Vito meds update- 11wks

It's been 11 wks today that Vito has been on Fluoxetine (prozac).  I'm really not sure where I left off in my updates so I'll briefly summarize.

At 6wks it seemed to be kicking in.  Vito slept for the first time EVER when left alone!  He actually did a few times that week.  He wasn't any more relaxed when at work, but at least was doing great when left at home for 20min departures and even 1hr 45min.

Then that weekend was a CDSP/APDT trial and Vito was just flat. There wasn't much life in his eyes and he wouldn't even be his crazy self with a toy.  He also wasn't really eating. 

After  8wks, around Easter, he started to seem more like his normal self.  He's still wasn't as drivey  as he used to be but at least he got excited for a toy and would play with me for short times.  Vito also wasn''t yet eating much so I'm not sure if his lower energy is due to not having any food in him!  Most departures are at 45min and while Vito isn't sleeping anymore he is at least wasn't looking anxious.

At work he was stressed.  He developed a major aversion to going into the crate at work (where he can see me and watch me work) or at the obedience club (where he can again see me).  Tried to avoid it at all costs until he reluctantly comes close and starts shaking.  I switched to a gigantic dog bed at work but he still shaked when tethered.

I quit giving him the Alprazolam (Xanax) when we ran out midway on this week.  I don't think it helped him that much, at least not on 2mg in the morning.

9wks and Vito finally starts eating his breakfast on most days although dinner was about 50%.  Still avoiding his now doggy bed at work and the crates at the obedience club although no longer shaking. 

We started the week out with sleeping during an 18min departure and then ended with major whining and howling on May 7th.  On that trial he was constantly adjusting every 2 minutes although remained on the bed and lying down for most of it.  He started whining at 60min and howling at 100 minutes.  Heartbreaking to watch.  Before being left he had a very busy day full of stress (car broke down) and excitement (thus being picked up by Grandpa, then agility training). I thought he would be exhausted and would sleep the whole time, Vito had other ideas.  Apparently he's not ready to be left  on any days other than normal ones.

After 10wks (this last week) Vito is now eating 100% of his food.  We switched flavors when the bag ran out so maybe Vito will go on a hunger strike again when it's no longer new.  He seems to be getting more of his drive back so I'm hoping we're no longer seeing negative effects of the medication and instead just lingering effects from having no fuel.  I am excited to see how he does this week in class and at home.

When left at home Vito is still flopping a lot.  It doesn't look like he's anxious but he just can't relax and adjusts his position every few minutes.  Restless might be the word.  He remains lying down most of the time and even keeps his head down.  He did sleep one time last week.  Departures are between 20min-1hr 45mn still.

He is doing a bit better at work but not by much.  Not resisting going to the dog bed and lays down nicely for the 15min stretches he is chained up.  But he's not relaxed.   If I leave him in the cubicle with Lance and/or Chuck  he whines some days but  others I've spied on him NOT lying up next to the baby gate in anxious wait but underneath the desk (perhaps sleeping?),  I think he's more likely to be able to fall asleep when at the cubicle instead of tethered in my training room but he's not reliable enough to not be whining for me to really leave him there even if it's just for 15-20min stretches between checks. 

I'm not sure if we're at the point I should consider upping the dosage or not.  I'm still worried that he might be losing some of his drive and craziness I love about him.  I know that some of his intensity is due to stress such as when he gets over the top going to people's houses.  And I know that his extreme love of tennis balls and discs is almost OCD ish.  But I also want my forgy dog back instead of this one that's more prone to lagging.  And my dog who doesn't get tired  while simply playing obedience but just wants to go go go. 

Mango  – ( May 17, 2011 at 5:09 AM )  

Waiting, waiting, waiting, it must be very difficult to watch his progress and keep track and try to figure out what the next best step is. It does sound like he's been on it long enough to reach steady state, but still can't really tell if long term this is the right dose and he is still adjusting his behavior to his new brain activity.

I agree that seeing his drive diminish must be really difficult. Such painful compromises.

Mango Momma

Ninso  – ( May 17, 2011 at 9:23 AM )  

Sorry to hear it's been such a rough adjustment, Laura! I can say you've stuck it out longer than I probably would have. I hope you and your vet can figure out a good solution!

Ninso  – ( May 17, 2011 at 9:24 AM )  

Oh, and PS, Love the new header! Chuck made it in! He must be sticking around for a bit, huh?

Cynthia  – ( May 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM )  

Ugh, what a difficult time to watch and try to adjust his meds. I hope it all works out soon. :)

Muttsandaklutz  – ( May 17, 2011 at 9:09 PM )  

So sorry about the struggles you guys are going through :( Love love love that new header photo though!

Shenna Lemche AKA Project Leader  – ( May 18, 2011 at 8:50 AM )  

Well I just spent an unreasonable amount of time at work getting caught up here on Why Vito Needs Prozac- wow. Very fascinating (thanks for sharing it all), but my heart goes out to you both. Never again will I 1) complain when the puppy cries for five minutes in her kennel or 2) take for granted that I can leave the dogs for the day without a meltdown. Perspective is good.

Vito is lucky to have you for a mom though- not a lot of people have the time, brains or patience to work through that kind of training hurdle. Hope you get to the happy medium place soon.

Megan  – ( May 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM )  

I'm sorry it's not going as smoothly anymore. I can't even imagine all the work you've done up to this point and now the meds may need to be adjusted still! Thanks for the update! I hope it gets better soon!

Honey the Great Dane  – ( May 24, 2011 at 1:00 AM )  

Sorry we're late - falling behind with blogs again - but we're pleased to hear that Vito is stabilising on these new meds, evem if there isn't a huge amount of progress.

It's hard with balancing his "personality" isn't it? Shame you just can't have everything - you can't seem to get one without the other side effects!

Good luck

Hsin-Yi & HOney the Great Dane

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