Thursday, February 2, 2012

Isolation Anxiety

As I mentioned in Jude’s brief bio he suffers from isolation anxiety.  Not to be confused with separation anxiety.  Isolation anxiety is when your dog shows signs of distress when he's alone but is fine when he's with another person or dog.  Signs of distress include destructive behaviors, urinating and defecating in the house and barking.  Separation anxiety is when your dog shows signs of distress when a particular person or persons is gone.  So in other words Jude is fine as long as he’s with another person or dog however, if he’s left alone even for just a few seconds chaos ensues.  Jude’s signs of distress are excessive vocalization, running around frantically, scratching at the door and panting.  Fortunately like I said I'm very luck because he’s fine as long as he has a buddy around.  So he always has a buddy around!   

Jude waiting for me to get out of the shower!

Jude can never be too close

Jude with his buddy Dreyfus

Separation/isolation anxiety can be a devastating and very frustrating problem.  If you think your dog suffers from anxiety I recommend talking with your veterinarian first to make sure something health wise isn’t causing the problem.  For example, urinating in the house can be related to a number of health issues including kidney failure, diabetes, urinary tract infection, abnormalities of the pituitary gland, and many others not just anxiety.  If your veterinarian determines that there is nothing health wise causing your dog’s anxiety I would then recommend working with a board certified veterinary behaviorist.  A veterinary behaviorist is a veterinarian who has completed a residency program and has passed specialty exams given by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.    

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