said before, something has frightened her and it is very difficult to know what has caused these attacks to come on so suddenly.

The medication for now, is your only solution and it may work well.
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26331
Experience: 25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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