Monday, June 27, 2016
Zoe's Vet Adventure! 4th of July Prep!
So last year after we had an absolutely miserable 4th of July, fireworks went off all night long and the dogs were terrified, I swore I would never let my dogs go through another 4th without medication to ease their anxiety. Zoe is extremely noise phobic and I'm pretty sure she thought the sky was falling and the world was ending. With the holiday rapidly approaching and fireworks tents going up all over the place, I knew I had to make an appointment for Zoe to see the vet. She needed go anyways because I was concerned about her back end. She had some weakness in her back legs after a road trip where her sister squashed her against the door of the car for hours on end and then playing on the beach for a few hours. On the way back into town, we made a pit stop and she had a hard time jumping back into the car. She's also been refusing to do her backstall trick.
Going to the vet is always a major ordeal for all of us. I've had some previous negative experiences and I get extremely anxious taking anyone in. I still tend to get really stressed out, even though I used to work at our current vet and know everyone there. Luckily this trip, my husband was available to drive us and help out.
I'm happy to report that her vet visit went really well. We brought her mat and her squeeze tube full of cream cheese. I didn't give her any time to worry about where she was, she just sat on her mat and licked cheese until it was time to see the doc. She was pretty nervous and a little scrambly when she was up on the table but overall she did really well. Our vet was really impressed with how her teeth looked, she's in great shape and she has full range of motion and good muscle in her back legs. He was not concerned about the weakness we saw and he thinks she probably just over did it or tweaked something. We've been taking it easy on the trick training since that beach trip and he thinks we can go back into training and that she's going to be fine. If she shows any signs of weakness again, we can always have x-rays done but at this point we decided not to do them.
So on the meds side of things, I went into the vet office thinking that I wanted to ask for diazepam (valium), I've had several friends who had good luck with it but I was open to suggestions. Our vet recommended trying trazadone which is what we walked out of there with.
A few days after the vet visit, my husband decided to go through a bunch of his stuff (we've moved a lot and when boxes come out it freaks her out), I was doing laundry (our washing machine makes horrible banging noises) and our neighbors were banging around, all of these things make Zoe anxious so it was the perfect time to try out the trazadone. With this specific medication, there's a range to the dosage she can have so I gave her the lowest dose possible. I was pretty happy with the results. The lowest dose did not sedate her but I could definitely see the difference in her. It was like she was wandering around going, "I think I'm supposed to be anxious about this but I'm not!"
For the 4th of July, I am going to have her on the meds for a few days prior to the holiday and a couple of days afterwards as well. On the day of the 4th she will be getting the maximum dose she's allowed to have. My neighbors are awful and last year the celebrations went on for the entire week. I'm really hoping to keep her stress level down.
I know that medication can be controversial but our dogs lives are too short for them to spend them constantly stressed out and if this medication can help her feel safe then I'm all for it.
Have you ever used medication with your dog for the 4th of July? What medication did you use and were you happy with it?