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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28345
Experience:  25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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We have a 7 year old Border Collie, we have had him years,

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We have a 7 year old Border Collie, we have had him for 5 years, he has always been fearful of being handled when giving medication etc, last time we had to go to the vet they couldn't even get a muzzle on as he was so frightened, the thing is in the last few weeks he has got frightened of us putting our hand out to pet him, he growls and goes to snap, something has obviously frightened him but we don't know what, he has always liked being made a fuss of and is OK with family and friends who come to the house it is just us, we can brush him and wipe him and also make a fuss of him when he is playing and has a ball in his mouth, it seems if we just put our hand out to him he is scared although sometimes he will sit by me and almost ask to be stroked, the problem is now he is fearful of us and us of him, what is the way out of this?
Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

I am so sorry to hear about your sweet guys condition...this can be tough to handle. Something has really frightened your guy and you may never know what it is but will have to work to alter this.

They develop fears that cause extreme anxiety similar to those anxieties of humans. The only way to get him over this is "Desensitization" which means constant exposure until he realizes that these fears will not hurt him. To do this, first avoid these while making your dog comfortable in his situation. You may need help in doing this since when you try, as you have experienced, he is too afraid to understand. Purchase a DAP Collar at the pet store. This is a canine pheromone that acts as a calming agent and will decrease anxiety.
Thundershirts are useful since this is one of the most common fears causing extreme anxiety and can be very effective.
If this is not enough, your vet will have medication to help him past this. Take him to your vet for an exam to be sure there is not a medical cause for this and ask about anti anxiety medication such as Fluoxetine or Buspirone. Then expose him to the things he fears over and over, constantly talking in a soft voice and giving treats when he does something positive. Here is a site with more tips: will have to click CLOSE WINDOWS to get into this site.

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.

Sincerely, ***** *****
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