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Daily panic attacks - advice appreciated
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 270
    Long story short. Maya got scared by a close range firework last July 4th. Since then, she's been sensitive to loud noises and crowds. This July, things got worse as the random fireworks started the weekend before the 4th and continued till even a few days ago.

    During the worst few days, she had panic attacks all day long, panting, shivering, hiding, and pacing around the house. This past week, she's been doing fine during the day, but around 8~9pm, even without obvious triggers, she would start panting again and goes into full panic attack for 4-5 hours every night. It worsens when we take her out to potty, or if she hears any noises from outside. She also doesn't finish her meals, even during the day.

    She is physically fine, at least according to the 3 vets we visited since her first episode a year ago. We've tried different calming remedies, activities, and routines. We even had a psychic remove bad spirits from the house (please don't judge, we were desperate). Nothing worked. However, she did behave normally for a few days while she stayed with our friends while we had to travel. Either the new environment and/or the other dogs around helped her, but we are not in a position to move or get another dog.

    This seems like some kind of PTSD, that is associated with noise, our house, neighborhood, and night time. We are wondering if anyone has similar experience and could provide some suggestions.
    Shiba Inu Maya's blog and FB page
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    Have you spoken with your vet about this? Sounds like some sort of anti-anxiety medication is going to be necessary to get her out of this pattern. I would work with your vet (and perhaps even a veterinary behaviourist) to work through this. :(
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • callofspaceycallofspacey
    Posts: 64
    If it makes you feel better, I've had a similar issue with my boy. Once while he was being walked by my husband, who was checking to cross a street, a very rude and inconsiderate woman came up behind Senketsu and grabbed him thinking she was petting him. He was (understandably) terrified. Right afterwards, when he saw people approaching him directly, he wanted to bolt the other way. It was horrible for the first couple weeks (thrashing, running, snapping), but it has subsided over time at least somewhat with continued exposure, when he realized not everyone wants to pet him (a good thing in his mind), or are very gentle with him. Treats help as well!

    It may be something that passes over time with positive reinforcement during the nighttime. Before she starts to panic, maybe give her something really good that will last a while, like a food toy. I am assuming fireworks are done with for the season, so maybe she will start to realize nighttimes are quiet again and also special because she gets something nice!
    Post edited by callofspacey at 2018-07-27 18:47:17
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 270
    @sunyata Our vet visits hasn't been much helpful.
    First one shrugged it off and said she'll get over it (which she did that time).
    Second one gave us Trazodone, but it didn't help.
    Third one (holistic) suggested Shen Calmer, which didn't work either.

    We have also tried CBD oil, melatonin, Thindershirt, playing music, Rescue Remedy, calming collar, crating, but nothing seems to work. I'll probably visit the holistic vet again, but would like to educate myself a bit more before going.

    I've learn from another group that this condition is called "sundowners syndrome". I will do more research in this area as well.

    @callofspacey I'm glad you were able to help him overcome his fear. I hope we can find the right treatment for Maya, so she can be back to a state where training can work. Now she refuses treats even during the day, and totally shuts down at night. :(
    Shiba Inu Maya's blog and FB page
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @Mayama - How old is Maya? She seems a bit young to have Sundowner's (which is usually associated with Canine Cognitive Disorder). CBD oil and crating have helped a bit with Bella's sundowner's. But if that is what it is (and not actually a PTSD type of issue), then there is not a whole lot you can do to calm her. You just have to keep her safe and try and make her as comfortable as possible.

    Hopefully you can find something that works for her and ease her anxiety a bit.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • callofspaceycallofspacey
    Posts: 64
    @sunyata - How do you generally administer CBD oil with your pups? This is something that has interested me for quite a while; I keep seeing it mentioned throughout the site. I've heard it's great for anxious dogs.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @callofspacey - Dropper straight to the mouth. The pups lick it up just fine.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • callofspaceycallofspacey
    Posts: 64
    @sunyata, good to know! Something I will keep in mind for Senketsu for the future :)
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 270
    @sunyata - Maya is only 8. After reading more about "sundowners", it does seem she is a bit too young for CCD. During her episodes, she is fearful, but does not seem "lost". She clearly knows where she is, who we are, and what she's doing.

    Over the past few days, we see some improvements when we kept the TV on in the evening. She still gets fearful when going out for her last potty break and the panting/shivering would last till the lights are out and everyone's in the bed. We will change up the routine to see if either have her last potty break before sunset or right before heading to bed can help.
    Shiba Inu Maya's blog and FB page