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

1255 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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Here are some cheaper alternatives to Prozac:
D.A.P - http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2755194

Rescue Remedy (I had good results for this one about one dropper full in every water dish works)-

Valerian root (some of the members here have had great results with this. Not sure how much to add to this though. You can look at what you give to humans and estimate for your pup)- http://www.anxiety-and-depression-s...ative_medicine/herbs_supplements/valerian.php

I had to put my Carter down for a ton of different reasons including SA just about a year a go (give or take a week). He was 3 years old, and between him trying to kill himself, me stressing out over it (I was scared to leave the house to go to work since I knew any day I would come home to a dead dog), him trying to kill other people, and the constant worry, I ended up putting him to sleep. I felt horrible for doing it, but I knew I had tried everything for him and there was nothing more anyone else could do for him then I had done.

I'll be honest with you and myself, I do not regret putting Carter down. I loved the dog so much, but my goodness the stress I was under was making me sick constantly. We had no friends, no life, I ended up not even having food in the house because I would rush from home to work then back home to take care of the dog.

I have Nubs now and everyone who watched me on here deal with Carter knows Nubs was my reward for everything I did with Carter. He is the best dog I could have every gotten. He is everything I wanted in a dog and more.

You are the only one that can say yes it is time or no it isn't. 15 years is a good life for a dog. Maybe it is getting near to the time of letting him run over that bridge. You'll know when it is time. For me it was the day I came home and Carter had hurt himself so bad that there was blood all over my basement, and I knew I could no longer keep him safe. You just know deep inside of yourself that it is time.

No one here will look badly at you for putting your guy down if you feel it is necessary. Try one or two of the things listed first. They take a few weeks to get into the system enough to work, but it's worth it. At least then you'll feel better about it.

Good luck, and PM me if you ever need to talk.
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Lisa I'll be honest with you. Tomorrow is the 1 year mark when I ended up putting Carter down, and While I don't regret doing it, at the same time I still feel horrible for taking his life. I broke down 2 nights ago over it. It's not an easy thing to do, but the peace of mind knowing that he passed away with his mom and dad in the room and not at home in deep pain and scared to death is well worth it.

I'll keep you in my heart tomorrow. Good luck Lisa, and enjoy your last moments with him. You gave him a fantastic life that he is no longer able to enjoy. You are doing the right thing.

Take care and feel free to hang out around here and talk to us. I can't give you a real hug but *hugs* hand in there.
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