2/24/2016 4:21:40 PM
We’ve had Pepper for 5 years now. She’s a mutt someone found on the side of the road that we took into our home and we all love her dearly.
The problem is that she has severe anxiety, especially with things like thunder or fireworks. Even a light rain gets her panting & pacing uncontrollably. If we’re not home, bad things can happen. She panics & decides that whatever is on the other side of the door is better than where she currently is, and she is a powerful dog when scared.
We can’t just leave her out to roam the house. Any closed door is in danger of being destroyed (that picture from the previous link, that’s only ONE of the doors she’s done that to. This has happened multiple times). This includes the front door or any of the side doors.
Even if she’s not panicked, she’s nervous. She has a habit of licking her paws incessantly, leaving a puddle of drool wherever she is. If the doors are open, that’s generally a bed or a couch. We’ve tried everything to keep her off things, but nothing has worked over the years.
So, we can’t close doors & keep her out without the risk of destruction, and some of our doors are pocket doors which are not easily replaced. We can’t really leave her out then. So crating is generally accepted.
That doesn’t work either. She chewed through a plastic crate, so we bought one of those wire ones. She destroyed that one so thoroughly, we couldn’t put it back together. So we bought one of these beasts. She can’t get out of it. But that’s the bad part.
When we first tried out this crate, she shattered teeth trying to chew her way out. We came home to poop, slobber, chunks of teeth, and enough blood to qualify as a crime scene. So we bought a muzzle.
She still breaks teeth off trying to get out.
Today, she ended up getting the muzzle caught in her mouth, now she has lacerations on her face (plus more broken teeth, blood, poop, and slobber).
We’ve tried thunder-shirts. She’s currently taking anti-anxiety medication (a milk derivative) to no avail. We give her calming treats with melatonin, tryptophan, and chamomile - nothing. We leave on the radio & lights, but she panics. At night, she’ll sleep in the crate with no problem, so it’s not that she hates it, she just goes literally insane with fear and has to ‘get out’ of wherever she’s at.
If we leave her out, she’ll destroy the house. If we crate her, she’ll destroy herself.
The only thing that works is doggy valium but because we live in Florida where any day can turn into a thunderstorm on a moment’s notice, the only way for that stuff to be effective is to give it to her every day. At that point, when she’s stoned out of her gourd, she’s not a dog, she’s just a throw rug that needs to be fed.
She’s never been an outside dog, and if we put her outside, she could get out easily and is the type of dog that wanders if given the chance. Plus, she’d tear through the screen to get somewhere other than where she’s at.
So, can’t leave her out, can’t crate her up, and can’t put her outside. The only drugs that work are ones that negate having a healthy, happy dog, and the natural things don’t work. We can’t keep spending $$$ on medications and furniture and training and whatnot. No shelter will take her because she’s considered destructive, and we’ve had no luck finding anyone who would adopt her.
There’s only one solution left for us, and I’m mortified that I’d have to put a dog down because of this. But what kind of life is she having if several times a week she’s in such abject terror that she’s literally tearing herself apart? She’s happy when she’s at our feet, but the majority of her day isn’t spent with us. Is being put down a better option for her? I don’t know.