Third experiment with Trazodone: 2 May 2016

9:00 am: I gave Lyra a whole 100 mg tablet. On the previous two attempts, I’d given her 50 mg.

10:15 am: Lyra accepted her harness easily and was happy to go out for a walk – in spite of the rain. We went north (her new “thing”) and she was cautious as usual, but interested. When a pick-up truck passed us, she watched it the whole time, but did not strain towards it. In general, she seemed a little muted (though it might have been the rain).

11:30 am: I brought out the vacuum cleaner. It seemed a good trigger to test on a rainy day. One time (3 weeks into fluoxetine) she was pretty relaxed when Matthew was vacuuming the stairs; she watched him from the front hall. Ordinarily, though, the vacuum scares her — both the sound and the pushing motion. Her tendency, pre-medication, was to run away or bark anxiously at it. Today, she was nervous at first, when I wheeled it out to the front hall, even before I turned it on. I played a “find it” game, and she began to gain confidence. When I turned it on, I threw treats on the ground, and when she was close enough I handed them to her. She quickly caught on to the game, and seemed less anxious. After a few minutes, I took her into the office, set up the GoPro, and gave her a bully stick — with the idea of filming her as I continued to vacuum the other room. However, she left her bully stick (!) to come watch me. She played “find it” and, while she was never totally relaxed, she seemed to enjoy the game and even smile at times. I think it helped that Tolkien (the cat) joined in. I did this for about 20 minutes, with many pauses in between, giving her opportunities to escape — which she never took.

I took two videos, close together in time. The first is a bit long; the 2nd kind of sums up our progress:

11:55 am: I took her outside to play ball, but she was a little lethargic. I noticed a slight (barely perceptible) loss of coordination in her legs.

12:30 pm: while Michael and I ate lunch in the front room, Lyra chose to play with her treat ball (for about 5 or 7 minutes), then lay down in the front hall (i.e., NOT her closet). When she moved around, I thought I could see the slight loss of coordination. She never stumbled, but she seemed a little less sure on her back feet than usual.

3:00 pm: We took a short walk north (again; her choice). This time, she seemed less sure than lately. She was non-reactive to a car, people, and a man on his porch who spoke to me, but she seemed drugged. (I realize how daft that sounds.)  When we got back 10 minutes later, I took her into the back for a ball game, but she still seemed unsure, and was uninterested in chasing the ball. She barked at something I couldn’t see, and I thought her eyes looked a bit odd — but the pollen count is very high today (my own eyes are bothering me) so it could be the pollen.

4:15 pm: She still seems pretty lethargic.

Summary: this time, at 100 mg, I felt that the trazedone may have made a difference to her reactivity near the vacuum cleaner, 2 1/2 hours in to the dose. If so, it would enable me to work on her CC. What I need to do now is try a similar exposure without the trazedone, in case the fluoxetine by itself is helping. [postscript: I did some vacuuming with Lyra in the room on May 28 — no trazodone in her system, only fluoxetine — and she chose to play her “find it” game near the vacuum. So perhaps the traz. is NOT making the difference here]

Like the first experiment, though, her general anxiety seemed to increase by 6 hours post-dose. I was also more aware, this time, of the possible effect on her body: she seemed less coordinated and more lethargic at 3 hours post dose.

All in all, I’m not sure this drug is ideal for Lyra.