Thursday, December 3, 2015

Viva visits the vet

Viva has been with us for a little bit over four months.  We've had ups and down in our behavior modification training plan and after doing a case consolation with one of New Rattitude volunteer force free trainers, we decided it was time for Viva to met with our vet and discuss behavior medication. 

I'm not someone who is opposed to behavior medications for dogs.  But with Viva, I felt that a strong behavioral modification training plan was needed/practiced and evaluated before enlisting medication.  We were actually making great progress up until about a month ago - I talk about it in this post Working with Viva who has reactive behaviors .  There were a series of incidents that happened that really set us back.   After consulting with New Rattitude's force free trainer, we agreed that I'd given Viva and our training plan enough time to see more changes in her behavior. So, getting some pharmaceutical support was in order.  The hope being that the medication help to create new pathways in her brain, giving her the ability to exercise the behaviors that we've been working on over the last 4 months.  Viva is a great dogs and it's heartbreaking to see her have such a fear reaction to seeing or hearing dogs when we are outside.  It's not a good state of mind for her and we hope the medications can give her some relief.

We headed to our vet at Urban Animal and I love them.  I left Viva in the car, went to check us in, letting them know I have a very dog reactive dog.  They set up a room while I waited and then let the few people in the waiting room know that we were quickly coming in and going right into a room. 

We were given a room down the hall away from the foot traffic of other dogs and people going in and out of rooms.

Even with all the dog smells Viva for the most part, was able to focus and we practiced some of her skills.  Look how cute she is!

There were times where she heard dogs walking down the hallway and barking which was hard for her.  Luckily we went at a slow time and our vet who agreed that behavior medication was a good next step.  Another reason I love our vet is because she listens to what I have to say and answer all my questions. Again, Urban Animal is great.  Because of Viva's behaviors, they checked us out in the exam room. They went out and secured the waiting room as we quickly exited the clinic.

Viva has been on fluoxetine for almost a month and with this medication it can take at least 6 weeks to see changes.   However, we have noticed some changes in her behavior.  Her brain seems to be a little more flexible when she is feeling stressed and we have seen some dogs in the distance and Viva did bark at them but, was able to turn and run towards me and we were able to move on.  She was given a jackpot of treats for this wonderful behavior.    We are hoping to see more of this behavior as the weeks and months progress.  Good girl Viva - you are a super girl and we are thrilled to have you in our care.

Here are some good links talking about when a behavior medication evaluation is a good idea:

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