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Discussion Starter #1
My vet put Chisum on Trazodone twice daily as she's more comfortable with this medicine than Prozac. He was also prescribed Xanax for -super extreme- emergencies or when I know a major trigger is going to occur --- not regularly.

Anyone have experience with this medication? Good/bad? He'll take his first pill tonight.

Also, she's got him on 50 mg twice a day. He's 22 lbs. Does this sound normal or like a high dose? Should I break the pill for the first week or so to ease him onto it?

I take Lexapro myself and am on all of 20 mg....so numbers that high shake me a bit!


Final question, through my vet's pharmacy a bottle costs $26, so that would be $26 per month. It doesn't necessarily break the bank, but I do want to get the best deal possible so are there any alternative places where it might be cheaper?
 

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Sorry I have zero experience with dog medication (except for flea/heartworm etc.) BUT I did want to ask about the new vet? Is she nice? Do you like her? How were Chisum's results?
 

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If you change the dose at all you should let your vet know. Different medications have different therapeutic doses so 20mg of lexapro is totally different to 50mg of trazadone. In humans the initial doses for trazadone is 150mg according to drugs.com.
 

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I do like her! The clinic is absolutely gorgeous and spotless, the exam room was wonderful. It was a little expensive, but half the cost was having him sedated so if we can avoid that in the future it would be nice :)

She did blood work, fecal analysis, heartworm test, and a urinalysis (which I had to drop off this morning). So far, so good. He's a healthy boy!

The visit itself went way better than I thought it would. He was shaking like a leaf and clearly very distressed, but he didn't bark at anyone and with me holding him let her give him the injection for the tranquilizer. He was a little out of it for the rest of the afternoon but otherwise it went really smoothly.

I'm still on edge because this vet practice isn't rated very high on Google - but so far my experiences have been great so I'm going to just go by that assumption.

And...hopefully the medication helps. I'm hoping to start training with my trainer again in either June or July and am hoping it gets him in just the right place to help the training stick instead of having to restart every single time.

Thanks for asking :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you change the dose at all you should let your vet know. Different medications have different therapeutic doses so 20mg of lexapro is totally different to 50mg of trazadone. In humans the initial doses for trazadone is 150mg according to drugs.com.
Thanks, that's good to know! I'm new to the world of "mental meds" myself so that's good advice. We'll see how it goes - I'm to keep my vet updated every step of the way, and shall.
 

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No worries, it sounds like your vet is excellent. I tried two vets here, the first was 5 star rated, the technician riled Echo up so much the vet couldn't do an examination properly, didn't know the best practice guidelines for rabies and couldn't fit her in when she had an emergency. Super nice people though! The second saw Echo for said emergency despit her not being a patient, had a hand out with local law and medical info about vaccinations and treated Echo very gently. They have been spectacular about treating Echo and giving me all the info I've asked for but are a bit blunt and no nonsense(which I like). They only rate 2 stars...
 

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So, we still haven't tried the Xanex yet. I'm reserving it for situations that I know will be especially triggering.

As for the trazodone, we've been on it 4 days now. No ill side effects so I hope it stays that way!

Having anxiety myself, I know that recovery isn't linear and will take time for the med to reach a therapeutic level. But I'm hoping it's beneficial. Probably will help that he is a dog and doesn't tend to overthink things :)
 

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You may want to try a test run with the Xanax before you actually need it, maybe when he's mildly anxious about something, so you can see what effect it has on him. I got some for Bus for noise phobia when he first started reacting to the smoke/co alarms at my parents' house (he was slipping out the door when people opened it, then refusing to come back in, knocking the screen door open and going back to my house or the car), and it actually made him very restless, but only reduced his actual response to the noise slightly more than melatonin. Constant pacing and whining, still trying to get out of the house when any similar noise occurred. Not the best choice for him, but many dogs do well on it. I would ask your vet first and see what she recommends.
 

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Final question, through my vet's pharmacy a bottle costs $26, so that would be $26 per month. It doesn't necessarily break the bank, but I do want to get the best deal possible so are there any alternative places where it might be cheaper?

@PoppyKenna Trazodone is really cheap if you purchase it at any regular pharmacy like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, etc. Averages about $4-$6 for 30 day and if you order larger quantity is even less - $6.99 -$11.00 for 90day supply I found the pricing on goodrx.com
Hope it works!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You may want to try a test run with the Xanax before you actually need it, maybe when he's mildly anxious about something, so you can see what effect it has on him. I got some for Bus for noise phobia when he first started reacting to the smoke/co alarms at my parents' house (he was slipping out the door when people opened it, then refusing to come back in, knocking the screen door open and going back to my house or the car), and it actually made him very restless, but only reduced his actual response to the noise slightly more than melatonin. Constant pacing and whining, still trying to get out of the house when any similar noise occurred. Not the best choice for him, but many dogs do well on it. I would ask your vet first and see what she recommends.
Thanks for the suggestion. I will meet back up with the vet at the end of the month to talk about how he's doing on the trazodone so will try a Xanax before then to report on that too. So far he's fine but does seem to act sort of "bummed" a bit after taking the pill....turns out trazodone is sedating which is probably what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Final question, through my vet's pharmacy a bottle costs $26, so that would be $26 per month. It doesn't necessarily break the bank, but I do want to get the best deal possible so are there any alternative places where it might be cheaper?
@PoppyKenna Trazodone is really cheap if you purchase it at any regular pharmacy like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, etc. Averages about $4-$6 for 30 day and if you order larger quantity is even less - $6.99 -$11.00 for 90day supply I found the pricing on goodrx.com
Hope it works!
Thanks! Will look into that!
 

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I'm really hoping this works out well for him! I'm glad you found a good vet that's so accommodating!
 

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I would guess he may develop more tolerance for the effects of the trazadone after a period of time on it? I've only known one dog on it, but a lot of dogs that start other sedating drugs (like phenobarbital for seizures) initially are pretty groggy from it but adjust over a period of time (usually about a week or less IME). If it doesn't improve soon, and they didn't mention it as a normal side effect, might be worth checking sooner to see if he needs a dosage adjustment.

In Bus' case, I was going away for several days while he stayed with my parents (my mom is a competent dog person, but he is fast, determined and sneaky), and wanted the alprazolam in case he started freaking out, but after seeing that it had the opposite effect on him than expected, I stuck it in the dog meds drawer and left the melatonin and thundershirt instead because I knew they helped some and he wouldn't act like he was on speed with them.

Have you tried a thundershirt (or there are a bunch of competitors now) for him? If not, it might be worth a shot. You could try just a snug wrap or shirt before splurging on the actual TS, as not all dogs seem to respond to it. It makes a minor difference in Bus' behavior, but I've heard of other dogs with varying anxiety issues that have had greater changes. I think the greatest benefits tend to be seen when it's coupled with relaxation protocols so the dog associates them with that feeling, but I just put it on and went with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's a good idea to work on relaxation protocols with him while wearing the shirt. I do have a TS I ordered but haven't gotten yet.

It does seem a bit less sedating now, so that's good. No major side effects either so far, so knock on wood.

I know that it will take awhile to work properly but every now and then I see minor positives which is great! We ordered a treadmill and I thought the box AND the treadmill would be a major trigger for him and...nothing. He was interested, but not stressed. Still having random outbursts though at totally random noises which is challenging to train with because it's just so very random.
 

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@busannie - good call on trying out the Xanax. My parents were leaving for the weekend on Friday and Chisum was clearly very stressed. I gave him one, hopefully to calm him down and see what his reaction would be. He was wired. I kind of forgot about it and went out to do chores and when I came back in he was bouncing all over the place, trying to pull things off of counters, etc. He's a high energy pup, but this was far more so than usual. He was also still clearly very stressed.

I will talk to the vet once his bottle of Trazodone is finished to see what she thinks about the side effects/if something else might be more effective.
 

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So, update on the trazodone.

He has been on it a month and I haven't seen much of a difference, honestly. Actually the past week or so he's been extremely anxious in general - and that's saying something for him. The main thing I notice with the med is that about half an hour after taking it he turns zombie-like for awhile. Makes sense, since it is a sedating drug.

The Xanax still does nothing. It doesn't always get him super wired, but it's not at all relaxing/calming, either.

So, I called my vet today. She suggested that we up the trazodone a bit for about a week, and add in an adaptil collar and diffusers as well as lavender oil (he already has a thundershirt) and see what happens. If there's no real improvement, we're going to try a different med.

For the record, his life has been pretty calm and stable. My mom is home for summer break so he's not left alone for extended periods. It's been too hot to go to the lake so he hasn't come into contact with strangers really at all.
 

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@PoppyKenna - Sorry to hear it isn't working as well as you'd like. :( Could your brother/his fiance be stressing him a little bit?
 

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@PoppyKenna - Sorry to hear it isn't working as well as you'd like. :( Could your brother/his fiance be stressing him a little bit?
Thanks. My brother's fiancee isn't here right now (thankfully), it's just my brother for the week. It's possible he's stressed by him. He's not reactive to Jake but he clearly isn't comfortable around him either; if Jake does something to freak Chisum out, he WILL react. For example, he swatted a wasp yesterday and Chisum went postal. If my mom or I had done that, he wouldn't have batted an eye.

I'm not surprised that it's not working super well...everything I'm reading online says that it's used in tandem with another anti-anxiety drug or is used for insomnia. I have yet to see someone who has used just this at all, let alone had success. My vet was afraid that Chisum's bite inhibition would be lowered with Prozac, which is why she started us off with this. It's a valid concern (though he's not really a biter) but we may have to bite the bullet anyway, haha.

My brother absolutely hates all of this "mental health" medication stuff...he thinks it's totally unnecessary for a DOG let alone a person, but I told him he can shove off. :eyeroll: Frankly, my first goal is to have Chisum be totally comfortable in his own home...on a farm...away from strangers before I tackle any other lofty goals. Most of the time, he's fine, but there are still some pretty intense, random stressors here we need to tackle.
 
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