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Dr L Simmon
Dr L Simmon, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4166
Experience:  Veterinarian MVB MRCVS
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Very anxious & stressed, she’s a 6 year old Chinese crested

Customer Question

Very anxious & stressed, she’s a 6 year old Chinese crested - she has always been an anxious dog but has gotten much worse
JA: I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice this anxiety?
Customer: she’s always had it, worse in last few months
JA: Have you tried anything so far that helps the dog with her anxiety?
Customer: Every anti anxiety remedy you can buy
JA: What's the dog's name?
Customer: Nana
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: She’s becoming aggressive
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr L Simmon replied 10 days ago.
Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet.
I'm sorry to hear this.
What seems to cause her anxiety e.g. being left alone, other dogs or loud noise?
Has she been checked over for any underlying medical issues such as a source of chronic pain e.g. joint pain?
Have you had her assessed by a behaviourist?
Have you tried any prescription medicine such as Fluoxetine?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
It’s mainly noise, but she gets very distressed around strangers & other animals when we’re out. She has been checked physically & all is ok. It may sound silly but she presents like someone who has autism. Not tried prescribed meds, tried advice from behaviourist but she’s a good dog generally
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I can’t speak on the phone at minute
Expert:  Dr L Simmon replied 10 days ago.
Not a problem, I am happy to continue talking via typing.
Noise phobia, issues with animal and issues with people must make for a difficult life for you.
With regards ***** ***** phobia, I would strongly recommend the Dog's Trust Sounds Scary programme which can be found here:
With regards ***** ***** people and dogs, it will be a combination of building positive experiences and reducing generalised stress (1 of 2).
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
She gets so stressed it’s impossible to get positive interactions when we’re out or with noise
Expert:  Dr L Simmon replied 10 days ago.
When the behaviour is extreme and the dog is older, correctional programmes often work best when we do them alongside prescription medicine and I would ask your vet about e.g. Fluoxetine which can really improve success levels.At home, we should work hard on building confidence with lots of positive reward based training. We should also keep her mind and body stimulated with lots of exercise, scenting games, food puzzles, interactive toys etc. The more we keep her active, the less any stress levels should be.
An Adaptil plug in is nice to have in the home.
We should also word at keeping a consistent and predictably routine so she knows what to expect each day.Be cautious not to overload her all at once and to take things slowly. We should aim for her to not become anxious and, if she does, this indicates we have exposed her to something that was too stressful for her and we need to take a step back.If you feel you aren't getting anywhere, working with the tight behaviourist should make a difference. (2 of 2).
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
We have adaptil & do try to keep her occupied, she seems to struggle to relax even when with us
Expert:  Dr L Simmon replied 10 days ago.
This can be a very common complaint.
In fact, some dogs have never "learned" to relax.
We should try to 'capture the calm' which means we reward heavily with praise and high value treats when she is actually relaxing. Thus she understands it is a positive thing.
Another good tool is a settle mat. This is a mat that she uses inside and outside that we teach her to lay and be still on. Again, we reward heavily when she does this. It should become her safe space. It will take time and she may only initially settle for 60 seconds but the aim would be to work up to longer and longer times.