If anyone has used Clomicalm to treat separation anxiety could you share your experience? I'm curious to hear how long it takes to see an effect and how soon the dog can then be weaned from the medication. Thanks.
We tried it with Buckley after he chewed up our front hall and absolutely could not tolerate his kennel. We started out a low dose of 1 a day then upped it to two after a few weeks. We did not experience any improvement with it at either dose, and there were no appreciable side effects.
That is not to say it does not work, it just didn't work for us. I think a lot of Buckley's issues had to do with being a rescue, and once he had been with us for 7 months he settled down considerably (also he improved after I was home for 8 weeks straight after surgery and then had a gradual return to work). That seemed to help a lot.
I know how frustrating it can be when you don't know what more to do. We wanted to try behaviour modification, but you really have to be home for a long period of time to do that and we just couldn't accommodate it.
I look forward to hearing other opinions about this drug. I know cheerio said she had good results from a homeopathic medication called Rescue Remedy when used in conjunction with some beh. mod techniques. I hope you find a solution that you and your puppy can be happy with /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
Katie- Thanks for the feedback. Interesting that Buckley calmed down after you spent more time with him at home- sometimes that makes a SA dog more clingy.
Virginia is also a rescue who has persistent SA, but at this point it is limited to barking and getting herself worked up and upset. She does no destructive chewing and doesn't soil in the house, so she has the run of the house. We have grappled with the problem for 3 years now, and we're determined to help her through it. In the past we had a behaviorist come in and give recommendations
We tried crating her (she HATED it) and behavior mod (randomly picking up keys, putting on coats, going out for increasingly longer times)- no dice. We tried Rescue Remedy (didn't touch her anxiety) and Bow-Wow Botanicals' anti-anxiety bones (w/natural herbs)- nada. So, we've finally (kicking and screaming as last resort) turned to Clomicalm. (I hate hate hate that we have her on it, but we promised her we'd get her through this and it breaks my heart to see her stressed out).
For 5 weeks we gave her 1/2 a pill (40 mg) in the morning and 1/2 a pill at night in her meals- and saw very little change if any. So, we went back to the vet last Friday, and he changed it to 1 pill in the am and 1/2 pill at night. Wow. I can leave and come back and she barely notices- however, she barely MOVES unless I wake her for training or to go out- which is a little freaky and a bit too sedated for my liking. So, somewhere in between being totally crazy/stressed and not moving I think I'm finding a happy medium. I've cut back her a.m. dose to 3/4 and she's a little more animated today. We are going to try like crazy to step up the behavior mod to take advantage of her calm and wean her off the meds asap (especially concentrating on keeping leaving and coming home very low-key). But, I am really encouraged to see a change for the better. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
Isn't it funny how differently dogs can react to the same medication? At the end of our attempt with this med, Buckley was on 2 pills a day with no sedative side effects at all!! At least you are seeing a difference...perhaps if you wean her gradually she will begin to get used to the idea of you leaving and not being anxious about it and eventually you won't need the meds anymore.
I know we were at the end of our rope with Buckley by the time he'd been with us a month. The destruction he caused in that time was pretty bad and we were worried he would harm himself in the process. We did have some very low moments where we wondered if we had made a terrible mistake in adopting him with both of us working.
Then we had to crate him and he was so horribly miserable that we felt guilty every minute we were away.
I think what worked with my being home was that he really settled in finally (this was six months after his adoption) and with my very gradual return to work (1/2 days for 4 weeks, then 6 hour days, then 8 where I worked early shift, then back to my regular 9 to 5:30) he was able to get used to our routine again. As long as we stick to the go to work, come home on time routine he is happy.
I am just so grateful that he can be left alone without wreaking too much havoc and that he can sleep comfortably on the couch rather than cower in his crate. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
Keep us posted on your progress - I am very interested to know how you do!!
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