My dog Muddy (age 12) has changed alot in the last few weeks. It isn't the Degenerative Myelopathy but it's that he has been acting very anxious. When we bring him inside to his room in the evening where he and Finnigan have their dog beds and food and water, he starts pacing and panting and whimpering. This has been their 'sleeping' room for years and he never acts this way but now, all of a sudden, he doesn't want us to shut the door when we tuck them in at night. He wants to be outside but we can't leave him out there because it's cold and there are wolves where we live and it isn't safe.
This all became progressively worse over the last week and the whimpering turned into barking. He starts at 3:00 in the morning and barks in the same way he does when he rides in the truck with us. He is a very nervous traveler and barks non-stop while we drive. The early morning barking is exactly the same, "bark" "bark" "bark" for hours.
I've been coming down at 3:00 a.m. to take him and Finn out for a pee and then when I tuck him back in and try and calm him, he shakes like a leaf and his teeth are chattering, just like he does when there is a thunder storm, except we haven't had a storm with thunder in ages.
So we took him to the vet yesterday and the vet feels that it is either something environmental that is troubling him or it could be dimentia. She prescribed Fluoxetine (Prozac) and another drug called Selegiline. The pharmacy was out of the second drug and needs to order it in but I got the prozac last night and gave him his first dose. It did help alot. He barked but only for a bit and then stopped. We were so grateful because not only has it been upsetting to see him be so uncomfortable, it has been hard on Finnigan with the nonstop barking and we haven't gotten much sleep lately.
I read the literature that comes with the Prozac and it says that it should be combined with certain other drugs, including Selegilene so I've placed a call with my vet to ask her about it.
I've been looking alot of stuff up on the net and think that he could be deficient in B vitamins (anxiety is a symptom of Vit. B deficiency) and have been giving him a B Complex 100 pill for 3 days now. The vet said that was fine. He's also getting Vit. E and C that the holistic vet put him on a few months ago.
The other thing I'm wondering about is if he might be deficient in Niacin (B-3) which comes from meat I think. We stopped giving Muddy canned dog food about 3 months ago because his DM disease was causing him to have bowel problems and he was having accidents during the night. We cut out the wet food and haven't had a single accident since. But I'm thinking that the lack of meat might be causing a deficiency in Niacin and one of the symptoms for
this is anxiety.
On our way home from the vet I drove through the Wendy's drive through and got Muddy a cheeseburger for being so good at the vet. He LOVED it.
He seemed calmer than usual even before I gave him his first dose of Prozac last night. I wondered if the meaty cheeseburger helped him in some way. And thankfully he didn't have any accidents last night.
Does anyone have an old dog who has had to go on an anti-anxiety medicine like Prozac and has it helped? I hate to give him drugs like this but he is beside himself with nervousness and he needs help.
p.s. We do think that maybe he is reacting to wolves that could be passing by their window at night but I don't think so because our other dog Finnigan hasn't barked once and I think he would if he knew there were animals outside. And, Muddy's barking isn't the kind he uses when he sees another animal. When he sees deer or even crows (he hates crows for some reason) he barks wildly. This bark he does at night is repetitive and doesn't seem to be at anything in particular.