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Elderly Dog with Separation Anxiety ~ I'm desperate for help.

1253 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Thracian

I am new here and desperate for some help/advice. I have a poodle mix who is a minimum of 15 years old. When we got him the vet thought he was about 1 year old and I've had him for 14 years so he could be older. Anyway, he is hard of hearing and can't see well anymore. He's covered in Lipoma's. For years he had the run of the house when we'd leave, but in the last year he started destroying things. It got so bad he was scratching exterior and cabinet doors beyond repair. (We do have another house dog and 2 cats, but that doesn't pacify him.) We finally started crating him when we'd leave so he couldn't destroy things. Now he's started trying to scratch and chew his way out of the kennel and even broke off 2 teeth. He also is not eating as well. I have to keep trying to redirect him back to his dish to eat. He's just not much interested in it.

Years ago a vet recommended giving him Benadryl for long car rides to settle him down, so two weeks ago I began giving him Benadryl again to try and calm him while I was gone. I was told to give him 15 mg. years ago, but that did nothing for him now. I have slowly gone up to 50 mg.and it does absolutely nothing to him. I take 50 mg at night and it knocks me on my butt. So today I called my vet to talk to them about doggie Prozac. I am told it does not always work for every dog and that if the Benadryl is doing nothing to him, the anxiety may be so high that the other meds will do nothing either. Also, the vet says Oliver will have to be checked every 6 months and that the office visit/blood tests will be $200.00 each 6 months plus $30.00 per month for the meds. Cost is not that much of a problem except that it seems like a lot of unnecessary tests for a dog that is already 15 years old. I also talked to them about putting him to sleep and they were saying there does come a time when it's just better to do that. I've never had to put a pet to sleep before and I just don't know what to do.

Lastly, I have developed 2 auto-immune disorders in the last 9 years and the stress this dog is causing me, (I hesitate to say he's causing it, it's not his fault, but I don't know how else to word it.) is starting to cause me further health problems. Like I told the vet today, I'll be honest and say I struggle with whether I'm thinking of putting him so sleep for his sake or for mine or both. I feel horribly guilty when I think of it. I wonder if God will hate me for "playing God". I cry when I think of putting him to sleep and am massively stressed if I don't. I don't know what to do. Sorry this has gotten so long. I just wanted you all to know the entire situation so you could better offer advice. Any help you could give would be appreciated. Thank you.

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I adopted my dog from a local shelter and he suffers from SA as well. Prozac can take up to 8 weeks to take effect. Rufus has been on it for four and I'm not sure that I see results yet. He is also on Xanax to reduce his anxiety immediately after we leave, but that doesn't seem to be terribly effective either.

Maybe the crate is exacerbating the anxiety? We're experimenting with leaving Rufus in a larger space, although I understand that the dog's destruction is a problem. Is there a bathroom he could be left in?

Good luck, and I understand EXACTLY what you are going through. Let us know how things work out.
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