Weaning…

  As most of you know I had to put Oscar on Prozac for a while. His anxiety was dampening his quality of life making him unable to enjoy normal things like simply going for a walk. If we would see people he would tremble and try to run in the opposite direction. We have never been sure what triggered his fear of people, but at one point it was so bad that he was scared of the television. So last November we made a decision to try Prozac and expose him to various situations with a different mindset. It has essentially worked. He has been much better especially on walks and running into random people. But the biggest hurdle that we overcame was when people would come to visit the house. It used to be that he would bark and tremble with fear even 30 minutes after they were already in the house. Not only was this impossible to enjoy guests, but it made them very uncomfortable and him as well. Suffice it to say it was pretty bad.

Since November 1 he has been on Prozac. He gets 20 mg every morning and by December we were seeing a noticeable difference. Being that is the end of July now we want to wean him off of it. I don’t want him on medication for an extended period of time, thinking back to my situation with Cody. I do not want to give Oscar any reason to become ill later in life. Who knows what Prozac does to his insides? 

The protocol for weaning him is to start by giving him a pill every other day for two weeks, and then one pill two times a week for two weeks, and then stop altogether. We are now on the second leg of this. The last time he got a pill was Thursday morning and it is Saturday today. This is the first time he will go two days without a pill. Needless to say I am monitoring him like a hawk. I want to make sure that he doesn’t go through any weird withdrawal or have his anxiety come back full force. That is my worst fear. One of the things that is really important is that he is exercised every day to make sure that he’s nice and calm and quiet, and tired obviously. Only problem is it is raining this morning. 

Dammit.

  As soon as this rain stops I’m going to take him out and wear his butt out! There are times where I chase him around the house with the ball to wear him out if it’s too hot or raining, but that’s not necessarily good for this old body. I actually felt like I got a groin injury running around the house with him a few weeks ago. How pathetic is that? Ha ha!

So here we are on the last two weeks of Prozac. I will keep you all posted on how he does after he is off of it completely. I am hoping that his anxiety stays in check and he can still enjoy a good quality of life. We will be taking him on a mini vacation with us the first weekend in September for my birthday. He will be completely off the Prozac then, so that will be a very good test for us.

  All I care about is that he stays the sweet loving dog that he is. I know everyone says this about their own pets, but he truly is the most affectionate sweet boy there could possibly be. Cody was affectionate but not like this. Oscar seems dependent upon my attention and love. It’s totally sweet. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that animals don’t feel, understand, communicate and love. People who say that clearly do not have pets.

Of course I will keep you all posted. Have a great weekend and enjoy your special ones!
  

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~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on July 25, 2015.

2 Responses to “Weaning…”

  1. What kind of dog is Oscar? He looks just like the puppy I’m fostering and I’m trying to figure it out.

    • We actually really don’t know what kind of dog Oscar is. When we got him the adoption agency said he was a “Labrador mix” but to me, he has very little Labrador in him. Especially comparing him to Cody. I definitely think Oscar has some sort of herding breed in him. He herds us constantly and always needs to be leading even though he knows how to heel. He also has spots on his tongue which makes me think he has chow in him too. We have always consider doing the DNA test but we don’t really think it would make any difference knowing or not knowing, it’s kind of fun not knowing

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