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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, today I was a big brave girl and I called my vet about Chisum's medication regimen. She initially wanted to up his trazodone again, but after some discussion we decided to bite the bullet and try the fluoxetine.

She had some concerns, mainly that he will get worse, which of course makes me nervous. However, being on an SSRI myself I do know there is a side effect window and it can be really great once you get through that window.

So, we'll see. Baby steps, I guess. I figured I would start this journal so I could keep track of what is going on in case I need to refer back to it. And of course, comments and other messages/advice is always appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Chisum's taken two doses (he takes them at night) and so far, so good. He was a little wound up this morning but that really could have been from the kittens that were outdoors - he wants to chase them, badly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm interested to hear how it affects him. I'm thinking about this medication for Delilah.
Hopefully positively! I'm on an SSRI myself and it has really helped, so I'm optimistic. But I do know about the side effect window so I'm hoping it's easy on him.

I'll make it a goal to update as much as I can :) best of luck to you and Delilah as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Weeks 1-3

Okay, so a bit of an update.

Chisum is still on 75 mg of trazodone 2x per day and 10 mg of fluoxetine 1x per day.

Symptom-wise....there really aren't many to report, thankfully. He doesn't seem too bothered by it. There are some times when he acts a little...off...for instance, he sleeps with me every night but he refused to come into my room at all last night.

He's been a little bit more grumpy and possessive when it comes to "his" things, but not drastically more than usual.

One irritating bit is that it did mess up his potty schedule for awhile but I think we're slowly getting back on track.

He's only 22 lbs so this dosage, I think, is appropriate for awhile. It's too early to tell if it will have a positive effect on his anxiety from what I know/understand about SSRIs but I will say he does seem to calm down a little easier. Very small change. But something.

I intend to keep him here at this dose until September at least and then reevaluate with the vet. I'm sure she'll be happy to hear he's not having any negative side effects, at least, since she was very wary to put him on the med in the first place due to believing he'd suddenly become aggressive. Well, he hasn't yet anyway. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Weeks 4-6

I say I'm terrible at updates, but really there's not too much to update.

I've noticed that he can recover a bit quicker from triggers, but he still has multiple triggers. We're going to work on that. He may also be reacting a little more slowly, but it's not consistent.

My vet suggested adding Zylkene so I'm going to do that and see how it goes before upping the Flouxetine, if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Weeks 7-8

Chisum's current medication regimen is:

- 50 mg trazodone 2x per day
- 10 mg fluoxetine 1x per day
- 225 mg zylkene 1x per day


So far, still no side effects. Sometimes he seems a bit sleepy, but it's not consistent and it's not detrimental at all.

Now for the great part: I'm beginning to see a bit of a difference in him!

I've noticed that certain events that used to trigger him don't anymore. For example, tractors driving by outside would have him lunging at my windows. We've had several drive by and he just casually watched, then walked away.

We also had a box come into the house and he didn't bark at it!! Major win.

He's also able to be called away from certain situations more easily. For instance, he's always been fairly reactive to the cattle. He improved from where he was, but some of it was just still there. Last night the cows were up and we were hanging out near them. He was totally fine until one kind of stamped at him, which did set him off. He did the barking thing for about 10 seconds then quit.

Probably the best part though was that Raleigh was with us, and he was barking at the cows, tending to set Chisum off. But as Raleigh barked, I was able to call Chisum over amidst HIS barking and have him do some tricks/obedience for me instead. And I had his FULL attention.


I'm still debating whether or not we are ready to start up private lessons again; I'll probably wait until about September so the weather is a little cooler and see how we do. I know he'll still be reactive toward strangers but I'm hoping he'll be in a better place to learn now and we can see a bit of improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Weeks 9-10

Just a minor little update here. Still on the same dose of everything, still no side effects.

As for improvement, I do see some. There are still some backslides, but I guess that's to be expected. He does recover more quickly, I will say that.

He's become reactive to Nellie, but really only on-leash or when she reacts to him first. She clearly doesn't like him and I think it stresses him out quite a bit. She nips at the other dogs too but they back off immediately and it's not as intense as it is with Chisum...probably because he's not as quick to back off - instead, he reacts. :eyeroll:

We have a consult set up with a different trainer this Friday. Maybe she'll have some suggestions.

At this point, I don't think it's terribly likely he'll be able to move with me but I'm willing to give it a shot. Our major goal will be to learn to better work with his reactivity in moments where it becomes an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I hope you continue to see improvement with Chisum. Are you finding fluoxetine to be useful overall?

I have an appointment with a new vet next week specifically about anti anxiety meds for Delilah.
Overall, I would say yes. It's really hard because I'm a perfectionist and tend to dwell on the bad and get frustrated easily, but I have seen many good moments with him. The best thing being that he can snap out of reactions MUCH more quickly than he could in the past. He's also more responsive to checking certain things out, even after reacting to them. For example, we bought new camp chairs and they were outside...he walked past them and had a mini-freak out, but I walked over and Raleigh darted over to see what was going on, and upon seeing that neither of us were bothered, Chisum was over it. The whole thing lasted less than 10 seconds which is a BIG DEAL.

I'm interested to see how his consult goes. My hope is that we can start in on BAT training again and see some marked improvement.

I think what is really frustrating for me right now is the fights with Nellie/resource guarding. Chisum always guarded food but he was never nasty about it until he saw that Nellie and Raleigh were (it's Raleigh's only bad quality, really). It's also challenging to have to monitor him and Nellie all the time because they just can't get along. That's probably giving me a skewed perception that things are really worse than they are.

I did find the Zylkene to be quite helpful, so it might be worth looking into for Delilah before you get meds or even in conjunction with meds. It's basically milk protein so there are really no side effects.

For now I'm going to just wait-and-see. I'm not sure if increasing his dose would be beneficial to him; he could go higher I think but he's on about an average dosage right now. My vet is just so hesitant with Fluoxetine due to side effects that I figured I'd wait and see for a bit before hounding her about increases. Probably best to just see what happens anyway. :thumbsup:
 
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