Help with a growling dog, changed behaviour

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by K2017, Jan 3, 2018.


  1. K2017

    K2017 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all

    Ok so we have a dogue de Bordeaux he will be 2 in March. He’s had quite a few problems first problem finding out he had hip dysplasia however specialist said the condition can be monitored with hydro therapy. He never used to growl or anything at this point.

    It’s been lately, he is fine majority through out the day although at times he can growl, but it’s mostly late afternoon or evening but like I say it has started sometimes through the day this is why I am concerned...: if we go anywhere near him his eyes go big, he stiffens and he growls. This happens if he is lying down, eating, pet him. Yes you may say leave him however he’s not always been like this and it concerns me if I have a child. He has recently been ill being sick and lost a lot of weight. Vet bill 2500 had X-ray scans, cat scans, endoscopy etc but they cannot find anything sinister. They have said they want to investigate further but the bill worries me, surely if there was anything this would have shown?

    He is still sick now and then he can go a week fine and then twice in a day however not sure if this is normal for dogs? I’ve changed his food put him on hypoallergenic food etc.

    Do you think I need a behaviourist? Can these people even sort issues like this out or can anything be done. Yes I always let a lying dog lie however it’s getting often and I want to use this warning sign to resolve the issue.

    He is the most friendly dog and loving dog when he is not in these moods and also when he is outside he is very happy off the lead running around.


    Any help would be appreciated, sorry for long post xx
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I wonder if he's in pain from his hips, especially as you say it's late afternoon or evening when he's been walked during the day. A growl is a warning from him to be left alone and if you persist then he is likely to go one step further and bite.
     
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  3. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell It wasn't me.

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    It definitely sounds to me like pain. It could be his hips or it could be his stomach if it happens after food. How much and how often are you feeding him?
     
  4. K2017

    K2017 PetForums Newbie

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    I know I’ve thought this too, I’ve got some anti inflammatory medicine there I’ll try him on that for a few days see what he is like. Also his hydrotherapy stopped for a few weeks lately as he hasn’t been well.
     
  5. K2017

    K2017 PetForums Newbie

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    I have started feeding him half a tin of the vet food and also half biscuit, 4 times a day. I used to feed him twice as larger amounts however this has seemed to stop the sickness well sometimes but he still growls a lot
     
  6. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell It wasn't me.

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    Did he start losing the weight when you cut back on his food?
     
  7. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    When a previously good natured dog begins growling, which is basically him asking you not to touch him, something is wrong.

    I assume he isn't insured?

    It seems likely he has a medical problem. Consistent vomiting is not normal and he could have pain in his hips.

    He needs Veterinary attention, not a Behaviourist at this point, in my opinion.
     
  8. K2017

    K2017 PetForums Newbie

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    I only changed his food after he went through a phase of being sick and lost a lot of weight so I’m unsure... I’m thinking about taking him back to vets but I really don’t know what other tests they can do for his stomach. And also the specialist said not to touch his hips. I just want him back to his happy self
     
  9. K2017

    K2017 PetForums Newbie

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    He is insured however I’ve claimed a lot so had to pay some myself and will this time to. Yes I agree the vomiting isn’t normal although I really don’t know what else it could be after all the checks. I’ll make an appointment and tell them about his growling etc
     
  10. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell It wasn't me.

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    So he'd already lost the weight before you changed his meals? Oh bless him. Does he pee and poo ok? I know I'm asking a lot of questions but it might help you think of something that will help the vet find out what it is.
     
  11. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
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    The anti-inflammatories will irritate his stomach , make sure he has a gastric protectant such as Omeprazole , from your vet, as well.
     
  12. K2017

    K2017 PetForums Newbie

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    Yes he’s up and down all the time! Poor guy. He goes to toilet fine and he’s always hungry I just don’t know what’s wrong
     
  13. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Animals are generally very good at hiding pain and discomfort. As wild animals showing any sign of weakness puts them at risk. Our pets have retained this stoic ability to carry on regardless of how they are feeling. Often the first thing we might notice is when a formerly friendly or placid pet becomes more grumpy.

    When they get to the point of feeling like they need to warn anyone who comes near or wants to interact with them to keep away and leave them alone they are usually feeling pretty bad.

    Growling in dogs is communication. It is a fair way up the scale of communication that they are uncomfortable. Usually before they resort to growls they have produced a whole load of other signals to say how they feel but unfortunately it can be not obvious enough. Often people only take notice when the dog resorts to more forceful communication like a growl (see the ladder of aggression below).

    What your dog is trying to tell you is he is in a lot if discomfort or very unhappy. He wants to be left alone and as his more subtle signals asking for this have not been heeded he is now having to resort to growling.

    If he feels like growling isn't working then he will feel he has to escalate.

    From what you have said it is likely he is in quite a bit of pain or discomfort so discussing this with your vet would be best.

    Leave him alone when he asks for it. Respect him. If you were feeling unwell and just wanted to be left in peace you would get frustrated by someone petting you or interacting.

    Learn to spot the more subtle signs he is giving. If you can demonstrate you are understanding his signals and respecting g them he will be more relaxed and not feel the need to growl or more.

    Screenshot_20171122-225448.png
     
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  14. Montgomery

    Montgomery PetForums Junior

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    It could be the signs of pain. Speak to your vet about providing him more relief.
     
  15. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
  16. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    My dog lost weight and was sick from time to time when she developed chronic pancreatitis. It took a specific blood test to detect it. Once it was confirmed, putting her on a low fat diet eased the situation though I had to be very careful what she ate for the rest of her life.
    It could also be the stomach irritation often caused by non-steroidal anti-inflamatories such as Metacam, if that's what he's on for the hips.
     
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