So sorry for the novel... I'm just really lost of what to do right now with the older two.
So most of you know Zira's story.... rescued from petstore (we pulled her from their store with a lawsuit and police help). SIBO, HD, allergies, skin issues... and worst of all a TON of mental issues. She's very fearful of the most ridiculous things... like... the sun. She's very stressful to herself and everyone here, and she causes a lot of turbulence in the pack. I refer to her as the psychotic energizer bunny... she doesn't stop, and she never settles. It's 24/7 with her. Anyways, this isn't really about her.... but I just wanted to touch in on how difficult she is to live with (for both the humans and other dogs here).... cause I think this may be a trigger.
I also know most of you have heard about Duke's health lately. Within the last year, he's pretty much slowly losing his back end. We did a rounds and rounds of tests, with no answers. The vets only found mild HD..... nothing huge, nothing to even medicate. To make sure it wasn't the HD doing this, the vets gave a little trial period. They gave him a very strong pain medication (the ones they would give to very severe HD dogs)..... if he went back to normal with no dragging on his rear nails, and his energy back.... we knew he was just super super sensitive to his hips... if not... it's something else. Well.. nothing happened. He was still the same. Blood tests upon blood tests show his system is perfect. The vets are now thinking it's a slow moving DM. Other than spending thousands of dollars and nights in a hotel up in Gainesville to run random extensive testing on things that may or may not even be present (that's just not in the cards right now).... there's nothing else we can do.
So I started to at least try to make life comfortable for him. I separated him from Storm and then from Zira too. He likes being by himself, so I figured this would help. He's also started to get SA. If there's ANY barrier between him and my SO or I (physical or invisible)... he flips out. He'll pace, and whine, and carry on until he's right up my butt. Things were going ok for a tiny bit, but then he started something else..... he stresses way beyond any dog I've ever seen in my life! He stresses so bad over nothing that now he's actually making himself sick. And I mean worse than just throwing up. He's continuously getting Gastritis (sp?).... where his stomach is so irritated, it causes a TON of inflammation in his guts. He pukes and has diarrhea... the whole 9. Last time he had it, it almost lead to his liver turning itself. We had to rush him to the vets to get fluids and medications to lower the inflammation asap. We got him over that, but the vet said to try to keep him super quiet and stress free..... I've tried everything. He's on probiotics, pumpkin, yogurt, supplements, etc... anything we can do to make his stomach feel better. I split up his meals to make them smaller and less stressful (doesn't have to wait all day). But, I can't bathe him, I can't cut his nails (and they are WAY over do), I can't correct him for breaking rules here (his new favorite is breaking the rules on entering our office... where he KNOWS he's not allowed)... not even a "Duke, no"... or "get out"... or "leave it".... He flips out and pees all over, then stresses out. Everything we try to do, he freaks out.... and will later make himself puke. I'm afraid to do anything that could lead to stress... or it's another darn emergency vet visit. I'm at a loss right now.... what the heck am I supposed to do about this?!
Now here's where I'm smashing my head against the wall..... I think he has it AGAIN! It's been every month now. I went to go groom him today (he's blowing his coat), and he went to bite me. Poop is fine, peeing is fine, drinking and eating is fine. This is exactly what happened last time. He stressed to the point he got a sensitive tummy, than like a week later he made it to the point of Gastritis. This time though... I've done EVERYTHING I can to block out stress. Everything has been quiet here for him. I've even worked with him again (I pulled him from sports when his back end started going out), we were careful but playing tug and doing some OB work with a simple happy bite really seemed to cheer him up. I've been playing in the hose with him (he LOVES the hose), and I've even been playing very gentle games of fetch with his favorite green ball. I just don't know what else to do! I can't have this dog getting deathly ill every freaking month! My vet is out of town until the first...... and I'm really just not sure anymore. The other vet there is a freaking crazy drug/speuter/shots/it's always allergies type vet and I almost had it out with her with Storm last week for her hotspot re-check.
The only thing I can think to do at this point is having my mother take Zira for 2 weeks to see if her even just being here is triggering him. He's gotten really strange with her.... just like he did with Storm. If she even goes to lay near him, he gets up and walks away.... and this will repeat over and over until she just goes elsewhere in the house. He barely wants to play with her now. He's gotten mean with her a few times.... And when she goes into her "psycho mode" where she just paces the house and barks, growls, drools, and shakes.... he literally freaks out. He'll run back to his kennel, and if she even goes near him for the rest of the down... he runs away. There's been times, he's even peed from this.
I feel like I'm losing this dog.... every day he gets further and further away from what he was just like 8 months ago.
Has anyone ever had a dog that was so stressed about everything that they caused themselves to be chronically ill? What would you even do in this case? I'm starting to think that drugging him a little is the only way to snap him out of this.... like doggie zoloft. I've never believed in doing that... but, otherwise, what's my options? Euth.? He's 3.5yrs old....he shouldn't be falling apart like this.
We already know what the road is for Zira... the vets and behaviorist have all agreed.... her health and mental issues get worse and worse every year... She probably won't have a really long life. I can't stand to think about it..... but, now with BOTH going down hill... I'm just in shock. When I got both of them, I saw the signs.... I knew this was going to be a bumpy road... but I thought with a good knowledgeable home, training, excellent food and care, and vet care whenever needed.... I thought we could make it all better, or at least comfortable for them. I feel like I've failed. I think this will be my last time taking in a rescue dog or any dog with issues. I've done everything I can... just not sure where to go from here.
Thank God for Storm... she's my only sense of hope and normalcy here.