Vito on Clonidine

Vito started on Clonidine to help his car freak outs and general anxiety on November 24th.  He started on a very low dosage and I've slowly been increasing it since we aren't seeing any adverse side effects.

Initially it seemed to help him, even at the lowest dose of .1mg.  But after a few days the anxiety was creeping back.  Which each increase the Clonidine seemed to help but then backed off or fluctuated.  Some times he would be completely relaxed on a drive to a location but freak out on the way home, or reversed.  Currently we are at .25mg and initially it seemed to go the same.  Some good trips, some bad.

But the last several days have been miraculous.  These last days Vito has been given the pills twice a day since he had to come with me at work all day and then to the obedience club in the evening.  They were very long days and while he still isn't doing great at work he has done worse in the past.  But for the car rides Vito has been very calm!  His eyes even seem heavy like he wants to sleep but can't, and Vito is even eating treats in the car now.

Vito panic attacks not even a month ago:

Or one of his original melt downs here

The new calm Vito:

Vito also seems to be able to handle social situations better.  He's always done pretty well just hanging out at obedience/agility settings but can tell the difference between a trial or class type of setting and everything else.  The later makes Vito anxious.  Actually it makes Vito over excited and in turn he becomes anxious.  But lately he seems to be making small steps of progress.  Earlier this month I took Vito and other dogs to work where we were hosting pictures with Santa for the puppy raisers.  Even though it was the same building he walks in several times a week, as soon as we entered Vito knew it wasn't a normal work day and started to stress. The good news is he did not start trembling and stuck with quieter whining as opposed to much louder whines and/or screams.  He was able to look at me when I said his name and calm down within 20 minutes.  (Video here)

At an agility seminar lecture a week later (on speed, drive and motivation!) he needed to watch everyone arriving and was clearly anxious but only whined a little bit, was not over excited, and was able to lie down for most of it.  He reacted a few times to people arriving late but was quieted quickly. (Video here)


Ninso  – ( December 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM )  

That is a big difference! That was how Jun looked on Clonidine for a few hours a day. Does he seem sedated outside of the car?

Dizzy  – ( December 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM )  

Glad to hear Vito seems to be doing well with clonidine. Fingers crossed that it just gets better from here!

Mango  – ( December 23, 2011 at 4:59 PM )  

You have been so very patient. I'm not sure I would have had that in the same situation. Looks like it is finally paying off. I hope that he has found a dosage that works for him. Big hugs.

Mango Momma

browndogcbr  – ( December 23, 2011 at 5:48 PM )  

Hi Y'all,

Yes hope! What a wonderful Christmas present...a less stressed Vito.

A very merry Christmas to y'all!

Hawk aka BrownDog

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( December 23, 2011 at 8:14 PM )  

So far Vito is not acting sedated at all, even though he is certainly looking it during car rides! Actually the opposite seems to be happening. The past year and a half Vito has been sleeping a lot to the point that it has worried me but the vets have brushed it off. But the last few weeks Vito is playing a ton more. He's bringing me toys again, working for his dinner more excitedly, and just being a goof. I'd be surprised if it was the Clonidine simply because he doesn't act anxious at home and thus why would the medication help? But the timing is too much to be a coincidence.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( December 23, 2011 at 8:25 PM )  

I take back my statement, not about the more playful Vito but about the Clonidine. I just realized that Vito has not gotten any Clonidine the last two days since classes are off and I haven't had to work. Yet he's still acting way more playful. No idea what's causing this difference in him.

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