2017 already… Yikes.
First, a little update. Abe has been on Prozac for a month now, and the improvement is remarkable. Since starting the meds, I’ve noticed that he’s able to “come back” after crossing his threshold in a stressful situation. When he started on the meds, my vet told me that he might need to increase his dose, as the dose he was started on was very low for his body weight. After the introductory period, I have recently increased his dose. It’s still a low dose, but now it’s actually at the recommended dosage for his body weight. In my personal history using SSRI’s, I’ve had to do some dosage increases as well. I was hesitant at first, but it was just what I needed. If the dosage increase isn’t what Abe needs, I’ll decrease his dose back to what he was on before.
Ever since the nail clipping incident, I’ve been thinking about and researching how I should proceed. Youtube has been my friend over the past weeks. I always like to take in many different viewpoints and do my own research to determine which tactic is best for me. One thing that one trainer said that really perked my ears is advice that I’ve always, always, ALWAYS tried to follow when training my horses: at every point in the training, the animal needs to be comfortable. When introducing something new, a little discomfort is expected, but it should be brief and easily conquered. For example, if I want to work with Abe to accept being touched, I would click and treat when I touch him. In the beginning, I would stick to places that don’t cause him to be anxious; however, if there weren’t any places that I could touch him that wouldn’t make him nervous, the first few touches would cause him to be uncomfortable. But, as the touches and treats continue, the discomfort turns into excitement as he looks forward to being touched because he gets a treat.
So that’s my plan going forward. It was always my plan, but I got a little ahead of myself with the nail clipping. They do need clipped, but it’s really not the end of the world if they get long so I can take the time to make him comfortable. Admittedly, I am somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to my animals’ feet. I trim my horses weekly in between farrier visits to keep them in top shape; I literally have a schedule on my phone to tell me who needs trimmed that week. I need to put that aside and take the time to do it right.
So we move forward.