Pug Anxiety Disorders: No Laughing Matter

Anxiety in dogs can be just as complicated as it is in people. It can actually be more difficult to handle because dogs cannot talk to you and tell you what is wrong. From separation anxiety to sudden anxiety disorder, the minds of our adorable colleagues can be a worrying place. Toy breeds, such as Pugs, follow us and rely heavily on us for emotional support, which is why they are often susceptible to anxiety disorders.

We were recently presented with an anxiety problem with our pug, Martini, which eventually became unbearable. Martini has always been very sticky when it comes to me and my wife. Separation anxiety is something that usually only worries us when we are on vacation because one of us is at home most of the day.

Martini’s situation turned different when she developed a sudden anxiety disorder. She got into “real fights” with her Shih-Tzu sister, Bella, which resulted in bites and sometimes blood. It happened when Martini was startled by unexpected sounds such as knocking on the door, falling objects, strong storms or barking dogs. When this happened suddenly, he would attack his sister violently! She would also be jealous if my wife held Bella and attacked her sister as well. Bella would not only get hurt, but we would also be in the same proximity.

Martini’s emotional problem began to dominate our home as my wife and I were walking on eggshells trying not to make sudden sounds etc. It was no way to live. Finally, after the worst fight we had ever seen, we decided it was time to act. We decided to speak to our vet first and discuss our situation.

Dr. Wagner has been our respected veterinarian for the past two years and has a son, Boston Terrier. He gave us several options and suggested that we prescribe Martini an anti-anxiety medication, amitriptyline (10mg) and now give it to him twice a day. After doing some research, I found out that this drug works by increasing neurotransmitter levels and was once prescribed for humans. The neurotransmitter “serotonin” appears to be responsible for helping with anxiety.

Another option our vet gave us was the use of dog appeasement pheromone spray (DAP). This clear, odorless spray prevents fear or stress-related behavior in dogs by simulating the pheromones that a female dog secretes to comfort her offspring. 8-10 liquid sprays in the common area of ​​dogs seem to help with the situation, but we use it sparingly as it is expensive.

In general, the situation in our home is day and night compared to what it used to be. Martini occasionally freaks out, but when he does, he doesn’t attack; in fact, we haven’t had a fight since. We do not know if he will always be taking medication, but medication is a small price to pay for the peace, harmony and happiness of our pets. Our Pug will never be perfect, but that’s part of the reason we love her so much!

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