That said, this weekend, when we tried out clonidine as our new short-acting "event" drug, I realized that I sort of prefer a crazy dog over a more mild-mannered one.
Ahhh, that's much better.
Maisy has had some mixed responses to medication. Paroxetine has been a wonder-drug for her, but her experience with trazodone was awful. So, I was nervous when I gave her half of a 0.1 mg tab of clonidine last Saturday. I shouldn't have been- I didn't really see much of a difference in her demeanor.
Still, it was a pretty low-key day to go with a pretty low dose, so the next day we tried a full one. We also happened to be going to a BBQ with dog-friends, and they all commented that Maisy seemed more subdued than usual. She wasn't lethargic, they said, just a bit slower.
I should have been thrilled. I've been saying for years that I want a quieter dog, but to be honest, it wasn't quite as awesome as I'd hoped. I missed Maisy's flitting about, her obnoxious begging, and her quirky antics. While the paroxetine seems to filter out the "static," the clonidine just turns the volume down entirely.
When I shared that with Dr. Duxbury, she replied that she understood completely. While she felt the response was favorable, she recommended only using it for high-anxiety situations. I can use it up to twice a day, but if I need to use it for several days in a row, it's best to taper it off. For example, at the end of the month, Maisy will be staying at a boarding kennel for four days. Once I return, I will give her half doses twice a day for two to three days, and then once a day for a few more days after that. I foresee a very boring week...
While the medication will be helpful for situations like boarding or emergency vet visits, I know I won't be using it regularly, nor for things like trials. I just don't like the quiet Maisy. I'd much rather have my enthusiastic, outgoing, crazy dog. So, be careful what you wish for, guys- you might find that you've been wrong!