Boxers/7yr old male boxer
Hi, my boyfriend has a 7 yr old male boxer that takes fluoxetine for sepration anxiety. Even after taking this med,and eating Purina HA(hypo-allergenic ONLY, he still will not eat until one of us comes home. His bowl is placed on a shelf so he has to hold his head up and swallow. AND he lays by the window crying for HOURS until my boyfriend(owner) comes home even if I am there with him. Problem#1 is there anything else we can do for his anxiety? We take him as much as we can cause when he is left alone all day, he will chew his paws until they are bloody.
Problem#2. His gums are covering his front teeth. The vet says it's not a problem but if we want to take care of it or it gets worse we can go to a surgeon. Should we? I only ask because of Problem#3. Before he was medicated, he would starve until we came home and then eat fast and then puke it up immediately, henced raising the bowl up, which didn't help. The meds stopped most of it. But now he's doing it alot lately. So does this have anything to do with the gum issue? The food is still in complete solid form as it is just barely swallowed. He will be at the bowl eating and start the barfing process. Also, he did have to be hospitalized a few yrs back for his tummy turning?? thats when we went to special food, meds and only special treats.I really would like to keep him healthy as spoiled as possible so all your advice is very welcomed. thanks
I would like to address the gums growing over his teeth: your vet is incorrect. It is serious. Get a new vet.
Proliferating gum disease is a condition of an overgrowth of the gums in which they begin to cover up your dog’s teeth. There are two types of proliferating gum disease that commonly affect dogs: hyperplasia and epulides.
Symptoms of both include an increase in height and thickness of gums, bleeding, halitosis, excess drooling, and decreased appetite. Proliferating gum disease must be treated to avoid gum infection. Common treatments include antibiotics, and in a lot of cases, surgery.
Proliferating gum must be treated to avoid gum infection. An inherited condition common to Boxers and Bull Terriers. It can be treated with antibiotics but often needs oral surgery to cut the gums, clean the gums (food and bacteria grow under gums and deteriorate gums and cause gum disease and tooth loss as well) treat with an antibiotic as the surgery is being done, and then, it releases the teeth (opens gums to allow teeth to protrude as they are suppose to). It does have to be preformed by a canine oral surgeon (he or she is a specialist like our dentists are) and this is why your vet is not concerned. He or she gets no compensation...
If you want him to chew correctly so he can digest food correctly, then you must have his gums fixed. It helps his entire health!
And, Gingival hyperplasia presents as an overgrowth of the gums, both in height and in thickness. An epulis generally has a smooth surface and is the same color as the gums. Your boxer may drool or avoid eating as the epulis enlarges. Interference from other teeth may cause the tumor to become irritated or bleed. Bad breath occurs with both hyperplasia and epulides. While the causes of these conditions are unknown, hyperplasia may result from inflammation at the gum line. Dr. Fraser Hale, a board-certified veterinary dental specialist, also notes an association between some drugs and gingival hyperplasia, including calcium channel blockers, derivatives of phenytoin and cyclosporines.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/article/141668-proliferating-gum-disease-boxer
Also, do not allow any oral surgeon or any vet for that matter, use Acepromazine which is most dangerous to Boxers. It is the owners responsibility to inform the vet NOT to use Acepromazine!
Here are some links and info on Fluoxetine and separation anxiety:
All I can tell you concerning separation anxiety, is to crate him or leave him how you normally do, for 10 minutes, leaving the house even if in your yard where he cannot see you, then go back inside, praise him (if he wasn't destructive) and give him a special treat (reserve this treat for this occasion only for returning home) and continue this practice every day as often as possible in order to help condition him to the separation and associate the special treat and praise with it.
Read the links I gave you and try to follow the information. I have had great success with my technique, however.
As far as him gulping down food and throwing it up, it is his high-level of anxiousness, etc.
This is what your boyfriend should do:
Fill his bowl with his food, and hold the bowl while he eats. If he begins to eat too fast, your boyfriend should raise the bowl up and away from him. Tell him "easy" or "slow" an (one word command) then when he calms and sits (sit on command) offer him the food bowl while holding it, and as long as he eats slow and chews, etc. normally, remain holding his bowl while he eats. However, if he gulps it down again, raise the bowl upward and away from him and give him the "easy" or "calm" command and tell him to sit and do it over again.
This will help him learn to eat slower and feel more secure. Soon, he will be able to eat by himself at a slow pace.
Do not put his bowl any higher than 12-16 inches. I use a raised double bowl feed for large breeds. This helps reduce air and the likelihood of a twisted stomach... it is easier on the spine and neck, and is all around healthier for a middle sized to large breed dog such as the Boxer. It is called an "elevated feeder."
You can buy one at any pet store, sometimes major chain discount stores, and online.
Here is a picture and information:
You might pay $20-25-30-40 for the high-rise feeder, but well, well worth it.