Anxiety disorders in pugs – no laughing matter

Anxiety disorders in pugs – no laughing matter

Anxiety in dogs can be just as complicated as it is in humans. It can actually be harder to deal with because dogs can’t talk to you and tell you what’s wrong. From separation anxiety to sudden anxiety disorder, the minds of our beloved companions can be a troubling place. Toy breeds, such as pugs, overshadow us and rely heavily on us for emotional support, which is why they are often prone to anxiety disorders.

We recently became aware of an alarming problem with our pug, Martini, who eventually became unbearable. Martini has always been very affectionate when it comes to my wife and I. Separation anxiety is something we usually only worry about when we’re away on vacation because one of us is home most of the day.

Martini’s situation changed when she suddenly developed an anxiety disorder. She will get into “real fights” with her Shih-Tzu sister, Bella, resulting in biting and sometimes blood. This happens when Martini is startled by unexpected sounds such as banging on the door, dropped objects, loud storms or dogs barking. When this happened suddenly, she violently attacked her sister! She would also be jealous if my wife held Bella and attacked her sister then. Not only would Bella get hurt, but we would just be in the same vicinity.

Martini’s emotional problem began to rule our home while my wife and I walked on eggshells trying not to make any sudden noises, etc. There was no way we could live. Finally, after the worst fight we’ve ever seen, we decided it was time to take action. We decided to meet with our vet first and discuss our situation.

Dr. Wagner has been our respected veterinarian for the past two years and has a Boston Terrier puppy of his own. He gave us several options and suggested that we put Martini on an anti-anxiety medication, amitriptyline (10 mg) and now give it to her twice a day. After doing some research, I discovered that this drug works by increasing neurotransmitter levels and was once prescribed to humans. The neurotransmitter “serotonin” appears to be responsible for helping with anti-anxiety.

Another option our vet gave us was using a dog calming pheromone spray (DAP). This clear, odorless spray prevents fear or stress-related behavior in dogs by simulating the pheromones a female dog releases to calm her offspring. 8-10 squirts of the liquid into the dogs general areas seems to help the situation, but we use it sparingly as it is expensive.

Overall, the situation in our household is night and day compared to what it used to be! Martini gets startled sometimes, but when she does, she doesn’t attack – in fact, we haven’t had a single fight since. We don’t know if she will always take the medication, but medication is a small price to pay for the peace, harmony and happiness of our pets. Our pug will never be perfect, but that’s part of the reason we love her so much!

#Anxiety #disorders #pugs #laughing #matter

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