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Anxiety medications are well known in human circles as a means to reduce stress levels or the anxiousness associated with those stress levels. These types of medications are being sought more often these days for some of the same types of behaviors in canines. While some work quite well in some animals, some do not and still, others can be dangerous or even fatal for your beloved canine family member.
Side effects can be defined as adverse reactions to a substance. Anxiety medications are defined as medications given to calm, relax and modify anxiousness in canines.
Anxiety in your dog can be displayed in a number of ways or behaviors. Here are some which you may be experiencing in your pet and you may be unaware that they could be anxiety manifestations:
Some of the side effects of the anxiety medication can include:
The types of side effects of anxiety medications in dogs lie in their medical drug type (classification) which relates to how they control the anxiety issues:
Causes of side effects of anxiety medications in dogs stem from several sources:
Serotonin syndrome - This is a specific condition that occurs when a medication is used that causes the levels of natural occurring serotonin to build up in the body of the host
Causes of anxiety in your beloved pet also emanates from several sources:
Separation anxiety - This is the most commonly found anxiety trigger in most domesticated dogs and cats
When your veterinary professional gets involved in the diagnosing process for the anxious behaviors of your family pet, he will need some valuable input from you. Your complete history will, in this case, need not only the inclusion of the usual dietary habits and activity levels of the patient, but also the behaviors that you’re noting in your companion. He will need to know the frequency of each of the symptoms/behaviors you’ve noticed as well as the duration of each symptom/behavior. He will also likely want some correlation to specific circumstances which seem to trigger the behavior such as thunderstorms, loud noises, being left alone, and strangers coming into the house.
Your veterinary professional will do a physical examination and will likely need to get blood samples for lab evaluation. He will be looking to see if the normal blood chemistry values are out of line in any area, suggesting that something may be changing the way the various systems in the canine body do their jobs. Serotonin and cortisol are two areas of particular interest in the interpretation of these tests. Serotonin levels really can’t be measured like red and white blood cell counts can, for example, but can be assessed based on other clinical findings, checking the function of the systems which are affected by serotonin, history of health, behaviors and medications being used as well as ruling out of other possibilities.
Treatment of the side effects of anxiety medication in dogs can be multi-leveled, depending on the side effects and the cause of the anxiety and can be utilized alone or in any combination:
Dosage adjustments - Some medications work better in some dogs than others and dosage changes may be required to find the best amount to use, especially as, with time, the tolerance and efficacy of the drug can change
Behavior training or retraining of either the canine or the family of the canine - this can include things like changing the timing of your attention-giving activities like petting, grooming and playing with your doggy family member so that he is ready for a nap when you have to leave him alone,or taking him for a long walk before you leave (again helping him to be ready to rest), or offering him a favored toy just before you leave
For some canines, behavior modifications for the pet, as well as the favored family members, can help to assuage the anxiety behaviors being exhibited by your pet. But, for those canines in which these various behavior changes or modifications aren’t successful at managing the anxiety in your pet, drugs may be the answer. It is absolutely not a good idea to venture down the medication road alone. You need to utilize the expertise and training of a reliable veterinary professional for guidance and the administration of these medications.
Just as one would not venture down this road alone for a human family member without the aid and direction of the family doctor, one should also not do so for the beloved canine family member. Your veterinary professional can work with you to find just the right regimen to manage the anxiety behaviors in your pet to avoid the side effects of anxiety medications in dogs.
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