'After 4 years of seeing her so distressed... it's AMAZING!' Do you have an Autistic pet?
"We have been using the stress relief remedy Fears and Anxieties plus Vitality powder on a daily basis and today has been a real test for our #autisticdog. I've noticed her definitely being more aware of her surroundings, sniffing the air and space around her in the garden, but today we've had the cooker hood on (she usually hides when this is on) and she's happily played games with treats. Our neighbors have also been using power tools outside, while my husband has had power tools on, inside and outside of the house and no shivering or shaking! Sassy happily played with a treats ball instead.
After 4 years almost of seeing her so distressed with life I can see such a difference.
Thank you." x
"These are amazing changes in such a short space of time!"
"We've been going for 2 weeks and today my husband not only moved her bed whilst using power tools, but she stayed on it and just watched, occasionally picking up a toy to chew!!!! Usually she gets into attack mode as soon as the tool is out of the box!!!!! Unfortunately she still reacts to the neighbours dogs the other side of the fence, but hopefully this will ease in time too. x
I will see if I can forward a photo for you. Only too happy to share especially if it helps others. I've tried various things over the years, but this is by far the best for her." x
"Wonderful! And the longer she continues like this, the better she will become and the more she will enjoy life!
Out of interest, what have you tried in the past?"
"Valerian liquid is one thing, pulsatilla and also Rescue Remedy off top of my head. I will check the store cupboard for other products. We used to go diligently to training, in hope that socialising would help. It made a difference while she was there, but not when she was back out of the comfort zone, as it were.
This is a typical scene. (I haven't pushed going out into the big wide world because she's making so much progress in familiar surrounding I don't want to push her too much and undo where we have got to so far.) I was watching her in the garden. My husband had the power tools going inside our house and my neighbour had power tools going in his garden. Usually just hearing voices in the garden would send her into fight mode and she would be jumping at the fence like a Springbok. On this occasion, she just stood listening to my neighbours having a conversation, looking at my back door knowing the noise was in my house. She stood listening for what seemed ages, sniffing the air then decided to head towards the fence but stopped and looked at me. I simply said 'NO!' sternly and then 'LEAVE!' and she kind of shrugged her shoulders and walked back to sniff something else before calmly trotting indoors, not paying attention to the noise my husband was making at all!!!
I am seeing such a change in her, it's AMAZING!" X
What is Autism?
This is a condition of the nervous system which affects how the world is perceived (seen, heard, smells, tastes and is felt), along with the people, other animals and objects in it.
The way information is processed and understood is often different, which influences the ability to learn, understand and interact with others.
For many affected by this condition, the environment they find themselves in feels frightening, unsafe and unpredictable, which leads to the development of reactive and / or repetitive behaviours, in an attempt to gain some control over what happens in their lives, and provide security, order and relief.
However, life is unpredictable and the repeated triggering of fight or flight mechanisms in affected individuals when these protective measures are challenged, becomes a constant source of stress, which is detrimental to well-being and psychological, emotional and physical health over time.
Although contentious for some, in our experience Autism does exist in dogs and cats (which is not unsurprising given that they are subject to many of the risk factors associated with this condition in people, notably genetics, medications, vaccinations and environmental chemicals).
Not a naughty pet
Signs of autism include:
- failing to respond to their name being called, or appearing not to hear at times
- averse to physical contact and / or being held, preferring to be alone or 'in their own world'
- avoiding eye contact, even with those they live with
- not wanting to interact or play with anyone, or other animals
- struggling to understand simple directions
- overly passive, aggressive or disruptive in social situations (with both people and other dogs / cats)
- difficulties interpreting body language (facial expressions, body postures and / or tone of voice)
It's important to remember that these and other protective mechanisms and / or behaviours are born out of a fear that 'something bad' might happen or is happening, and they are designed to ward off the perceived danger.
Stress Relief and Reconditioning
Reducing the sensitivity of the nervous system to known triggers, which set fight or flight reactions in motion and all that goes with this (including increased blood adrenaline and cortisol levels) is a necessary step in helping pets with this and similar conditions. Without this, the stress created and sense of panic induced, prevents new, positive experiences being offered during training and reconditioning exercises from being accepted, and healthier behaviours formed as a consequence. This is why repeated reassurances along with techniques intended to help pets lose their fears and gain confidence, often have a limited impact or fail altogether. Using a remedy which naturally, and effectively relieves stress at the same time on the other hand, helps to create a state of being which is more receptive to change and the development of healthier perceptions and patterns of behaviour.
A Note on Nutrition
The nervous system needs a rich supply of numerous vitamins and minerals in the diet each day, for normal healthy functioning. It is especially important therefore, that any pet with a nervous system problem, whether this is predominantly mental, emotional or physical, are fed as nutritious a diet as possible, which supplies all the nutrients that nerves need, to function as best they can.
This is best achieved by feeding a high quality raw or home-cooked food whenever practical, or the highest quality processed pet food that can be afforded, which is supplemented with concentrated sources of natural, biologically active and easily digested vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Vitality, Digestion and Grizzly Salmon Oil are ideal for this.
Time and Patience
Autism and similar states (such as fears, anxieties and behavioural problems induced by past traumas, as is often seen in rescue animals) are deeply rooted in the nervous system, and so it is important to remember that any potential change that can take place needs time, patience and perseverance to manifest. For anyone who has a phobia (mine used to be the dentist!) or ever had a bad fright, this is easy to understand - the world or a particular activity / situation doesn't become safe, never mind pleasurable, overnight.
The transformation of Sassy and other pets responding to Fears and Anxieties in conjunction with confidence building retraining activities and reward based reinforcement, in a safe, secure and loving 'space', shows that a much healthier and happier life is possible for many dogs and cats with Autism and similar conditions.