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He has severe separation anxiety and becomes destructive. I…

He has severe separation...

He has severe separation anxiety and becomes destructive. I am considering giving him melatonin today because I have to be gone for a few hours. I am trying to make sure it won't hurt him. He is a 40 lb Portuguese Water Dog named River.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the dog's name?

River

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about River?

He's male, not neutered and weighs 40 pounds.

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,217
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
Verified

Hello,

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about River and melatonin. To start with, I want to let you know that it is safe to use melatonin in an otherwise healthy dog on no medications. Dogs can handle melatonin exactly the same was as people do, and it's very safe.

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I also want to let you know there are more options available for treating separation anxiety. I understand how serious a problem it can be.

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Unfortunately, not all vets are experienced, knowledgeable, or - quite frankly - patient enough to deal with this issue, and so they may dismiss your concerns. I apologize for that.

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There are two medications that are FDA-approved for treating canine separation anxiety: clomipramine and fluoxetine. This won't help you for today, unfortunately, but it can be something you can pursue in the future. It's possible that taking a daily medication like clomipramine or fluoxetine could provide some relief for you and River.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have seen products in the pet stores and online. I have no yardstick to guide me. I take melatonin for sleep and it helps. So I thought it might help river calm down during the rare occasions when he is alone. Is there something better i could try?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you. I'll look into that.

Melatonin is good to try for today. The prescription drugs all take weeks to get up and running, and you have to give them at least a couple of months before you can even determine if they will help your pet.

You can also try the over-the-counter herbal product called Rescue Remedy.

No matter what you use, it's also necessary to use training techniques for this problem as well.

Some pet owners will also choose to work with a veterinary behaviorist for the ongoing support necessary to address a severe problem like this.

Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,217
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
Verified
Dr. Jo and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you.

I'm so glad I could help. Thank you for using our website.

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Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Jo
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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,217
3,217 Satisfied Customers
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.

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