Sunday, September 29, 2013

Firing on All Cylinders

When our behaviorist suggested that we make the switch from Clomicalm to Prozac, we had the option of doing a slow wean or a fast wean.  Not knowing what the medication was doing for Abby, we had opted for the slow wean since we felt we had time to transition her onto the Prozac.  We began on September 5th, and within a week had already noticed some slight changes in Abby's every day demeanor.  Don't get me wrong, she still is the sweetest girl in the world.  But her ability to live with change in an ever-changing world had obviously been compromised.  

About a week into the decrease my husband had worked from home and found that Abby had been nuisance barking a bit more at things every day.  I suppose on some level I wasn't surprised as we had noticed something similar when we tried to decrease the Clomicalm once before under the advice/judgment of our previous veterinarian.  The second week while working from home he noticed even more barking in combination with an inability to settle down.  My realizations that things were changing were a bit slower in coming, particularly since we had avoided most of the world during our walks. 

Then I had several walks in a row with Abby that made me realize just how much had changed for her with just a 5mg decrease twice daily.  Abby has always been one to notice other dogs, and during the worst of her fear reactivity would seem to react to most dogs.  However, she is now reacting to every dog.  And by reacting I mean that she is pulling, bouncing, barking, growling, panting, etc.  If before she could tolerate a dog from 150 yards away, she now would be panting at the same dog from 200 yards away.  And it wasn't just dogs.  She was reactive towards people walking past, joggers, people on bicycles, and inevitably even cars.  Sounds that my husband would make from the other room in the house, or me from the kitchen, immediately caused her hackles to raise and for her to bolt from her bed in a full Hound howl.  It is clear that the Clomicalm does quite a bit for Abby so that she can be calm in her world.  

So we are now in the fast wean process, and I'm noticing a bit more barking today as she is home with me.  She is able to enjoy some quiet nap time, but periodically will hear something that I don't hear and have difficulty not barking at it.  Though I queue her to "leave it" there are times where there are quieter barks here and there.  So presently we're on 5mg of Clomicalm twice daily until 10/3/13 and then we'll decrease to 5mg once daily for a week.  She'll then be off the Clomicalm for 3 days before beginning the Prozac.  

Everyone cross your fingers that the next few weeks fly by for her and that it goes relatively smoothly.

No comments:

Post a Comment