Late last year Charlie started showing signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD). He would frequently seem disoriented, lost, he tripped often, and didn't seem like himself. It steadily got worse until early this year I decided I wanted to do something about it. My vet said we could try him on a drug called Selegeline which is being used in humans to combat dementia and early stage Parkinson's, as well as in dogs for CCD with great effects. The downside was that he would need to be weaned off Prozac and be "clean" for two weeks before he could start it. This would be the first time in over 6 years that he would be off anti-anxiety medication.
More than anything, seeing him go through this, going through this with him, has shown to me how clearly his behavior "problems" are a medical issue. These are not behaviors he has control over. There's nothing to train. Let me repeat that: there's nothing to train. He's not doing anything wrong, I'm not doing anything wrong. He can't do anything any differently and I am doing all I can to make his life easier to handle. His brain is wired wrong and he needs medication to keep it working with a semblance of normalcy. I don't think I ever really understood the implications of this truth until now.
Please don't leave medication for a last resort. Sometimes there's only so much that training and management can do. Sometimes they really need more help. And in those instances, prolonging the anxiety and discomfort does no one any good.