It's been 7 months since Vito first went to the university for his behaviorist appointment. Some things have changed since then, but most have not.
Vito's reactivity to people has remained the same, and has possibly increased. He still does well in crowds, but will react to people when startled or if somebody says "hi" to me or someone near by. Vito is hard to snap out of his reactive barking, especially if we can't walk it off; but if allowed to approach or be approached he does well. This happens maybe 3 times a week at work, but is a low percentage of the number of times the situation would present itself to react. In other situations he is actually more likely to react to someone he knows well (family, friends) or someone he thinks might look like someone he knows.
In some ways Vito has been doing better in social settings. He was MUCH more relaxed at the last puppy raiser party when at past events he gets over excited by the presence of dogs and people (in a non dog show atmosphere, he knows the difference!). At this last event he remained calm until he thought dogs were playing out in the yard; despite the fact that he does not enjoy playing with silly teenage labs. At people's houses he can be a nut case on arrival but is capable of relaxing if no toys are present.
At work Vito is doing better. He isn't whining most days when left in my cubicle (as I'm out working with other dogs) but will lie down now at the baby gate looking out. Not fully relaxed, but at least better. When I am in the cubicle he still has some bad days where he will do some panting and staring out, but often he will go under my desk and actually sleep- until he notices I leave. Usually he only gets anxious when it approaches noon and thus the time to get CRAZY excited about going out with the pack of dogs he does not particularly enjoy. After his second dose of Clonidine in the afternoon he calms down even more.
As we discussed the above issues at his appointment we touched on the following points:
1. Switching drugs. We were going to try Trazedone until she remembered how high his Prozac dose is and would have to lower it to 20mg. If other drugs don't help, we may have to go that route. But we are going to try him on Diazepam (Valium!), starting at 5mg alongside his current dose of Clonidine. Vito has previously tried Alprazolam (Xanax) from the same drug family and I did not like him on it. But hopefully combining Clonidine with Diazepam can keep the dosage low enough that I won't see a flat Vito return.
2. Vito pants a lot at home, even during the winter months. But looking at some of the video where he doesn't seem stressed in any other way, it's possible he's just a sweaty guy. Lovely.
3. His reactivity will be very hard to get rid of as it isn't consistent enough and it isn't just anxiety driven.
4. Agility trials. So she didn't say this, but it was easy to see the confusion on her face when I started talking about Vito's speed/drive issues in agility trials. Basically if he's not showing other obvious signs of stress or anxiety when competing then so what?