Friday, March 14, 2014

Napi Joins the Cool Dogs

All the cool dogs take drugs. And now Napi is one of the cool dogs.

I took Napi to the vet today to discuss the possibility of behavioral medication for his extreme fear. First, I'm just gonna say it: I love my vet clinic. I chose Lake Harriet Vet in Minneapolis because I liked their mix of holistic and western medicine. I was thrilled to find out that across the board, their staff are really good at handling dogs with special needs. Today was no exception.

I called when I arrived to let the staff know that we needed to go straight into a room. They were more than willing to do this for us. We were a bit early, so we waited about 10 minutes before the tech came in. Napi was quite reactive during this time; he barked every time he heard a noise or someone walked past the door and refused to eat any of the yummy foods I'd brought with.

Here's a video of Napi before the tech came in. I did edit it lightly to remove stuff when he was off camera. He did start eating just at the end of the video; most of that is off camera, of course!

Napi finally started eating just before the tech came in. Naturally, her presence freaked him out a bit, so he stopped eating and started barking. She very wisely completely ignored him, and he quieted within a few minutes and was willing to eat peanut butter again.

When the vet came in, Napi had decided that peanut butter is better than barking, and he just made a little wuff and went back to the food. Yay! He did bark once in awhile during the exam, but overall, was very good. This gives me a lot of hope for his future progress.

For her part, the vet didn't push Napi for the sake of the exam; instead we agreed to try 5mg of fluoxetine daily, with the possibility of moving up to 10mg daily if needed. The vet also suggested a situational med - trazodone, up to 25mg every 12-24 hours - and I was thrilled that she suggested both the as-needed med and that it wasn't ace.

So. Fingers crossed this is the right med for Napi! I am super excited to see how much progress he can make between meds and training.


Chris and Mike said...

Good luck with your newest project - Napi (and your fiance) are very fortunate to have you! The video is ample proof that he's wa-a-ay over threshold in novel situations. So great that you know that meds will help Napi be able to respond to behavioral modification work, and that you have the experience and knowledge (and patience) to help him get through his fears. Looking forward to seeing good changes over the next many months. And belated congratulations!

Sere said...

Good for you for looking at options. One of my dogs developed severe separation anxiety when she got older and my sister was literally a prisoner in her home for months while trying to work on it. She ended up giving the pup some Clomicom and it certainly did help while working on the behaviour. Best of luck!!