Webinar-Medications To Treat Fear Based Behavior Challenges

Yes, yes I know, people use too many drugs. People think drugs are the solution to everything. Drugs have side effects. I won’t dispute any of those statements, but at the same time drugs can save lives and the side effects of some conditions are worse than the possible side effects of some drugs.

Being scared is no way to live.

Being scared is no way to live.

The reasoning that one should try alternatives to drugs first, makes sense, sometimes. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes we should address a disease or condition immediately with drugs. Delaying treatment can allow the problem to get worse, making it more difficult to treat with or without the recommended medication. This doesn’t mean that we should use medications as a first choice in all situations, but sometimes the dog would be better off if we did. In the case of fearful dogs, the sooner we can get a dog to perform new, appropriate behaviors, and reinforce them, the sooner we’ll be able to help them gain skills for being more comfortable in their world. Often medications can help facilitate this process.

Understanding how medications can help a dog with fears, phobias and/or anxiety is key to the process of deciding whether to use them or not. I hope you can join me for this live webinar with Linda Aronson DVM. Dr. Aronson is currently lecturing at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. We will talk about the medications available to help our dogs, how they work, how they should be used, possible side-effects and there will be time for questions.

You can register and find out more information here.

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24 comments so far

  1. Kay Liestman on

    Our fearful dog is able to do so much more since she’s been on medication. She now has the ability to do what we ask of her, which she did not have before meds. She needs smarter people, but we’re working on that one!

    • fearfuldogs on

      Thanks for sharing that Kay, I’m sure it will be helpful to someone to hear it.

  2. Anthony on

    I have my fearful girl (stemming mostly from separation anxiety) on Ignatia Amara (a homeopathic for stress) and it has significantly lowered her stress level. This is helping us deal with her stress through training as well. Sometimes we don’t necessarily need to use “prescription meds” for these issues.

    • fearfuldogs on

      Thanks for sharing your experience. No we don’t necessarily need to use prescription meds for these issues, but just because some dogs don’t need them, it doesn’t mean others won’t benefit greatly from their use. The goal of this webinar is to give people information so they can make better informed decisions for their dog.

      • Anthony on

        I agree. Holistic medicine still has a fairly misinformed stigma around it. Making informed decisions is made harder by our dogs’ inability to communicate with us where there fears lay. I’m new to your blog, but i will be diving in soon Thanks for sharing your opinions!

      • Anthony on

        Sorry for the spamming….i meant “their” and i changed my website to work (I blog a little about my dogs).

  3. fearfuldogs on

    Yes it is an added challenge to work with animals who can’t use words but we can learn by observing their behavior what is contributing to their response. We can notice triggers and thresholds.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “where their fears lay.” Besides in their brain and body?

    • Anthony on

      I mean triggers such as separation anxiety, loud noises, motion, handler anxiety. Basically what you just said, monitoring behaviors. By the way, I’m just a dog owner highly interested in my dogs’ having a full life, free of anxiety and fear. I’m out looking for ways to do that with them. The Ignatia Amara is a step towards that. Training is an ongoing, evolving thing as well.

  4. Karen on

    I have a fear aggressive pit bull, that unfortunately has a bite history. We’ve had him on Prozac since Sept. 2009 and have seen a tremendous difference. Although he still has issues, medication has made managing those issues so much easier.

  5. Kim on

    This will be great for those of us who have exhausted all natural and over the counter options. Thanks!

    • fearfuldogs on

      Thanks! I hope that it will also be great for people with dogs who are suffering and don’t need to spend months or years suffering while those natural and over the counter options are being experimented with.

  6. hornrims on

    Hi – I’m new here and registered to attend the webinar on medication for fear-based behavior. My dog is now 10 and we’ve gone through various attempts at training her, but she remains fearful of new guests in our home. We moved in the last year and that seems to have heightened her fears a bit more than normal. She was a rescue dog and we believe a man or men abused her before we adopted her at 4 mos. At home, she whines and follows the guests – especially when they enter the “food room” (kitchen). She’s not bitten, but sometimes lunges after feet and certain people make her more nervous when they enter the house. Outside the home is a different story, where she’s much more approachable and loving towards strangers (except other dogs). I’m hoping that this session may be helpful because we want to have guests over for dinner, etc. but she is a bit of a handful on those occasions!

    By the way, we’ve found that she has a bit of Chow in her and is very protective of me.

    • fearfuldogs on

      Medications are certainly worth considering to help your dog. They are used in conjunctive with behavior modification techniques to help our dogs learn new, more appropriate responses.

  7. Kathleen on

    Our chocolate Lab had separation anxiety – we fortunately found “Through a Dog’s Ear” music: http://throughadogsear.com/samples/ The trick is to play the music, at a regular volume, while your dog is happy, such as when eating, chewing on a bone or simply hanging out with you; then when you’re away, set the music to play and your dog will be reminded of good memories. The secret? Classical music played is done so at a slower rate, which slows everyone’s heartrate – humans included. I encourage all of my petsitting clients to do this, so that their dogs will have a good foundation before they leave. We even had our vet play it for our dog when he had surgery. TADE also works for noise anxiety, such as fireworks or street clatter. There is even a CD for car riding but it’ll only relax your dog, not you the driver. I take my recs seriously, so give it a try and you’ll be pleased. I do have a canine client who took a daily dose of 3 milligrams of Melatonin to ease her thunderstorm fears.

    • fearfuldogs on

      Calming music can be a helpful addition to a dog’s environment. However for many dogs it is not enough. Lowering heart rates is only a part of what needs to happen in a fearful dog’s body and brain.

      • Kathleen on

        I agree – my comment was to add an additional option to a human’s toolbox for pet guardianship.

      • Debbie Jacobs on

        Thanks! I hate seeing dogs who have suffered for months and even years while owners tried any number of alternatives because of an unwillingness to use medications. I’m sure I sound like a drug pusher and I’m about as far from that you’ll find!

        On Sun, Jan 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM, Fearfuldogs' Blog

  8. Gillian Shippen on

    Great, will defiantly love to hear the webinar.
    In the veterinary industry, I find we have to work against well meaning doggie people who actively put the power of suggestion into an owners mind that they shouldn’t use drugs as they are bad for the dog.
    Even with my own dog when I post something about his issues, they are always suggesting I should trial some natural therapy instead of using his medication (non medical people telling a medical person not to use drugs really irks me).
    Homeopathic has its place for minor anxiety issues but not for generalised anxiety ……generalised anxiety is no fun to live with. It is distressing for all involved. The times we have been able to place dogs on medication for anxiety (finally as a last resort the owner have come to us after listening to non veterinary advice elsewhere) the owners have always come back to us saying they wished they had done it earlier………..after initially saying how guilty they felt because they felt they had failed because of what other people had told them.
    People need to not be so judgmental, or making others feel guilty for using medication ….anxiety IS a recognised medical condition. You wouldn’t deny a dog whose behaviour issues are a result of thyroid, diabetes, arthritis, heart complaint etc of their medication so why deny it for anxiety?

    • fearfuldogs on

      Thanks for your comment. I was lucky that my own vet understood the importance of addressing my dog’s fear and anxiety based behavior challenges with medications.

  9. Marie on

    Just wondering if the seminar covers blood testing for Omega 3/6 ratios? I know Psychs are starting to address this issue for anxiety in humans and am wondering where Vets are in the education process.

    • fearfuldogs on

      I have forwarded your question to Dr. Aronson. Thanks for asking.

  10. Yen on

    How can I listen to the webinar now? Is there another link for this? Thanks.

    • fearfuldogs on

      Thanks for the questions! It will be made available in a week.


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