Weaning off Prozac.

The reason Jake went on Prozac was that after Melvin died, his days were harder for him to manage.  In fact, some things he couldn’t manage at all. The howl-crying at the door I had mentioned, but he also went back to having severe separation anxiety when I’d leave. It was worse than when he first came to live here because after Melvin died, he was truly alone in the house. I know how to work him through the SA but once we started the Prozac, the remaining SA went away, even though it wasn’t a goal for taking it.

So in essence, I forgot about a couple things that Jake did pre-Prozac.  But have no fear, he has reminded me of all of them.  At once.

During the snow storm, when I’d go outside to shovel, I’d hear Jake.  It was a noise I recognized, he was honking, like a duck because I’d left him alone.  He had not done this for several months, why was he doing it all of a sudden. (In Blizzards, your brain slows down, true story.).

He also suddenly could not be without me, but not in a cute, cuddly way.  If I got up to go to the loo, he would frantically scramble to get up and run to find me in a ‘HOLY CRAP WHERE DID SHE GO I’M ALL ALONE AND MAY DIE’ way.  I’ve had a velcro dog.  Velcro dogs follow you calmly to the loo.  Jake ‘ran’ and plowed into walls desperate to locate me. Why in the world was he doing this? (my brain, still in slow-mo).

Then, as I was cooking in the kitchen and Jake was sitting in the dining room, full view of me, he started barking at me.  The ONLY time he does this is if a Kong rolls under furniture.  I looked, no Kongs.  He kept doing it.  Sitting. Barking. Then he did the same when I was watching TV, sit and bark.  And when I was in the shower. Sit and bark.  So much sitting and barry-white-voice-barking.

And then it hit me, the Prozac was helping with anxiety we didn’t even know he had. It was beyond grief.  I had said all along that Melvin is a dog that needed people.  Jake is a dog that needs another dog.  If only he knew this. A sibling dog would stay with you when I leave. A sibling dog would stay with you when I GO TO THE BATHROOM!

So… I’m back in planning mode.  We are going to see the behaviorist for his anxiety.  Never, ever, is life dull!

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11 thoughts on “Weaning off Prozac.

  1. Oh Jake. Can’t make anything easy on your mom, can you?

    Looking forward to hearing the behaviorist update. I can understand the reasons for not wanting to keep him on medication if he doesn’t need it, but it sounds like if it’s been helping him with his separation issues (albeit by surprise!), it might be worth keeping him on it or adjusting to a medication that might help with the SA but perhaps offer less adverse effects with meeting other dogs. Good luck, we’re rooting for you and Jake!

    • I am not against the Prozac, or any medication that he needs. Knowing now that he still needs something, i just want to make sure he’s gets on the right thing. The Prozac was for the grief and while it helped tone down these other anxieties, if there is a drug that might let him be more open to other dogs, I’d like to know!

      • We have Daisy on amitryptiline (Elavil). It helps with the separation anxiety and we notice a marked difference in her reactivity levels when she’s had it vs. when she hasn’t. From what I’ve read, it avoids some of those Prozac side effects. You can also look into Composure, which is a supplement chew, is all natural, and our trainer/vet tech swears by.

  2. So glad you have a great behaviorist. As you say, never a dull moment! Just wish something would go right for a change, or easy instead of complicated. We’re rooting for you both!

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