There are a range of stress related behavioural problems that manifest themselves in a number of ways and they include the following:
- Compulsive obsessive behaviours like incessant licking of paws or other parts of the body.
- Separation anxiety
- Territorial spraying and urinating
- Barking and biting
- Age related Alzheimer’s
- Excessive fear of load noises, fire crackers, thunder
- Fears and Phobias
- Hormone based behavioural issues
These are many and varied for each of the behaviours mentioned above. Most of the conditions tend to have a trigger point and in most cases desensitizing and/or retraining the pet is the preferred method of addressing the problem. Some reasons for unacceptable pet behaviors.
- Insufficient daily exercise.
- Genuine and warranted fear.
- Underlying pain or illness.
- Low levels of lipids covering cell walls and nerve fibres.
- Insufficient and ambiguous training methods.
- Lack of a predictable routine.
- Low levels of serotonin.
- Excessive levels of cortisol (stress hormone)
- Adrenal exhaustion and problems
- Elevating the dog’s status by allowing him to sleep on your bed etc
- Encouraging dominant behaviors in dogs leading to aggression.
- Poor travelers car sickness and anxiety.
- Fears and phobias
- Canine Cognitive Dysfunction CCD
These include the following:
- Anti -anxiety medications alprazolam (Xanax) buspirone (Bu Spar) diazepam ( Valium)
- Anti-depressants Fluoxextine (Prozac) amitriptyline, (Elavil), clomipramine (Clomicalm)
- Anti-obsessives: clomipramine (Clomicalm), Fluoxextine (Prozac)
- Canine Alzheimers deprenyl (Anipryl)
- CCD Anipryl
Alternative and Herbal Treatment
Before resorting to drugs and /or their herbal equivalents start by diagnosing your pet’s behavioural problem and then modify its behaviour through training.
Some of the above medications have a similar herbal equivalent. Before using herbal extracts always check with your vet first and do not combine them with any veterinary products until you have cleared it with your vet.
- For compulsive obsessive behaviour Hypericum perforatum (St John’s wort) may be used as an alternative to Prozac. Supplements like Melatonin may be given.
- For anxiety especially during thunder storms or during fireworks valeriana officinalis.
- Adrenal exhaustion and over production of cortisol Vitex agnus
- Canine Alzheimers a combination of Gingko biloba and Withania somnifera may help along with omega oil supplements.
- Poor travellers and ones that tend to get car sick Chamomile
- CCD ginkgo biloba Note do not use if the pet is scheduled for surgery or in combination with Anipryl.