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Off to Isis’s vet, RSPCA Newbrook Farm, today along with newspapers from the neighbours and donated bedding, items which the centre always needs.
Isis has an appointment at 9.50 to discuss her enduring problems with anger management. I am also concerned with her weight. I expected her to have lost weight with all the running round she does and have increased her food but she still seems very thin.
We arrive early and Ji. and I take the bags up to reception in the car before driving to the car park. We are early and have plenty of time for Isis to investigate all the riveting smells. Which is just as well. She sniffs around the borders with huge enthusiasm before reaching the edge of a meadow. “I bet there are plenty of rabbits in there,” I remark to Ji. Isis thinks so too and her pink spotty nose is glued to the fence. Eventually, I have to carry her.
I remember the first time she went to Newbrook Farm and twirled continuously in the waiting area, snapping light flies until everyone behind the desk was watching her antics. Now she is a much more grown up dog although, of course, she refuses to sit still. She has learned that if she backs away from me, she can pull her harness over her head so we are kept busy retrieving her before she achieves this.
When I weigh her, I am relieved to see that she is 11.25 kilos. The vet tells me that, although she is lean, her weight is fine and what one would expect of a very active and anxious dog.
The vet explains to me that situational sedatives are not favoured because they generally make the dog very floppy. Although the animal becomes very physically relaxed, s/he is still aware of the triggers which provoke her anxiety but is unable to respond. This situation causes more anxiety.
She recommends a tricyclic ant-idepressent found to be an effective treatment for anxiety and compulsive behaviour in dogs, alongside continued work on behavioural modification. It is a short term treatment. The vet suggests a six week course with fortnightly checks.
She is no more keen to use medication than I am but feels that it could be helpful in Isis’s case.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.com