Q: Chihuahua with horrible anxiety
My Angel is 8 years old and has always had some level of anxiety, particularly in the car. Five weeks ago she had an accident and broke her leg. We have gone to the vet weekly for bandage changes and x-rays every 2-3 weeks. Because her leg is healing at an extremely slow rate (which is also concerning me), she is on supplements and the vet ordered strict confinement. I hold her as much as I can so she isn't cooped up the whole time but during the day when I'm at work or whenever I can't hold her, she has to be in her crate. Over the past couple of weeks, she has developed a severe anxiety where she just cries at the top of her lungs whenever I put her back in the crate. I set up a digital recorder to see how long this goes on when I leave and it can go on for an hour or more. She gets so worked up that she will hit her leg on the floor of the crate over and over out of frustration. It doesn't help that she has to wear an e-collar because she won't leave the bandage alone. I have tried pheromone sprays. Doesn't help. Tried prescription anti-anxiety meds (Alprazolam). Doesn't help. I wish I could give her something to munch on while I'm gone but she has pancreatitis so I really cannot give her anything and she won't use chew toys. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this? The noise level from her crying is making everyone crazy and I can hear it all the way out to end of my driveway. I know she has to be so frustrated with the collar, confinement, not being able to play... and I certainly don't want her so upset all the time. What else can I try? Thanks in advance!
Feb 10, 2013
That's a tough one. You've already tried all the normal things. I've had fosters that are calmer when I leave the tv or radio on for them. The Thundershirt does work well with lots of animals but you're not supposed to leave them unattended when they're wearing it, so that's out. If they get panicky while wearing it and try to pull it off they can choke themselves. Also, it can get very warm. my friend has to pull it off her dog because he gets overheated. The problem with the safe room and baby gate is that she needs to completely stay off of that leg, which she probably won't if she has more room. It might work in a small bathroom where she doesn't have a lot of room, but I'd definitely try it when you can stay close by to make sure she doesn't start tearing at the door with that leg. With her anxiety, that will definitely be a concern. The only other suggestion I have is to get someone to pet sit whie you're at work. If you have a trusted friend or realtive who can come stay with her during the times you're gone she might be calmer. Anxiety gets worse when dogs don't get enough exercise, and of course your baby can't get any, so she probably is wound up. On average, it takes at least 8 weeks for a broken leg to heal. Older dogs usually take longer. Also the severity of the break has a lot to do with it. The more serious the break, the longer it will take to heal. Intestinal parasites also slow healing because the dog doesn't absorb the nutrients needed to heal, so that's always a good thing to check too. There's a good article on WebMD about severe separation anxiety. Maybe you can find something that will help there. Here's where that section starts: pets.webmd.com/dogs/separation-anxiety-dogs?page=4
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Feb 09, 2013
Okay two things first off she is an older dog so it will take longer for an injury to heal, next thing is you can do the baby gate thing take her to a small safe room put out a bed for her put her water and food in there and put up a baby gate, also for the anxity have you tried a thunder coat it is a calming coat for that and it works 50% of the time the other 50% of the time it doesn't work but some stores will take it back if it doesn't work, here is another idea my dog Abby goes nuts when I leave too but she whines less and stops sooner if some one else is in the house with her or most recently she stops sooner because of Shasta who is now living with us Shasta was my dads dog but he is unable to care for her Abby seems to like having a friend maybe try getting her a friend such as another dog or possibly even a cat Abby is friends with Shorty my cat but she would rather have a person or a dog to play with when I am not at home hope this helps!
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