Rock Bottom

Well the Toller has not been doing so great recently with life.  We were on a roll there, having reached a 2 month streak of panic free car rides and less anxiety in general at work and out and about. It crashed a bit in April and then became kinda better in May.  And now we've crashed again.  This time all the way back to the bottom.  Car rides have trembling and panting so hard it's like he's going to have a heart attack.  Doesn't look much difference than 2011 did.  And we're about 100% of the rides now being in a panic.


More of a freak at work.  Whining at being left.  Getting easily worked up and frantic. Continuing stress at the obedience club with doing some whining in his crate and crazily frantic when let out of his crate.  Even being panting and having this neurotic energy at home.  It's almost like if he's not sleeping he's neurotic.  

I increased his Sertraline to 1.5 pills in the morning last week.  Will see if it helps.  Other option is putting Vito back on Clorazepate and spending way too much money.  But I don't know if that would help anymore either as when we weaned him off it over several months I noticed almost no difference in his behavior.  It did seem to help him on our car ride to Rochester this past weekend.  Although it also seemed to sedate him.

I alternate being wanting so badly to strangle him and slap him out of his panic attacks and wanting to burst into tears as I can't imagine what it's like to be so worked up you tremble uncontrollably.  And I think how he's having at least 2 panic attacks a day right now if not more most days.

And before you comment I'm going to stop you and warn you that if you are thinking about asking if I've tried this supplement or that plant or something I'm going to feel like reaching through the screen and punching you.  Please hold back your helpful suggestion.

Christine  – ( July 2, 2015 at 7:50 AM )  

I read your blog a lot and enjoy it, but I don't think I have ever commented. Anyway, I can sense your frustration about Vito and it really sounds like you have done everything possible to help him. I have two dogs and one of them, Piper, has pretty bad general anxiety. Her main trigger is the oven (it's linked to the smoke detector going off periodically during cooking). Last night I cooked dinner and she had a panic attack that looks exactly like Vito in this video. I feel the same way - part of me wants to flip on her and the other part cries inside because I can't imagine how awful it must be to live with such anxiety. We do the best we can for our dogs and that's all we can do.

Valerie  – ( July 2, 2015 at 10:30 AM )  

Hi, Laura. I've been reading your blog for a while now, but like Christine, I also have never commented. You are clearly a very talented trainer who cares deeply for her dogs. You have such a natural way about you when you work with them. It must be so difficult having a dog who struggles so much even when you have probably done everything right. Your ambivalence between frustration and sadness is understandable as well. I don't have any advice for you (and I don't think you want or need any advice), but I just want you to know that I feel for you and Vito. And I think it's really valuable that you are open and honest with Vito's challenges, as I know there are many doggies out there who are anxious by nature.

Laura and The Corgi, Toller, & Duck  – ( July 3, 2015 at 12:18 PM )  

Thank you guys for your support! It's so frustrating, and so sad, that life is hard for Vito.

Riley and Stella  – ( July 3, 2015 at 3:51 PM )  

Hugs. You must be so frustrated. Hopefully you can work something out to help him.

achieve1dream  – ( July 4, 2015 at 9:08 PM )  

I'm so sorry. I'm so sad because he was doing so well!! Do you think maybe the dose of meds for the trip has him all messed up? Or maybe that was before you weaned him off of it completely. I'm not sure on the timeline with everything. I wish there was some way to help him. I've had panic attacks (very infrequently) and I can't even imagine what it must be like to have them daily. It makes me want to cry seeing him like that. Give him a hug for us please. I hope he evens back out soon. Fingers crossed this is a temporary blip.

Danielle D  – ( July 7, 2015 at 9:01 AM )  

I am just so , so sorry :( You are doing it all for Vito, he is so lucky to have you. Dog anxiety is so unbelievably frustrating, I just want to scream at Molly when she is panicking in the car...because I can't understand WHY or WHY sometimes she is fine and others she is not.

Thinking of you and Vito <3

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