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It depends. In some cases, anti-anxiety meds could be very helpful in the treatment.

Anti-anxiety meds? Sure. Sedatives? I don't think so. There is more to treating anxiety than drugging the dog into a stupor (not that I am suggesting you said that). I live with a dog who was on Clomicalm for the first year or two of her life, so I do know a thing or two about it. Of course, none of this takes into account that medicating a dog, in of itself is useless, unless it is combined with behavior mod.
Standing alone, yes. But in context, she also said she had searched to see if there were any contraindications, and couldn't find any.

To me, that's the scary part. There are side effects and contraindications for practically everything that alters moods, and I didn't have to search to know that it is not that cut and dry. There is real danger in thinking that herbal is somehow better or safer than standard pharmaceuticals. Heck, something that is all natural and good for some people can be bad news for others (like Digitalis).
I just think the attitude of "don't say it unless you can back it up 100%" is often taken to extremes. To the point of censorship, in some cases.

I have a problem with people making recommendations if they can't back it up. Giving your own story, or talking about what worked for you is one thing, but recommending it to others requires more diligence, IMO. At a minimum, it requires a 'Run this by your vet/trainer to see what he/she says' warning.
I perceived the post as cautiously optimistic. But that's one of the problem with trying to converse by the written word alone. It's often easy to misunderstand intentions.

While I agree with what you are saying, I certainly didn't see it that way, and I am not alone in that, from some of the other posts. There is a significant difference between 'X worked for me, and it is completely safe and effective' and 'X worked for me, and you may want to look into it further'.
If I were to post something like, "I have been giving Murphy devil's claw for her arthritis, and it seems to be working well," I refuse to be responsible for what a reader does with that information.

Seriously, I think that we all have to add whatever caveats are necessary to our advice, because we don't know who is reading or what they might do with that piece of information. Whenever possible, err in the direction of providing more information than might be necessary, not less. At least plant the seed in the reader's mind that something is worth investigating, not worth blindly following.
If we were to censor our statements to only those that couldn't be misunderstood or misinterpreted, or scientifically proven, we wouldn't have anything to say.

That is not what is being said. If you say something absolutely (dogs should only eat broccoli!), you must be willing to back up your assertions and not be terribly upset if you're called on what you have said. You are to be held responsible for the advice you hand out, good or bad.
I hope you don't mind my saying this, but I believe this is one of the reasons you get hauled over the coals every so often. Without being entirely sure of your audience, you have to watch how you word yourself so that it is unambiguous, provide cites when possible, and disclaimers when necessary. IMO, it is foolish to assume that everyone who is reading what you're writing have sense enough to parse it properly, and apply the necessary caveats and disclaimers themselves.

Suja
and it's unfortunate that this thread has devolved into taking shelly's valid concerns so lightly.

I don't take her concerns lightly. I have the same concerns. Yes, it worked for one dog, one time. That is not proof that it's "safe."

The problem isn't pointing out that valerian root might not be safe. It's the way it was pointed out. And even that wouldn't be a big deal if it hadn't just about become the norm to treat some posters with disrespect in this ng.

Early on in the thread, Diana began to reply with hurt feelings and apologies. Since I didn't see anything for her to apologize about, I went back to re-read the previous articles.
Here are some of the comments that set the tone. Subtly but steadily condescending and accusing:
* oh my.
* apparently, you didn't search very thoroughly.
* unless you know that, then suggesting its use for treating anxiety is reckless.
* i'm baffled at why you think you can give out medical advice without being held accountable for it.
Now, let's look at one of your comments:
* I'm not saying that your advice was bad, Diana, just that I like to see all points of view when it comes to the health of me and mine.

Does anybody see the difference in approach?

* perhaps if Matt or someone nicer than me would rephrase my questions in a more acceptable manner, you'd see
fit to respond?
(now directly addressing shelly)
Well, yea, if you don't immediately put somebody on the defensive, you may end up in a conversation instead of a snark fest.
And just what is it that you want her to "respond" to? Give you statistics about toxicity and side effects that she has already admitted she doesn't have? Why do you keep asking, if it's not an attempt to humiliate her?

Canine Action Dog Trainer
http://www.canineaction.com
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html
So, when it comes to anything that can be construed as medical advice, I take a very conservative approach and make it exceedingly clear that it's my opinion only and that a veterinarian should always be consulted.

That's all true but again IMO, one would have to be nearly brain dead to actually take advice on this NG, without consulting their Vet first and foremost. Anyone who would surely doesn't have their dogs best interest in mind if
they are taking advice from a total stranger on an NG with an assortment of trolls as well as a few knowledgable persons. And as far as I know not a single Vet here.
Gwen
Remind yourself that "natural" stuff is still made of chemicals. Hey, where do you think chemicals come from?

Heh. I remember one of the early Nutrasweet TV commercials. The camera pans over an idyllic background: cows grazing on lush grass, bees buzzing around blooms, butterflies doing whatever butterflies do. Voiceover: "Nutrasweet. Made from the same natural ingredients."
Well, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are natural, eh?

I hope they didn't mean that Nutrasweet was made from beef and bugs.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Early on in the thread, Diana began to reply with hurt feelings and apologies. Since I didn't see anything for ... points of view when it comes to the health of me and mine. Does anybody see the difference in approach?

Hands down no doubt in my mind. The first was posted with the intent to humiliate. The latter was posted with an honest concern.
Why do you keep asking, if it's not an attempt to humiliate her? Canine Action Dog Trainer http://www.canineaction.com My Kids, My Students, My Life: http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html

Good question. Only conclusion one can come to is the above.

And people here claimed months ago that it wasn't "human nature" to harrass. Someone must have forgotten to give that message to several of the OPs on rpdb.
Gwen
Anti-anxiety meds? Sure. Sedatives? I don't think so.

I don't know how valerian is classified, but I've personally taken it for anxiety, not sedation. If I were to compare it to the effects of another drug, I'd say it works like valium without the high. Helps untie the knots in your stomach, without the disorientation effect gotten from valium.

Canine Action Dog Trainer
http://www.canineaction.com
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html
Anti-anxiety meds? Sure. Sedatives? I don't think so.

I don't know how valerian is classified, but I've personally taken it for anxiety, not sedation. If I were to ... stomach, without the disorientation effect gotten from valium. Canine Action Dog Trainer http://www.canineaction.com My Kids, My Students, My Life: http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html

It IS how valium is made. Valerian from my understanding is one of the compound components in valium. And valium is definitely considered an anti-anxiety medication and often
given to get anxiety attacks or disorders
under control. Valium is not considered a sedation medication I do not believe.
Gwen
I don't know how valerian is classified, but I've personally taken it for anxiety, not sedation.

"Valerian is a traditional herbal sleep remedy that has been studied with a variety of methodologic designs using multiple dosages and preparations. Research has focused on subjective evaluations of sleep patterns, particularly sleep latency, and study populations have primarily consisted of self-described poor sleepers. Valerian improves subjective experiences of sleep when taken nightly over one- to two-week periods, and it appears to be a safe sedative/hypnotic choice in patients with mild to moderate insomnia. The evidence for single-dose effect is contradictory. Valerian is also used in patients with mild anxiety, but the data supporting this indication are limited. Although the adverse effect profile and tolerability of this herb are excellent, long-term safety studies are lacking." (Am Fam Physician 2003;67:1755-8. Copyright©2003 American Academy of Family Physicians) From http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030415/1755.html
Suja
Valium is not considered a sedation medication I do not believe.

It is.

Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

I was shrill before shrill was cool.
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