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I started our dog on Clomicalm last week. Just wondering from others who have used it, how long until I begin to see a drop in his anxiety level?

Background: this is a 7 lb. chihuahua/rat terrier mix stray who has been with us now for two years. He was about a year old when he showed up and would NOT leave. (We found a new home for him but because we could not catch him, he's still here.) When he first came, we couldn't get within 20 feet of him (literally). Now, he let's us pet him and play with him but he is almost impossible to catch in order to pick up, say to put Frontline drops on him or to get him to the vet for shots. I have to give him a tranquilizer for vet visits just so I can catch him. He is a really sweet little dog with a lot of personality but SO VERY hyper. He is in a large fenced back yard and when one of us walks outside, he begins spinning non stop and just basically goes crazy. I've never seen anything like it. I know it's an anxiety issue. After a few minutes he calms down enough to pet him. But don't even think about picking him up. He bolts every time. I try to work with him every day, especially by playing fetch with him so he can burn off that extra energy. He is not scared of loud noises of any kind or even thunderstorms. He is just so anxious and skittish and very hand-shy. I'm hoping the Clomicalm will bring his anxiety down a level or two so I can at least do some clicker training with him. I'm convinced he has doggie ADHD - seriously! I just wish I could make him understand how much I love him and would NEVER hurt him. I'm convinced he was never socialized as a puppy. He was either a puppy mill dog or was just in the wild before he found us.
 

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I was told with my Boxer mix, it would take about a month to kick in. I never really felt like it kicked in. Your vet should have spoken to you about it...

If Clomicalm doesn't work (it never did with my boxer mix) I recommend adding Rescue Remedy to the dogs water (2 or 3 drop for a dog that small). It worked wonders for my boxer and in only a matter of a few days did you see an improvement.
 

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I had Pebs on it in from November/December-Mid March. As my vet explained it to me, you can't rely on the medicine to "cure" the SA. It is just a tool used to 'calm' their minds so what you are training them sinks in better and they can learn to deal with their emotions by themselves. My vet's goal when we started was to have her on the full dose no more than three months. The whole process for us was about a 3 1/2 months from start to finish. Months 1-2 were the full dose of chlomicalm, 3 weeks of half dose every day, and 3 weeks of half dose every other day until she was weaned off it. In the mean time I had to work really hard on desensitizing her to "leaving" rituals, following me from room to room, and a whole list of other stuff.

As far as seeing results, I had been working on all the training before I started her on the chlomicalm so I think I saw results a little faster than typically are seen with the drug therapy & behavior modification. Since she already knew what I was asking her to do, the medicine just allowed her to process those thoughts/ideas better. I noticed some minor improvements in week 1-2 and by week 3, I owned a completely different dog!

Some great resources on SA...
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_separation_anxiety.html

A really GREAT article on the training that should accompany the clomicalm...
http://www.usask.ca/wcvm/herdmed/applied-ethology/behaviourproblems/anxiety.html

After reading your post again, I don't really think your dealing with SA. To me at least the dog isn't really attached to you, he just has a heightened sense of anxiety/fear. I'm not really sure if the chlomicalm will work in this situation or not. Also, I wouldn't be to set in the idea that the rescue remedy will work. It really is for trauma/shock situations. Like getting hit by a car/major injury. I was told by CNC (certified nutrition counselor) that long term use will also lessen the affects of the essences. I tried it with Pebs and saw no improvement.

A good article on fearful/anxious dogs...
http://www.la-spca.org/education/dogs/fearful_dogs.htm

Another thing you may want to try is DAP (dog appeasing pheromones).
http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/behavior/a/dogbehaviorprob.htm

Hope I helped some. Just keep in mind you have a long road ahead and that the SA will NEVER be CURED, only managed! Pebs is doing wonderful and can be kept alone for an extended period of time. But if I do something (such as forget to turn the TV or a light off when I leave) it will educe her panic mode (I may come home to an accident or a shredded toy, or the garbage ripped up) and I have to work extra hard on reinforcing the training we set for the next few days to get her back to normal.
 

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I don't believe it's SA either. Other than the hyperactivity and nervousness, we have no problems with him. He never destroys anything and when he barks, it's usually because there's good reason such as other barking dogs or he thinks he hears a strange animal or person in the neighborhood. I know there's no cure for his anxiety, but managment of some sort would be great, especially when it comes time for his annual vet visit. I'm going to read the articles linked above. I tried to start using the NILIF method with him last night. I'm not sure if I'm getting anywhere with that or not. I'm assuming it will take some time. I try to work with him every day. He really is a sweet little dog with a big personality! At the very least, he's in a nice safe home where he is loved and cared for. That's more than he ever had before he found us!
 
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