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Ask the Vet About Separation Anxiety in Dogs and Cats

Separation Anxiety
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Separation Anxiety in Dogs and Cats
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 42
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Showing 1 - 15 of 42
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Date: Jun 18, 2017
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Separation stress and excessive shedding

Question:My husband spoils my dog, a lab mix named Liz, horribly when he is home. He travels for work and may be home for a week or a month at a time. He can also be gone from 1 month to 4 months each time. She sheds very little when he is home with her but 2 days after he has left I find huge clumps of fur everywhere. She also bites and scratches at herself constantly. I can't give her the attention that he does, I just don't have the time. I don't know how to help her. We don't want to resort to anxiety medications.

Answer:It is very very rare for dogs to manifest anxiety as (only) biting and scratching at their skin - especially if she is creating bald spots and/or hot spots - that is almost always allergies, but it is really odd that it only happens when he is gone. Behavior problems are so multi-factorial that you will need to give a detailed history to your veterinarian or behavior specialist and they will in turn, need to ask you many questions to get to the bottom of her problems (be they allergies or behavioral or both).

Date: Mar 6, 2017
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Anxiety

Question:A month and half ago my 6 year old dog had her yearly shots. A week later she has started having more than usual separation anxiety, panting, and trembling. I went to the vet and they prescribed Prozac and xanax to help with the anxiety. I didn't tell them she had recently had her shots. I just started doing more research on the matter. One night she was trembling so bad she collapsed and stood back up. I thought I was going to have to take her in but she finally calmed down. Over the years she has had separation anxiety after moving to a new place. But this last move has been more rough. My mom is living with me and she is out of town as well. She left around the same time as her shots. I don't know if it's health related, or the shots, or just severe anxiety. I keep getting more and more worried. The vet keeps saying anxiety but hasn't run any tests. The xanax is 1 mg and doesn't do much of anything. And she's been on the Prozac for 1.5 weeks and they said that won't start working for at least 3 weeks. Today has been unusually rough for her. She woke me up panting and trembling. It has taken her 3 hours to finally stop and relax. Any suggestions?

Answer:I would definitely run some blood work on her at this point. It's a good idea to run it before you start daily chronic medications like Prozac but it will also rule out other things and side effects/problems that may have been caused by the vaccines (autoimmune disorders). Her separation anxiety is more than likely not caused by the vaccines though.

Date: Feb 18, 2017
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Urinating in the house

Question:I have a 3 year old fixed male cat who used to be able to be outside during the day at our old house. Now he has to stay inside most the time, only when I'm home where before it could be all day. He is peeing in the front room and the stairs, thankfully not the family room. I know he is mad he can't be outside all the time and this is temporary till we move again soon(military family). What can I do or is there something I can use to help him? Everyday I have to clean up urine, steam clean once a week, and buying the cleaners is getting expensive. Other than the peeing there is no other difference with his behavior.

Answer:Most likely stressed induced Feline lower urinary tract disorder, which is most of time, NOT due to a primary infection. Read more in detail about this condition by googling the excellent article by Wendy Brooks, DVM, on Feline lower urinary tract disorder. I would try the feliaway pheremone diffusers which you can get from 1800petmeds. Also consider cranberry products as well, in addition to the natural stress supplements known as Be Serene and/or Compose. If signs persist or worsen, he will need a full veterinary exam and evaluation, including urine analysis, etc

Date: Aug 28, 2016
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Others
Topic: Pulling Hair

Question:I Have A Question Why Is My Hamster Pulling His Hair Out? Like The Back Of His Back Is Completely Gone

Answer:Could Be Skin Parasite, Anxiety Or Allergy. See Vet If Persists

Date: Jul 6, 2016
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: My Cats Are Fighting.

Question:Hello, I Have 3 Cats. Houdini (male, Neutered), Mommy (female Neutered), And Fluffy (female Unneutered). For The Pass Few Months Houdini Has Been Acting Extremely Violent To Me, And His Mother (mommy). Fluffy Just Sits Back And Watches. Mommy Has To Be Dragged Out Of The Couch To Be Force Fed, And Has Lost A Lot Of Weight. Also When Houdini And Mommy Even Sees Each Other, They Get In A Pounce Position, Hiss At Each Other, And When Mommy Runs Off, Houdini Chases Her Under The Couch. Also (going To Keep It Pg) When Mommy Is In The Pounce Position, She Usually Pees Or Poos. Please Help!

Answer:You Can Try Natural Calming Agents Such As Be Serene Or Composure From 1800petmeds. You May Need To See Vet For Medical Evaluation Of The Cat And/or To See If Prescription Meds Needed For Aggression And/or Anxiety

Date: Jun 13, 2016
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Obsessive Compulsive Grooming

Question:Hi Dr. Dym, i Own An 8-year-old Flamepoint Himalayan Male Who Grooms Obsessively And Who Has A Very Long, Almost Gene Simmons-like Tongue. He Continuously Pulls Out Clumps Of His Beautiful Fur And Proceeds To Swallow It, Thus Forming Very Frequent Hairballs. He Has Always Exhibited This Behavior Ever Since He's Been A Kitten, So I'm Just Not Convinced That He Is Anxious Or Stressed. He Knows That I'm Watching Him As He Will Jump Down Out Of My Lap When I Go To Pull The Hair Clump Out Of His Mouth If I Catch Him In Time Before He Swallows It. While I Do Use Hairball Remedy Once/week, It Still Does Not Address The Ocd Behavior Or Constant Grooming. thanks So Much For Your Advice And Guidance!

Answer:You Could Try An Antihistamine Like Chlorphenirimine At Dose Of 2 Mg Twice Daily As Well As Supplementing With Dmg Liquid And Nordic Naturals Pet Omega 3 From 1800petmeds, Which May Help If Allergies. If Signs Persist Or Worsen, See Your Vet For Allergy Workup As Well As To See If Anxiety Involved.

Date: Dec 30, 2015
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Behavioural Problem

Question:About Six Weeks Ago My Friend's Indoor Cat Was Accidentally Shut In Their Bedroom For The Day, While They Were Both At Work. Understandably, The Cat Used Their Bed To Defecate And Urinate In Lieu Of Her Litter Tray. Unfortunately, She Has Taken To Repeating This Behaviour Quite A Few Times (not Sure How Many Times, My Friend Told Me Last Night The Cat Had Defecated On Their Bed Again The Night Before). When It Initially Reoccured, I Suggested The Cat Might Be Angry At Them And They Should Take It To A Vet. But My Friends Went To The Pet Shop And Were Told To Buy Some Kind Of Spray To Put On Their Bed. This Obviously Hasn't Worked. I Have Suggested Buying Brand New Bedding And Offered To Take The Cat Off Their Hands For A Few Weeks. Anyway, I'd Appreciate Your View On The Situation. Thanks!

Answer:I Would Try The Kitty Pheremone Spray Or Plug In Known As Feliaway, Which You Can Get From 1800petmeds Or On Line To See If Helps. If Not, Then Should Have Full Vet Exam And Evaluation To See If Any Medical Issues And/or If Anxiety Meds Are Needed.

Date: Sep 24, 2015
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Biting

Question:My Cat Wont Stop Biting My Family He Is 2 And Fixed

Answer:Needs To Have Full Medical Exam And Possibly Blood Tests To Make Sure No Underlying Medical Reasons Causing Aggressive Behavior. Many Behavioral Problems Will Respond To Working With Vet Specialist In Behavior, However Some Cats May Need Prescription Medications To Lessen The Aggression And/or Anxiety Associated With Such Behaviors.

Date: Apr 29, 2014
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Car Sickness/anxiety

Question:My Beagle Gets Very Car Sick Producing Lots Of Saliva, Urine, Vomit, And #2 Every Time I Try To Take Her To The Vet Or To Visit Family. We Have Resorted To Putting Her In The Bed Of A Pick Up But She Still Urinates And Drools, I Feel Bad Cause You Can See The Anxiety & Fear On Her Face. I Have Tried Associating Good Things With Getting Into A Vehicle But She Still Resists Us. I Have Tried Short 5 Minutes Rides And Rewarding Her Afterward If She Doesn't Get Sick But If We Go Any Longer She Gets Sick. I Have Tried Putting The Windows Down, Putting Her Up Font So She Can See, Toys, Just About Anything I Could Think Of. I Am Out Of Ideas. She Is Due For Another Vet Visit And I Would Like To Make This Trip A More Pleasant One For Both Her And Myself. What Can I Do/give Her To Prevent Her From Getting Sick?

Answer:Try The Homeopathic Remedy Cocculus In 30c Potency 30 Minutes Before Travel. You Can Also Give Her One Dramamine As Well As Ask Vet About Prescription Drug Called Cerenia

Date: Nov 14, 2013
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Attacks

Question:Hello Doc. I'm Writing In Regaurd Of My 6mo. Old Male Mixed Breed ,He Has The Marking Of A Siamese Or Hymalain With Blue Eyes He Is Short Of Short Haired He Is Beige With Grey Stripes,Have Tried To Intergrade Him In My Other Cats ,They Can't Stand Him . So I Thought If I Got Him Nutured And Declawed He Would Stop Stalking Me And Attacking Me As I'm On Blood Thinner For Heart ,It Looks Like When He Gets In The Attack Mode I'm A Big Old Fish Or Turkey,Lol,Lol Advise Would Be Greatly Appericiated For Me And Charley. Bobby

Answer:You Can Try Natural Calming Agents For All Cats Like Be Serene And Composure From 1800petmeds. Sometimes Prescription Anxiety Meds Are Needed.

Date: Nov 2, 2013
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Winter Care For Feral Cats

Question:Hello, Ive Taken Care Of Two Feral/stray Cats For Aprox 7 Years And Every Winter I Got Through Some Anxiety That I'm Not Doing Enough For Them In The Cold. We've Had A Two Story Cat House Built With Heating Pads, One Side Is Straw Beds. I Place Straw Around The Outside Of The House In The Winter And Use A Heated Water Bowl As Well. They Are Up To Date On Shots, Wormers And Both Fixed. I Just Wonder If There Is Anything More I Can Do For These Two Cats, I Worry About Them In The Winter And They Do Not Like Staying Indoors For Long. We Are Able To Pet And Play With Them, But They Do Not Like Being Inside. Any Thought On This? We Live In Illinois Near St Louis Mo. Thanks

Answer:I Think The Cat House With Heating Pads Is Best You Can Do. Great Job.

Date: Oct 6, 2013
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Mean Female Cat

Question:I Have 2 Cats, One 10 Yr Old Female And Almost 2 Yr Old Male. The Older Cat Gets Very Upset With The Male And It Has Gotten To The Point That She Will Hiss And Growl At Him If He Is Anywhere In Her Sight. He Cries When She Growls At Him And I Am At My Wit's End. They Seem To Do Fine For 2 Or 3 Weeks, Then Something Happens And She Is Growling And Hissing At Him Again. She Is Very Agreessive And She Has Even Scratched Me When I Was Trying To Calm Her Down. This Goes On At Any Hour Of The Day Or Night. They Woke Me Up At 3:30 One Morning. She Was Just Really Giving Him Hell!! Any Advice As To How To Handle This?

Answer:You Could Try Natural Calming Agents Like Be Serene From 1800petmeds, As Well As Feliaway Plug In Diffusers. Also Sometimes Prescription Anxiety Meds Are Needed Such As Amitryptylline, Clomiprimine Or Prozac, Which You Can Discuss With Your Vet.

Date: Aug 27, 2013
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Falls Over On Side

Question:Female 10yrs Old, Falls Over And Lays There For A Several Seconds After A Anxiety Episode, Such As; Running, Barking, Growling At A Squirrel Running Atop The Fence In The Yard. She Will Come Back As I Try To Settle Her Down, Staggering And Falls To Side On Ground. She Is Disoriented For A Moment Then Springs Back To Her Feet. What Do You Think Is Going On? Breathing Problem? Heart Condition? curious, Thank You.

Answer:Could Be Heart Or Neurologic Condition Including Seizure. Also Possible To Have Fainting Known As Syncope. Best To Have Vet Check And Full Evaluation To Rule These Out.

Date: Jul 16, 2013
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Boarding

Question:Do Dogs Feel Anxiety When Boarded In A Kennel?

Answer:I Am Sure Many Feel Anxious Away From Their Guardians.

Date: Mar 5, 2013
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Drug Interaction

Question:I Wanted To Try Fleax4 For My Rat Terrier She Currently Takes 25mg/day Of Amitriptyline For Anxiety She Weighs Apx 13lbs. Is It Safe For Her? What Are The Side Effects?

Answer:Usually Safe Medicine. Side Effects Include Excessive Sedation, As Well As Dry Mouth And Vomit/diarrhea.


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