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Old August 19th, 2008, 06:49 PM
coppperbelle's Avatar
coppperbelle coppperbelle is offline
Owned by goldens
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,806
Separation Anxiety - at my wits end

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.
Goldens are like potato chips, you can never have just one.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 11:50 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
Doggie Wench
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: St. Philippe-de-Laprairie, Qc
Posts: 11,812
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.
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." -Will Durant
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Old August 20th, 2008, 11:40 AM
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Frenchy Frenchy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Quebec
Posts: 30,227
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.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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mollywog mollywog is offline
Molly's mama
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NW Ont
Posts: 1,340
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
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
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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jessi76 jessi76 is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: U.S.
Posts: 2,510
Is doggy daycare an option in your area? near your home or near your work?
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Old August 20th, 2008, 02:22 PM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 6,667
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.
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