- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Anybody Experienced With Highly Anxious/Fearful Dogs on Clomicalm?

March 1st, 2007, 05:46 PM
Lucky's been on Clomicalm for almost 4 months now for severe anxiety/fear (he comes from an abusive background). With desensitizing and reconditioning exercises, he has improved a great deal since we brought him home. However, it seems as if he's been digressing the past two weeks :sad: . On our walks, cars, people, and loud noises cause him to panic as they did when we first got him and absolutely nothing that has worked in the past to calm him is working now :confused: . In the last couple of days, when my husband or I call him to us, he gets skittish and runs to his crate. Although it's been a few months since he's been comfortable in the kitchen, he's now once again afraid to enter it. I feel as if we're starting all over again and I just feel so awful for him. I've left a message for our veterinary behaviorist but I was wondering if anyone else has had this experience with their dogs? Is it normal for them to go backwards again?

March 1st, 2007, 08:09 PM
I only used this product when there was thunderstorm and never could give it to the dogs in time. Maybe something scared him ? Poor doggy :sad:

March 1st, 2007, 08:40 PM
I only used this product when there was thunderstorm and never could give it to the dogs in time.

I'm not too sure if it's the same medication. The Clomicalm, clomipramine hydrochloride, is an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant which wouldn't work if administered occasionally. We give 40mg in the morning and again in the evening every day. We did notice some positive changes within 3 weeks of starting the meds but he seems to be slipping back lately. The only way I can explain it is that he's in a constant state of anxiety; sometimes it's worse than others. I was just wondering if this was temporary...

Do your dogs still fear thunderstorms?

March 1st, 2007, 08:50 PM
I always gets this med mixed up with another one, mine is a natural remedy I got at my vet,don't have anymore cuz it just didn't work for my dogs. Yes they do still fear thunder. I tried everything, singing, dancing (to let them know there's nothing to worry about) put a blancket on them (read somewhere they sense the vibration from the thunder and a blancket would help) poor dogs.

March 1st, 2007, 09:11 PM
Yes they do still fear thunder. I tried everything, singing, dancing (to let them know there's nothing to worry about)

:laughing: Thank you, I needed that (I was feeling a little discouraged). I just pictured you singing at the top of your lungs doing the chicken dance or something in front of your quivering dogs.

I read somewhere that some dogs with thunderstorm phobias hide in bathtubs and/or beside toilet bowls...something to do with electrical grounding? What do your dogs do? We haven't experienced a storm with Lucky yet. I have to admit, it's really not something I'm looking forward to.

March 1st, 2007, 09:42 PM
Thank dog I don't have any neighbors! They don't hide, they try to get in my pants ! They get real close to me. They shake (Bailey does) and drool. I always play music but then you loose power :yell: We always get thunder here when it's too humid but no rain :shrug: It's about 30 minutes from your place, and BTW, I actually work in Brossard.

March 1st, 2007, 09:43 PM
electrical grounding

That's exactly why they say covering them with a blanket helps. But it doesn't work for my guys :yell:

March 1st, 2007, 09:47 PM
Thank dog I don't have any neighbors! They don't hide, they try to get in my pants !

While you're dancing??? :laughing:

By the way, how's Nellie doing?

March 1st, 2007, 10:11 PM
She's doing great, having ups and downs with the housetraining. She know hates it when I leave her in her room when I leave for work, it breaks my heart. Sometimes she has no accidents all day, and I get her out every hour when I get home, but she will still have accidents,sometimes. Other than that, she's perfect, walks well on leash, without any training. Loves the cat ! Loves to cudle, would get into my pants if she could. Favorite position ; on her back for a belly scratch,she's a great dog!

March 1st, 2007, 10:22 PM
I'm so happy to hear that she's doing well. Housetraining can take a while for some dogs; keep up the good work.

March 2nd, 2007, 08:16 PM
I tried Clomicalm with Chloe but it really didn't do much for her. She eventually overcame her anxiety about being left alone at home although it took a long time. She would do well for a while and then all of a sudden have trouble being left again. She is still very anxious but better than she was. Have you tried Rescue Remedy? It is a natural remedy and works well for some dogs. You can buy it at the store beside Toys R U on Taschereau. I think it is called Tau.
If I remember Clomicalm is suppose to be a short term solution and used along with behavior modification.

March 2nd, 2007, 08:50 PM
We tried the Rescue Remedy the 1st month and a 1/2 we had him but there was no change at all. We do plenty of behavior modification with him and the results have been positive so far. It's just the last couple of weeks he's been having a hard time again. Today wasn't too bad though, he wasn't as jumpy as yesterday. Hopefully this will pass soon.

March 3rd, 2007, 05:02 PM
I tried with Maya after a year of very little progress, instead it just made her weirder, like suddenly being afraid to come into the house or walking up to Sunny treating to take a treat from him while he is growling and snapping at her. So I took her off and we are doing au natural like I did with Callie

Maya and Callie were both spooks it is a genetic condition that causes severe panic attacks, has nothing to do with abuse, they have pedigree info that goes back to the late 1700's some greyhound gnealogy experts have traced back some of the common ancestors who were also spooks and when a couple family lines cross the odd spook will result, some like Callie have a enough dominance and desire to run that they are able to function as racers, and others like Maya the fears are too deep and or they are too submissive that they are unable to focus on anything other than their fears.

I found with working with them is that you have to be very aware of their stress levels when introducing them to things that are scary for them. To get them used to things that are scary it has to be done slowly just to where they are a tad stressed and keep introducing to that point till the find it not so scary then push again to just a tad stressed again.

But if they become too stressed when introducing them to new things to the point they become panicked, you have pushed too hard and the dog will revert or at least stepping back stages, and your stuck starting all over again though usually the process of getting them back to where they were will be shorter.

Callie was not as bad as Maya, I did have her comfortable with me touching her after about 4 months, Maya was only starting to approach me if I was laying on the floor very quitely without moving, it is 3 year later and I still have to be very aware of how I approach her to prevent her from bolting. Callie I took to a meet and greet at about 12 months post adoption she had handle a few smaller ones okay but I was not expecting the crowds there and it proved to be a real disaster that set her back for 4 months but once she got over it she really accelerated in her progress around people and just before she passed away due to cancer overcame her fear of children.

Callie I was able to introduce to more things at a faster pace, so could take her out for walks and go places with care observing her stress levels, With Maya she needed a lot more work getting used to the other pets in the household, myself , being in the house and in the yard , to her everything in life was scary though I tried walks with her I realized she simply had too many new things on her plate to digest and get used to, so cut out the walks and focus on just getting her in an out of the house for potty breaks and getting used to me ging in and out of the room she would hide out in ad allowing her to get used to the other animals in the house, even that was a lot for her to digest and took over a year just to become somewhat comfortable, this past year an introduction of a puppy has helped with outdoor confidence as she has found playing with the pup fun so it is taking away from her concentrating on every noise and person wandering by in the neighborhood which is now making her realize they are not that big a deals, which is now helping her progress more, this spring I will try to reintroduce regular walks again , hopefully this time she won't getting all bent out shape from the worry of the upcoming walk, right now it is just once in a while so as not to make a routine that she will work herself into a panic worrying about

There is a learning stage of reading the dog to know how much stress they can handle and there is a bit of breathing room if you mess up a bit, I found the little setbacks usually are not too bad they can bounce back okay and end up a little stronger emotionally from. When out on walks I do not allow strangers to handle them until the dog gets to a stage where it is comfortable standing near a stranger, you want your dog to learn that when with you out and about that they can trust you not to let scary things happen to them at least not until they are ready, so you must be seen as their protector from evil and that you will not allow bad things to happen them, as they become comfortable and trust you they will then be able to handle a touch from a stranger knowing you will not allow anyone to hurt them or put them in danger, so you need to work in baby steps introducing them to things

It is important to work in babysteps without flooding the dog with too many scary things, your attitude toward things they may be fearful of is important if you are trying to reassure the dog you are telling them there is a reason to be scared so you have show an attitude that expresses there is nothing to fear.

So your question as to whether it is normal, the answer is yes, and it will teach you in time how far to push introducing to new or scary things so as to learn to read your dogs stress levels better, things do get better over time the backward steps will not go as far back, and later recovery from will get faster and then they will occur less frequently. It is not easy being an owner of a really fearful dog and requires a lot of patience but the rewards of watching them overcome hurdles can bring as much joy as watching a baby take their first steps, and in time you will see you have a dog that has as much exhuberance for life as it's fear their emotions are much more heightened, I am now reaping the rewards with Maya after the long long period of trying to get her trust, last night when I went to bed she came in a curled up beside me and laid on my chest and became silly and loving and playful making gurgling noises, and was making love bites in the air tipping her head back to bop me in the face gently and then wiggling her chin into my neck showing great affection she then fell asleep with her head tucked in against my neck, if I find the bond that develops is stronger than with other dogs because you really do have to work a lot harder earning their trust and learning to read them to understand how they are feeling at the time, playtime and massage are great tools to help with gaining trust. With a shy dog to play at first You probably will have to do some running in the yards but start with running away from them letting them chase you, one they are comfortable chasing you start making half turns toward them as though to chase them but then run away, later incorporate a couple steps toward them before running away, by doing this as a game it becomes less intimiditing the action of going toward them and helps let their guard down, after a while you slow be able to work up chasing them before running away