Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Perri Medication (Fluoxetine 4.5 months.)

After four months on Fluoxetine it was time to ask our behaviorist for a refill, but it was also a good time to think about the improvements or lake thereof in Perri's life.

  • No more bed wetting. This is a huge deal.
  • No more issues with pottying and hypervigilance in the morning. (Other factors: her bladder is not emptying overnight so she has more urgency and reason to pee in the morning. We fenced our back yard within a month of Perri starting the medication so our yard must surely feel more "enclosed" and "safe".)
  • Hypervigilance away from home has decreased, with Perri able to reorient to me on her own more readily than she used to be able to. 
Areas of No Improvement
  • Reactive behavior towards other dogs on walks and at trials is about the same. She spots these dogs from far away before they could ever possibly be a threat, and intensifies if they get close to us. However, I could be managing her a lot better in this area at trials. On walks I do a good job.
  • Fear of objects-that-make-sounds continues. As an example, just two nights ago she refused to spend time in our family room with us since we set up a metal folding table that contained New Years Eve treats. No doubt the assembly of the table was observed by her and diagnosed as a "death threat".
Not so Great Stuff 
  • Perri is more "flat" or "dull" than she used to be. I truly feel this is related to the Fluoxetine. I do not like it. She seems more spaced out than ever. (As I mentioned, I even had a thyroid level test run on her because of this behavior.)
  • Appetite is decreased still. I have to put a dehydrated topper on Perri's food or she simply will not eat. She could not care less about her evening Kong treat and will often not even want to get up off the couch for it. She used to be wild for her Kong treat. 
I wrote this post a few weeks ago, with the intent to complete it when our behaviorist and I made the decision on which medication we would switch to. But now, whether by coincidence or a small dietary change I made for Perri, everything has changed.

About a week ago, in the interest of helping Ein and Molly's arthritic issues, I decided to add salmon oil to the dogs' diets. And I had the thought that maybe I could use it to mix into Perri's food as well, instead of the dehydrated Spot Farms or Honest Kitchen. We started it last Tuesday and discontinued using the Spot Farms mix-in. Perri is like a different dog. She is "bright" again, I don't know how else to say it. She has been eating 100 percent of her meals. She wants her Kong every night and is back to her norm of sprinting around like a maniac when Vince announces Kong time. The post I made about tugging was made after this new change. She has been having pouncing zooms out in the yard again, she is teasing Molly like she used to, and she is enjoying a lot of solo play with toys as well (whereas before if she would play with a toy, it was to nibble pieces off of it.) A playful Perri is the norm now, not the exception.

I feel like I have my dog back, along with all of the benefits from the fluoxetine.

I hope hope hope this is not just temporary. 

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