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Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 703
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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Is there anything that my dog can take to decrease anxiety?

Customer Question

Is there anything that my dog can take to decrease anxiety? He's a rescue dog that I've had since he was 4 months and is almost 2 years old . He weighs 68 lbs. , is playfull, demanding, and wants to have attention but you never know when he will turn and bite you. My dog wants you to pet him and then will suddenly snap and bite you. He's a mixture of German Shepard, Australian Shepard and Labrador. Highly intelligent. I love this dog but for some reason he's anxious and fearful.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 7 months ago.

Hello this is Dr. Holloway but you can call me Dr. H for short. I am sorry to hear about your fearful pet. Fear biting in pets can cause some burdens in the relationship between pet owner and pet and although you love him it can be disheartening that he can't be trusted in certain situations without turning violent. I understand that you already have Shep on Prozac twice daily. This is the appropriate and maximal dosage for his weight and it typically takes 2-4 weeks of continuous use to make a judgement on whether this medication is effective or not. However, there are other medications that can be tried including:

1) Zylkene - this is a medication that is very popular in Canada and the U.K. It is a calming medication labeled for the following uses:

Behavior modification
Inappropriate elimination behavior
Separation anxiety
Stress disorders

I have found this medication online only and some of my veterinary associates that have used it seem to like its results. It apparently is a more natural medication used and doesn't any known drug interactions. It is labeled to best be used along with behavioral modification training.

2) Clomicalm (Clomipramine)- this is another antia-anxiety medication similar to Prozac but it is a tricyclic antidepressant drugs that may be useful for dominance aggression and anxiety (separation).

As I mentioned earlier, these medications work best when used along with behavioral modification training and this is best achieved by consulting with a certified behaviorist. Here is a website to see if one is hopefully available in your area:

If you can't find one in your animal then working with a highly recommended pet trainer, ask your vet for references, is the next best option.

Also another alternative to the Zylkene tablets would be trying the Adaptil Collar. This may be available in local pet stores and is a more natural approach to curbing behavior. I wouldn't recommend using it alone, but in conjunction with the Prozac.

Is there anything else I can help you with or any questions about my recommendations so far?

- Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 7 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Shep. How is everything going?

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