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Catch 22

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Jaspy65, Nov 10, 2012.


  1. Jaspy65

    Jaspy65 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,
    I'm looking for help and hope you don't mind me messaging on here, We have a 10yr old black lab x who we rescued 4 yrs ago from RSPCA, she was living at a puppy farm before. She was extremely nervous of people when we got her and has improved no end. However, she has always been wary of noises in particular bangs, so the first year she was a bit shaky with fireworks, the next year she climbed on the sofa for cuddles, the yr after she tried to get behind the sofa and into the wall, but now it's not just fireworks, it's any sudden noise, like a car door, someone putting something in a skip, thunder, strong wind or rain etc, and if we aren't home she goes crazy. She manages to turn over chairs, push dining room table across room, rip off door frames, wee everywhere especially on anything smelling of me, ripping coats, bags etc that are on the side, a few weeks back she even managed to move the freezer across the kitchen and unplug it. We've tried her in a metal crate, but she was scared during one thunderstorm and managed to get out of it ripping out teeth in the process. She is so scatty she is always limping from skidding on the lino and then after a session like yesterday's she is limping worse on front and back legs. If the noise is at night and we're in bed she will fly onto the bed and pace the bed for hours not getting any comfort from us.
    We are so worried for her safety and for the house. Also, we are expecting our first baby in 17 weeks and it scares me to think she could freak out at something then and do more damage to the baby too.
    We have tried plug in calmers, dog version of rescue remedies and other natural things. Zylkene did nothing, Xanax did nothing.
    She gets so freaked out she won't even go in the garden anymore, and if she does she just hides under the decking!
    She won't go for a walk anymore, she has lost weight recently as she isn't eating well.
    Any help is greatly received as we are at our wits end now and she just seems so uninterested in anything, ie walks, food, affection from us.
    We obviously would love her to stay with us, but if it means us and her being unhappy/unsafe then we need to look at other options, but we aren't sure what those options are.

    The vets tell us the only option now is to see a behaviours specialist and possibly prozac. Our concern is 1. We don't know her history the 6 yrs before we had her. 2. It's very expensive and like I said, we have a baby coming. 3. We've been told it will take 3-4 months to make a difference if it is even possible, and in 4 months a baby will arrive, which I can't see being positive. 4. When she freaks out anything in her way gets trampled on, and if a baby is on a playmat/in a bouncy chair on the floor, she will trample over it.

    We are very seriously considering either taking her to a rescue centre or to request she gets put down. But every rescue place we speak to and every vet all say 'here is a number for a behavioural specialist'.

    Thanks in advance for any help,

    Jo and Jon Bailey
     
  2. Rah

    Rah PetForums Senior

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    Sorry to hear you're having trouble with your girl.

    How long has this behaviour been going on?

    I believe your vet is right, though. You should contact someone trained in behaviour. I know they say progress may take 3-4 months, but with guidance, there'll be training you can do at home too. Have you tried a thunder shirt? I've seen some people on the forum with their dogs wearing these during a thunder storm and they seem to be wonderful as a calming remedy.

    I hope you will exhaust every avenue before you put your girl up for rescue.

    The very best of luck to you both.

    SJ
     
  3. Jaspy65

    Jaspy65 PetForums Newbie

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    We have tried the thunder shirt, no luck! When we rescued her she came as a pair but we sadly lost her friend 2 yrs ago, to be honest she has never been right since, but it's definitely got worse in the past 6-8 months.
    I'm just not sure a behaviour specialist can show us anything different, we have explored every avenue we have come across and tried very piece of advice given.
    It's so sad to see her so unlike her usual self,
     
  4. Rah

    Rah PetForums Senior

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    So something has changed perhaps.

    How has your baby planning been? Have you been stressed? Redecorating?

    It seems that it may have come around in the time of your pregnancy. Perhaps she's picked up on the changes around the house?

    But I don't see how a seeing a behavioural specialist would do any harm. They might know something that you haven't thought of :eek:

    I'd give it a whirl, its the only thing you haven't tried by the sounds of it. Explain what you've tried, and see where that leads you.

    SJ
     
  5. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    How much has the vet explored as regards to looking for underlying causes?

    If she isnt eating and is losing weight uninterested in things, then there could be underlying illness or reasons especially in a 10 year old dog. Certain behaviours can be caused by things like liver problems and endocrine problems as well. Has he done a full examination to see if there is pain and anything abnormal going on. Even if he is without full blood tests you can never be sure. Endocrine problem like hypo thyroid can cause fear and anxiety but that is a specific blood test.

    Older dogs can also suffer from something called cognitive dysfunction syndrome too and some of the symptoms, can be uninterested in things, not responsive to owners their name or commands, total confusion in situations,
    Pacing and more active at night, sleeping more in the day time. loss of house breaking and having accidents.
    If it should be that there is things that can help like aktivait thats helped with a lot of old dogs with CDS some on this forum its made a big difference too.
    http://www.vetplus.co.uk/PDF/LEAF/aktivait_leaflet.pdf
    There are other veterinary medicines too like vivitonin that can help thats quite an older medication now but still available plus there are newer ones too.

    Depending how far with tests the vet has done to rule out physical or illness causes may well be worth looking into.
     
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