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I am so terribly sorry for all you've been through. It just sounds horrendous. I can only tell you what I'd do, as I read through your post and empathized. I'd have the dog euthanized, even though it would be very sad. This ongoing, chronic illness, whatever it is, is not a happy life for your dog or your whole family. It sounds miserable. You need a break. My feeling is your poor dog needs a release from all this. (((hugs)))
 

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We haven't tried other antidepressants, but I am certainly open to it. I will ask at his next appointment. And if prednisone kept his gut calm I'd do that round the clock. Seriously. Shortened life span is ok if it means better quality of life. I wouldn't want to live sick the way he's lived all these years.
Gabapentin has really helped my SP who suffers from ptsd and separation anxiety. We added it to his prozac and it Makes a huge difference in his life. He eats better and has gained weight, has a relaxed waggy tail and seems overall much more relaxed, We still have issues with him but at least he seems more comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Thank you! That’s good to know, and I’ll suggest that to our new vet. We are weaning him off the Prozac at the moment to see what baseline is and consider other possible meds. And while he’s more excitable, he’s also shown a bit improvement in appetite. Most meals he’s eating with just a little encouragement instead of having to be fed by hand or tricks. His gut is still unstable, but I didn’t expect that to change. I appreciate your advice!
 

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When we took Jack off prozac it was over a 6 month period with the help of cbd. Things were ok then he started to become very depressed, lost weight, became emancipated and more anxious. Back on prozac, yes it was doing a lot for him. It took a long time to get him back nearly a year, then with the addition of the gaba he’s as good as he’s going to get.
the digestive issues you are with are terrible, and the poor guy mustn’t feel very good and knows no different! Frustrating for sure🥰
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Yeah, it’s a slow weaning process, and it’s possible it will be for nothing. But there’s no doubt that being on it suppresses his appetite, which just makes his stomach worse since he vomits when he’s empty. It doesn’t really make him happier to be on it, it just seems to sedate him a little. Since decreasing the dose he’s seemed a little more interested in life and food, but that could of course change again. Such a long, frustrating process. At least I feel like the new vet is more open to working on some of these issues more aggressively, because the whole thing is exhausting.
 

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I am very late finding this thread, but I’m glad I did. I can only imagine, from what you’ve written, how tiresome and exhausting this has been for you. You have done so much to improve his quality of life, and I commend you for that. I believe that most people, after trying for a much shorter period of time, would have turned him over to a rescue. You are a beautiful person for loving him enough to never give up and put his quality of life before your own.

I’ve never had a dog who was sick more than 7 weeks. Zeke got pancreatitis twice last summer and injured his neck at the same time. I feel for you in the sense of knowing how devastated I was, how much I cried and how it totally broke my heart to see him in so much pain. I doubt I could handle it for the long haul, although I’m sure I could find the strength if I had to.

Is he completely off the Prozac? It sounds like he was doing a bit better while being weaned off of it. And have you found another mood med to try, and with any success?

I agree with a couple others who said they would go with Clonazepam. I took it myself for a few years, and it was one of the best things for me. It kept my anxiety at bay and I could think more clearly and rationally. I don’t know about it for dogs, but it didn’t take a big dose to change my life. I know you’re concerned about him becoming dependent on it,and again, not sure about dogs, but when I stopped taking it, within a week I was done and had no ill effects at all. Again, I was on a pretty low dose.

I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this for 8 years... it’s quite understandable being at your wit’s end. I also understand your husband not wanting to let go, especially to euthanasia. So many of us keep our dogs alive too long. Not on purpose, it’s because we truly believe it is not the right time or the right thing to do.

If he is not doing better, I just want to say something... (Not in every case), but sometimes letting a dog move on is the greatest gift, and expression of love, you could ever give. Please understand I am not advising this be done at all. Only you will know when the right time is: which may be way in the future.

Take heart in knowing there is great support for you here, no matter what you decide. I’d love an update on how he is doing, although youprobably have done that already and I’m on my way to look for one. Take comfort in the love you have for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Oh, thank you so much for your sweet and touching reply. As for an update, he is still here. We’re down to every 3rd day on the Prozac and he is eating more independently, and the negetive brhaviors have not gotten any worse, but the chronic diarrhea is still bad. The diarrhea definitely got worse after he started the thryroid meds, although I can’t say if its correlation or causation without taking him off of it. Either way, he was barely off the metro for a week this time before the bloody poos were back. 😔
 

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I’m so sorry for everything you’ve gone through and that your Odin has struggled so. The digestive problems you describe sound like what Inflammatory Bowel Disease presented as in a German Shepherd we had. If you haven’t explored that and want more information, let me know. It took a biopsy at the U of M to diagnose that our Dharma couldn’t digest protein and needed a prescription food. Again, contact me if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thank you for your feedback! He actually spent over a year on prescription food (disgusting stuff) and still had flares. I guess it’s still possible that it’s a protein issue, but I don’t think we’re going to do a biopsy at this point. Of course, if the flares keep getting worse we may have to do something. 😔
 
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