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My senior dog (12 yo Australian shepherd) is having anxiety attacks lately. He paces and pants and tries to jump on me and nose me and he whines and barks...general annoying behavior. He is keeping me up at night which is annoying, but my real concern is that he seems to be in mental distress. Clearly he is very upset and he can't seem to do anything to relieve his stress. Last night it started at about 9:30 PM and lasted until 3 in the morning. He was so stressed out for so long I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack. Are there any over the counter drugs or supplements that can help relieve his stress.

Thanks.
 

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I have a 12.5 year old Aussie too. And we are having some cognitive/sort of anxiety issues. He paces a lot. Etc. You could try an pet calming formula. I have used a formula that had
L-Tryptophan as the active ingredient and that worked pretty well. I got it at the local pet store but I know it is used for mild anxiety in humans too so health food stores probably carry it. If it doesn't work, at this age I would not hesitate to talk to a vet to rule out other problems and then talk about prescription meds just so he is not in distress. While anxiety meds are not the greatest, in my opinion at this age it is all about comfort.
Good luck
 

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We've tried Pet Naturals of Vermont - Calming XL. They are natural but I don't know if they'd work for that level of anxiety. We used to have a very old Siamese cat that would howl at night, he seemed very disoriented and was going deaf.

Sounds like sundowners syndrome in humans. Does it only happen at night? If so could you leave a night light on or see if melatonin is safe for dogs?
 

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Even my previously aloof sight hounds became anxious and needy towards the end of their lives; following me everywhere, pacing and panting and a burden to themselves. I started to crate them more frequently to give them a break. But I was never able to calm them. Sorry you and your dog are going through this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your help. I kind of thought there wasn't much I could do but I thought I would find out if you guys had any advice. I will call the vet.
 

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When our older shepherds started pacing and panting, it was typically because they were in pain. Usually arthritis starting to kick in.

Maybe this is a neurological trait in aging Aussie's?? I'd make a vet appointment.
 

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Passion Flower

1.22.14
My GSDs do not have anxiety, but my pit mix has separation anxiety. I started giving him one gel tab of PASSION FLOWER, which you will read, is a natural sedative for people and pets.
But, make sure you clear it with your vet first. It has helped my boy and he looks and feels relaxed. You can buy it at any vitamin store or health food store. No bad side effects.
 
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