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Separation Anxiety - at my wits end

August 19th, 2008, 06:49 PM
Chloe who is 8 years old has started peeing and pooping in the house every time I go out. She leaves huge puddles in the middle of my dining room floor and the urine has seeped into the cracks of the wood floor and also the furniture. Needless to say it smells and looks awful. We want to fix the floors but don't dare until this issue is resolved.
A little history - A co-worker found Chloe 7 years ago and the vet estimated her to be about 10 months old. She stayed with my co-worker for a week and then she decided she couldn't keep her and offered her to me. Two weeks after I adopted her I had her spayed and ever since then she has been experiencing separation anxiety. We worked through the separation anxiety and all her other issues including aggression, hypothyroidism but the separation anxiety has returned. I have another dog to keep her company and I am not gone all day. Even if I leave for an hour I will come home to a mess. I ensure that she goes out and does what she has to do before I leave. I cannot confine her in a crate or room as she is also claustrophobic. If confined she paces continuously and sometimes poops or pees and then steps in it. Rescue Remedy doesn't have any effect on her and neither did Clomicalm.
I recently asked my vet about giving her something else and he suggested I contact a vet that specializes in behavior problems which I intend on doing but thought I would see if anyone else has experienced similar issues with a dog with SA. I should mention that she has also become destructive again and will destroy papers, get into the garbage etc.. when I am gone. All the things we worked through have returned with a vengeance. Nothing has changed in her life. In fact I am home more than ever because I work in a school and am off for the summer. Next week I return to work and know that I will be coming home to a mess everyday. Apart from the occasional skin infection (from swimming) she is healthy.
Any help would be appreciated.

August 19th, 2008, 11:50 PM
I can't offer too much help Coppperbelle other than to say that Apo-Amitriptyline worked much better (and quicker) for Lucky than Clomicalm.

We've consulted with Dr. Enid Stiles at Pierrefonds Animal Hospital and Dr. Diane Frank at St. Hyacinthe (they often work together as Dr. Stiles studied under Dr. Frank). They are both amazing doctors. Dr. Stiles did the initial assessment but we have our vet, Dr. Gilmore (Animal Health Clinic, NDG) follow-up. He's the one that suggested the Apo-Amitriptyline as he has a dog with SA as well and is quite experienced.

The Apo-Amitriptyline can also be bought at a regular pharmacy at a fraction of the cost of the Clomicalm as well. We paid about 16$ for a month's supply.

August 20th, 2008, 11:40 AM
Sorry about that Coppperbelle. Have you ever try to give her a peanut butter stuffed 9frozen) Kong when you leave ? But you would have to separate her from the other dog.

August 20th, 2008, 12:24 PM
Molly suffers from SA as well. Except she has never displayed symptoms of soiling in the house or crate.
We tried keeping her in a small room, since we really didn't want to leave her in her crate for hours at a time, but she managed to destroy anything she could in that room, including shredding the vertical blinds up and pulling the closet doors off :eek:
after that incident, we decided that the crate is the safest place for her, even though she doesn't really like it. She even figured out how to lift open the crate door and get out and reek havoc on the entire house, so we have had to reinforce the door with clips. Have you tried an appropriately sized crate? one that is large enough for her to stand up in but not big enough for her to want to poo/ pee in? I really think that would be the safest solution. The last thing you would want to come home to is an injured dog because she got into something she shouldn't have :shrug:

August 20th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Is doggy daycare an option in your area? near your home or near your work?

Dog Dancer
August 20th, 2008, 02:22 PM
Copperbelle I feel your pain. My girl Shadow (Akita X - 11 years old) has had SA since she was 1 year old. I was fortunate my late husband was retired and stayed with her 99% of the time and the rest of the time we had to hire a doggysitter. When my husband passed we got a second dog, and that didn't help at all. Off she went to Doggy Day Care for five years. $$$$ We tried a behaviorist, chlomicalm, vet stuff you name it. No good, she is also claustrophobic and we were never able to crate her, even before the SA stuff came up. When I moved in with my current fellow the two dogs stayed outside on the back deck (2nd story over a garage) for about 2 years and all was fine. I'd go home at lunch and see them. Then suddenly Shadow said, no more and started jumping off the roof to get out. That was no good. Back to day care. $$$$ Now for the past two years I have been fortunate enough that my boss allows me to bring her to work with me. That's a 70 lb dog sleeping under my desk. But everybody in the building loves her and she loves them. But of course it doesn't solve the issue and probably makes it worse as she is never alone now. If we go out we still hire somebody to sit with the dogs. It's so hard to deal with, but we've not found anything else that gives us solid results. We did have her for a while where we could leave her for several hours, but that melted down. Even then it was never comfortable to go out and wonder if this was the day you'd come home and fine the blinds torn down, the doors shredded apart and blood all over the house - again!! A large determined dog can do immense damage to the house and themselves. I have not tried the second drug mentioned, but at this stage we just put up with it and spend lots of $$ on dog sitters (my neighbourhood kids love it). Good luck to you. Wish I had a suggestion to help you but no such advice from me.

August 20th, 2008, 03:49 PM
Thanks for your replies. No, doggy daycare is not an option for her. She would freak out if I left her somewhere. I boarded her once for three days and when I came home she was exhausted, had spent the time barking and pacing. She had lost weight and was in terrible shape. I won't do that again.

Luckypenny, I did get the name of Dr. Frank and intend on calling her in September when I return to work and get a regular paycheque again. Maybe I will make an appointment with Dr. Gilmour first. I bring Hunter to Animal Health but I have not as yet brought Chloe there (long story). I also bring all my fosters there for spaying/neutering.

Wouldn't you know it, today I went out twice and came home to no mess. She must have read my post. :laughing:

August 20th, 2008, 07:06 PM
lol - maybe she did read it! That's great news though! Have you already tried any natural remedies (besides the standard rescue remedy)? Maybe a homeopathic vet could help?

August 20th, 2008, 09:26 PM
Over the years I have tried all kinds of things. Tonight again we went out and came home a few hours later to a clean house. Now I am sure she has been reading my posts. :rolleyes:

August 20th, 2008, 09:28 PM
Dear Shadow, since we know you are reading these now, keep up the good work you're making mommy very happy.:D