Dog keeps shivering with anxiety- any advice

(15 Posts)
Obsessedalready Sat 12-Nov-16 11:55:48

My dog is very anxious, firework season has really upset him. I think his behaviour is actually phobic of loud bangs.

We don't know what to do anymore, he has now started shaking even when there are no fireworks going off, he doesn't want to go for walks in local parks where he heard fireworks previously (in broad daylight!). He is jumpy with noises that didn't used to bother him, and he is not food motivated at all when anxious. Short of anti anxiety medication (which our vet is not keen on giving him) we need some ideas.

I think he needs more exercise/mental stimulation (he is used to much more than he is getting at the moment), but it's a catch 22 because he doesn't want to go/seems very depressed doesn't want to play like normal. Basically the only thing that seems to calm him down is sniffing other dogs/being with other dogs when he is anxious but we don't know many people with other dogs, and getting him to park to meet other dogs is a struggle (think dragging a shaking dog out the door)

It's also now started effecting his appetite and poop which is worrying us.

What would you do?

Catzpyjamas Sun 13-Nov-16 01:14:58

Might be worth having a chat with your vet about the anxiety. I know people who have had good results with Zylkene and Adaptil.

Obsessedalready Sun 13-Nov-16 08:06:18

Thanks for your response!

We tried them both and they didn't really work. The vet said the next option is anti anxiety drugs, but she basically said it would be better for us to ride it out than give him them.

Catzpyjamas Sun 13-Nov-16 09:59:32

Ahh, can I ask what Adaptil product you tried?
If you've tried them both, then it really depends on how long you want to ride it out for. Seems a shame to have the dog so anxious when there's medication available. A short term low dose might be enough to get him out and about again?

Whitney168 Sun 13-Nov-16 10:03:52

Are you 100% sure the shivering is anxiety? Pain/temperature will also manifest like this.

One of my dogs hates fireworks and we have good success with Serene-Um, which you can buy in pet shops. Under- rather than over-dose on first attempt though, it can make them a tad vacant.

MissDallas Sun 13-Nov-16 10:07:08

Has the vet mentioned Addison's Disease? This can show up as acute anxiety. Just a thought...

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sun 13-Nov-16 10:11:56

have you tried the swaddling thing? My boys could not give a flying fig about fireworks...but on FB lots of dog chums had good results with this sort of thing

Costacoffeeplease Sun 13-Nov-16 10:17:11

I have a very nervous dog, he's currently on zylkene, rescue remedy, calming treats from the vet (multiva, but I'm in Portugal, I don't know if they're available elsewhere) and wearing a thundershirt. He's finally much more relaxed, I've seen a big improvement in the last couple of weeks, which is when I added the multiva and the thundershirt

Catzpyjamas Sun 13-Nov-16 10:20:51

Oh yes, Thundershirts work like swaddling.
Forgot about them confused... My friend's staffy improved massively with one. It's like a permanent hug!

Costacoffeeplease Sun 13-Nov-16 10:26:55

I've had the thundershirt for a couple of years and when I tried it on him before he just stood still as if it was made of barbed wire grin I tried again a couple of weeks ago and he was suddenly fine with it, so much so I've bought another one so he can have one on and one in the wash smile

Obsessedalready Sun 13-Nov-16 11:04:32

Just the collar Catzpyjamas, I suppose we could try the diffuser, but I thought it was essentially the same idea?

I will definitely try out a thunderjacket! I was a bit unsure about it but if people have had good things with them I'll definitely try it! I'll let you know how he responds! We managed to have a successful walk this morning!! Hopefully the exercise will help him relax!

The vet said he is in good health, no signs of any health problems which is a relief.

His background is was imported from Romania and apparently was in a situation where he witnessed other dogs being shot (hence the bang phobia) he wasn't kept by the people who imported him I think because of anxiety and ended up in a UK rescue centre where we adopted him. We worked with his other anxieties, he was on zylkene for months when we first got him, which really helped with smaller anxieties. We weaned him off the zylkene about a year ago, but have recently given him it again, but it doesn't seem to be doing anything this time. He has enourmously improved in every other area and is basically a normal happy dog now, apart from firework season. Poor boy.

The vet was really reluctant to give us anti anxiety medication, as he is very docile and not aggressive, and she listed a whole load of side effects which freaked us out a bit.

Costacoffeeplease Sun 13-Nov-16 11:40:43

There's also the spray adaptil which you can use on his bed, which might help

Catzpyjamas Sun 13-Nov-16 12:29:33

I see. Poor boy has been through a lot!
If he was stressed on walks, I would have tried the collar too.
I would definitely try low dose medication if this continues but this morning's walk sounds positive!

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 13-Nov-16 18:30:21

What breed is he?

Obsessedalready Tue 15-Nov-16 08:36:02

He is a Romanian cross he is the size of a collie, looks a lot like a collie and is brown tri-colour. He definitely displays herding behaviour (ankle nipping/running in circles) is extremely introverted and loyal and is a pretty good guard dog.

He is slowly improving, we had a disaterious walk yesterday but then a good one later on. He is not allowed off lead until he calms down as his recall can be unreliable when he is super stressed. He hasn't shivered for a couple of days and yesterday he ate all his dinner!

Thanks for advice everyone!

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