I felt like a terrible mom.. What happened?!? (text heavy) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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I felt like a terrible mom.. What happened?!? (text heavy)

So here's the story...

Yesterday, Titan, 2 years, and I went for our normal walk, same one we run/walk daily. It is a mile to the dog park, and obvioulsy a mile back. We usually will run there in the mornings, let him go potty and play with othe dog if they are there for about 10 minutes and run back. No problems. Same thing after work except if it's earlier in the evening or a little hotter we just walk there, play/potty, then walk back. Titan drinks out of my camelback, so I ALWAYS fill it up and take it with me. Always, always.

So same thing yesterday. Got home, it was a little earlier than usual but not as hot as it had been raining but I still decided to just walk him since we rant hat morning anyways. We walked there and there were a TON of dogs there. All very well behaved, owners and dogs but we had a good time and ended up there for about 30 minutes playing fetch and with the other dogs. I noticed him getting exhausted, but he has no stop button what so ever, so I have to make that call when to shut him down. I made him lay down for about 5 minutes and then was about to walk home, when I buddy of mine got there with his Dane. I decided to stay fro a few minutes to mingle and not play with Titan. Well while I was talking I noticed the kids playing with Titan and playing fetch. Like I said, no stop button. So I told the kids to not play with him because he was tired. They didn't stop so I left. Forgot to mention he had many many water breaks.

Well I knew he was exhausted from the get go because he was walking really slow. I let him rest for a few minutes, but we still HAD to walk home. So I walked at his pace, not rushing him just letting him pant and every few minutes I would stop and give him more water which he gladly took. About the time he got to our street he was done for, starting to limp a little on no particular joint.. Conveniently my neighbor was out with her children and they rush up to him and when they touched him he started whining. NEVER have I ever seen him do that. so because we were literally next door, I just kept Titan going to the house and the rest of the way, at his pace, but with every step he was whining a little. Then he got in the house and just "colapsed," like you would if you had just gone for an extreme run. He got up and followed me while whining to the kitchen for water. I made him lay down on the cold hardwood floor under the fan and gave it to him where he was and he drank a ton. Then just layed there. I didn't really know what to do. I felt his tummy and flexed his joints to see where he might be hurt but everything seemed normal just like he was extremely exhausted.

Told myself I would keep an eye on him for the next half hour and see how he was. After about 30 minutes I called him to me and he got up and walked to me with no problem. Even threw a toy and it was like he was back to his normal self, tired still, but how he normally is after a walk. The rest of the night went as normal. He ate his dinner and went potty and played then to bed like any other night. Same this morning, everything was normal.

What in the world happened??!? All I can think of is that it was all just too much. The heat, the humidity, the walk, the extra long play time, the walk back. I can't imagine it being dehydration. He drank A LOT through out the day and at the dog park and during the walk back. Any idea on what might have happened and how to not let it happen again? Maybe I already know the answer but maybe someone has had a similar experience?


Commander Charly Titan (GSD)-15 Jan 2010

Last edited by wyoung2153; 08-09-2012 at 02:01 PM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 02:04 PM
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Don't understand the "what happened." So he got overtired and was sore-- this happens to humans, too. If he is fine now, you have nothing to worry about.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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The what happened, was just that.. was it just over exhaustion or was it the heat or everything.. I guess I just felt terrible because he had never done that before and I really had no idea what was going on. We had done a lot more exhausting things in the past and never had this response.. even in SAR on a hot humid day.. nothing like that.


Commander Charly Titan (GSD)-15 Jan 2010
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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It is entirely possible I am overanalyzing a completely normal reaction... lol... just really scared me last night when he was whining while walking...


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 02:20 PM
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How hot is it there right now? Maybe the heat exhaustion is just cumulative? Was he dehydrated before he went? When was the last time he was tested for Lyme's? Did he do anything that might have hurt a joint the night before?

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 02:21 PM
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I did something similar with Hunter once, before I realized he also had no stop button and I needed to make that decision for him. Hunter will go and go until he collapses, he is very determined. I took him for a short walk to the park for two ball... gave him tons of water, but on the way back he was walking so slowly and was swaying on his feet.

It was night time, so I made him lay down and poured water on his paws and belly, then poured water on my hands and rubbed it into his ears. He cooled down and relaxed after half an hour of us sitting there.

Hasn't happened again. I learned exactly when enough is enough for him.

If you are really worried, go have him checked out for a heart murmur.

SG S-Hunter vom Geistwasser CA CGN TT ATD (Airport Wildlife Control K9)
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 02:47 PM
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was he panting more than usual?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 03:51 PM
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A similar thing happened to Cody a couple years ago. It is hot here in The south and we were playing fetch w the chuck it. He never stopped so finally I stopped the game and we went inside. Cody started to wobble and layed down. I figured he was having heat exhaustion. I made him lay on the tile, got him some ice water and put frozen vegetables around his neck. He was fine in about 30 minutes but it never happened again because I won't let it. I was pretty scared when it happened like you.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 04:57 PM
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Heat exhaustion. It is the last stage before heat stroke, the really dangerous condition. Water hydrates but can't cool the dog, and in our southern heat and humidity he can't pant sufficiently to cool himself off either--all he brings in is more hot, humid air.

I did this exact thing with Liesl a few days ago, taking her out for a vigorous session of fetch at 11 am. She came home and collapsed, panting fast and heavy, and eventually cooled off.

I do not think GSDs are made to go full speed in the heat and humidity of the coastal states. And as I recall, even on our coldest days last year (barely 32F) Liesl was unfazed by the cold and seemed to relish it.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 05:08 PM
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Heat exhaustion is my guess. I had this earlier this summer, first time in my life, so unexpected ... and I was completely hydrated. Pretty sure it was the high humidity that did it for me, and the hot shower I took after I came indoors. By the time I came down the stairs, it was obvious to me something was very wrong.

Utter exhaustion and mental confusion, even the chills.

Last edited by Jo Ellen; 08-09-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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