Please I need your feedback about this situation.
First off I will say that I am truly brokenhearted at this point....It's a long story, but I will try my best to just explain the important parts. My husband and I went Friday to pick up our new GSD that we were adopting from a GSD rescue. He has seizures. We met at the vet clinic that he was previously being treated at for seizures. I thought that it was because the vet was going to talk to us about his condition, but needless to say that didn't happen...it was just where the foster parent that was keeping him dropped him off for us to pick him up. He came out and I just fell in love...he was beautiful.
We walked outside with the rescue person and there was a lot going on so we didn't pay much attention on him not listening. We made sure he didn't have to pee before we got in the car. She took a picture of us 3 together and we got in the car (had trouble getting into the car) and left. It was a long distance adoption so we had a long car ride home. It seemed as if he had never been on a car ride before..which it stated in his bio that he loved them.
Anyways, I drove and my husband was petting him and just talking away. We kept saying his name and no matter how many times we said it he never responded. I have a 4 year old GSD female at home and she responds and looks at me before I even get her full name out. On the drive home we stopped at several rest stops for him to use the bathroom and he never did once which worried me a bit, but didn't think too much about it at this time. He slept most of the ride home.
We got back to our house..I went inside to get my female GSD in a calm state before we brought him in. We brought him in ...she sniffed him to death (lol) and he just stood there..really relaxed with no care in the world...didn't sniff her back ..nothing. I found that kind of weird, but ok...went with it. We let him off the leash and he went walking around the house to get familiarized ...she followed him and you could tell she was trying to tell him that she was boss, and you can go here and there, but you can't go here...lol.
She was acting like his mom..it was just comical to watch. She would give him an ear nip here and there and he didn't mind it at all. He was very lax. At one point she was cleaning the inside of his ear. lol. We knew it was going to work out well or so we thought. We let them out back to use the bathroom.. it was hard to get him back in....I need to back up a little bit...I forgot to tell you that we found that he knows NO COMMANDS whatsoever!!!!! Not sit, down, lay, etc. nothing. You might think that it's due to stress or excitement....let me draw a pic for you...he has absolutely no emotion and I'm serious about that...no fear, no timidness, no aggression, nothing. So after my dog tried to herd him back in along with us...we come in and give them both a dog biscuit...my female chews hers up in 2 seconds and he can barely chew it...it's literally falling out of his mouth. I asked my husband to check his teeth...everyone of them is there...looks normal.
So I said ok I have some baked chicken breasts...tore a little piece off and my husband put it in his hand...he bit my husbands finger (not hard) but mistook his finger for the piece of chicken. We repeated it 3 x and same result. We put water out ...each one has separate bowls...in the span of 5 min. he had stepped in his water accidentally 4x. I went into the kitchen and my husband was in the living room with both of them...the dog disappeared around the hallway so my husband went back to just see what he was doing and yelled for me...I came back there and we just stood and watched ..it sounded like a garden hose....he was just peeing endlessly...my husband said "no" and it just kept flowing...we let him finish...most of it went on a hallway area rug...the smell of his urine was horrific.
We are both in the medical field and we knew this smell...UTI and a really bad one at that. I threw the rug out...we did not scold him at all. My husband said that it seemed as if he was dazed as he was peeing..no recognition of us standing there or him saying no...just nothing. After that was over we figured we would just keep getting to know him better...still doesn't recognize his name being said and is just oblivious to everything. He then begins to walk continuously back and forth through the house...just thought he was getting a feel for it, but after 45 minutes of non-stop pacing of the floors and no signs of stopping ..it was late and we decided to head off to bed.
My female sleeps at the end of our bed and so he was going to as well. She goes and lays in her bed...he had a bed as well...we got into bed and it starts ...pacing back and forth...back and forth...it kept going and going forever. I couldn't sleep ...I just watched him in the dark..looking at the clock at this point and it has been over an hour. I finally see him lie down...I am so glad for him. I contact the rescue lady to tell her what is going on ...something isn't right...2 year old GSD does not know his name, he knows no commands at all, he doesn't even acknowledge that your talking, excessive thirst, can't chew food, unsteady gait, lack of coordination, etc.
He came from what I was told a loving home, but had to give him up for personal reasons. So I was a little concerned at this point...they had him since 8 weeks of age. Bio said that he knew basic commands and turn around, etc. Trust me when I tell you he doesn't. At this point I feel that we have been lied to and I'm trying to tell her that he has something seriously wrong with him. Her response was that no rescue dog is perfect and the people that she had evaluate him did not see any issues except puppy behavior. I continue to tell her there is no behavior...there is no personality whatsoever. He is seriously like a blank slate. Something is wrong.
I told her that we need to bring him back ...before you judge me please trust me when I say that nobody was home upstairs and I do not know how to deal with something like this...at this point I'm thinking he needs serious help...serious help medically. If I was a richer woman I would have just taken care of it myself, but we all know how much vet bills for major medical care can be. She continues to tell me that it is not uncommon for a GSD to test you and not respond to you. I told her I know how smart these dogs are...I have grew up with them and have had them my whole life. She tells me that I'm not willing to accept the good with the bad...I tell her it's not a behavior issue because he simply has no behavior to correct...she is not understanding what I am telling her!!! It's not like he's aggressive or he is chewing furniture...that's behavioral issues..I'm telling her something is genuinely wrong with him. I tell her I'm not arguing about this situation any longer and we are heading back with him.
He slept the whole way back again. The whole time we had him he did not bark or whine once...my female whines all of the time. Anyways, she had someone else meet us to pick him up. I cried basically the whole ride to take him back. I felt like a piece of s***. I felt so sorry for him...my heart hurt and it still does. I'm still crying and I knew this dog less than a day. She was not listening to what I was telling her. The ride back my husband and I were talking about what we thought might be wrong and came to the conclusion after talking and looking a few things up that he might have a brain tumor. So we dropped him with the people that she had meet us and headed home.
I told my husband that I have to try again so I thought that I would send her a text and here it is..."For my own sanity I just want to tell you some things. Last night he had an accident on the hallway rug which was not at ll a big deal. That's whyy I have a carpet cleaner because things like that are expected. I didn't care too much for that little area rug anyways so I threw it out. Not because I didn't want to clean it, but because the smell of his urine was horrific. I have worked in the ER for 9 years and I know the odor of a UTI. Please trust me when I tell you that there is an infection. There is an underlying medical condition with him and I'm not talking about the seizures. I'm telling you this on behalf of him and that's the only reason. Please listen to me when I tell you he does not even know his name, nor does he know any commands. What I found in him symptom wise was unsteady gait, exc. thirst, lack of coord, pacing, glazed over look to him, and panting without activity. It is true that the symptoms, that I've listed here can be another medical issue, but he would have to have further testing. I didn't bring him back because he was unruly or ill-behaved. I expected that. I know you think that he is doing this out of being stressed, but he's not stressed. He has absolutely no emotion. He is completely oblivious to what is going on around him. Me and you both know that is not GSD behavior. I needed to tell you this to make myself feel better and feel like I at least tried to speak for him. You might not believe anything I have just written to you, but please just look into it."
Her response to me after all of that was that there is a dog out there for us and she thinks that we should look for one under 6 months of age. She didn't hear anything I said....I started to cry. I'm now regretting taking him back and pissed off at myself. She also stated that he was showing typical selective hearing and testing the waters. So now I feel like the worst person in the world and I should have just kept him and charged my credit card up in debt to find out for myself because it will never be known. I'm sorry it's so long, but I needed you to fully understand and be able to give me your feedback so I feel like I'm not crazy.Thanks, Jamie
it is not uncommon for dogs in transition
owner to foster to vet clinic to new home
be shut down
which is why you generally dont throw everything at them at once
new home new people,
new dog immediately following him all over bossing him around etc
another week or so you may have seen his true personality
If you are portraying the situation accurately, then I would say that the rescue you are dealing with leaves much to be desired in the realm of sensitivity and concern for the dogs they place. Having said that, you also could have taken him to your vet and had the uti confirmed and treated...since you are in the medical field you must know that urinary/renal issues can profoundly affect and exacerbate mental health in humans, and therefore possibly dogs too...on top of a seizure disorder this should definitely have been worked up. I know you likely felt overwhelmed, but you literally gave this dog no time to acclimate at all. I hope the rescue listens to your description of his behavior and does right by this boy by having his medical issues properly worked up. Don't know what you can do about how you're feeling about what happened and how you handled the situation...except possibly learn something from it. Any dog, if not aggressive or dangerous, deserves at a MINIMUM, two weeks to a month of time to adjust, and a thorough veterinary work up to assess physical problems, if there appear to be any. My heart breaks for these dogs.
a min of 2 - 4 weeks to see their true personality come out
and if he was miserable with an infection in bladder or kidneys
that could have also made him have a flat persona or demeanor
Wow! You didn't even give the dog a chance to settle in. It sounds like he was confused and completely shut down which is not at all uncommon for a dog going to a new home. You were expecting way too much. And it sounds like the rescue didn't prepare you correctly.
There are all kinds of posts on here about puppies and dogs who have come home and been really out of it initially. I fostered dogs for years and almost every one took several weeks to acclimate. One of the gsds I adopted, Rafi, had no personality for the first couple of days and would walk in circles and whine incessantly on car rides. One of my other dogs was afraid to pee in a new place and went in the house, that is also not uncommon.
I hope the rescue gets him checked for a UTI and into a caring foster home and the next person who adopts this dog gives him some time to acclimate.
The unsteady gait, lack of coordination and excessive thirst could be side effects of his seizure medication. My dog on phenobarbitol has had similar effects from her meds. The other issues could be from the stress of traveling and moving into a new home. Hopefully he gets checked for a UTI.
Sounds exactly like a Rott that I rescued. She panted, she paced and did so for a couple weeks. I got her with the hopes my mom would take her. When the dog met my parents she growled at my dad and my mom didn't even blink an eye when she handed over her credit card so I could take her to the vet. She had a major infection, someone bred her and dumped her. My parents put a lot of time, patience, and money into that dog right in the door. She turned out to be a phenomenal dog. My dad cried like a baby when she died and event went and got a tattoo of her and her name. Sometimes you have to give them a chance.
The Op stated they knew this dog had seizures, now obviously none of us were 'there', but he may very well have a medical condition from the posting.
The lack of emotion could very well have been transitional.
A couple of things, first I think I would have spent ALOT more time with him before bringing him home. I would have insisted on a vet check up THERE, or atleast seen some type of wellness check from the rescue that was done.
Don't take this personally, but a rescue who says AFTER you return a dog within 24 hours, you should get a younger one, is not a rescue I'd be dealing with..Sounds like they are saying "ok, we'll get ya another"..Personally, I wouldn't have offered you another dog. (and again nothing personal!)
Knowing this dog had seizures, is a heads up this dog "could possibly" need expensive medical issues in the future, I would have been ready to take that dog to a vet the next day and THEN decide on returning him if the long term prognosis was not what you bargained for.
I can't say whether you did the right thing or not, not for me to judge..But my suggestion is, if you want to rescue, spend more time with the dog prior to bringing it home and yes, alot of rescue dogs are not going to be perfect, healthy, well mannered, and do have a transition time.
To many, see a dog/puppy, whether its from a rescue or a breeder, and bead in on it, want it, believe everything they hear without delving into it more, go for it, take them site unseen and stuff happens.
I have gotten rescues site unseen with no issues that I wasn't aware of..Guess I've been lucky..
Having had an epileptic dog I can say that the "nobody's home upstairs" is a common side effect of seizure medication. Particularly if a dog is still adjusting to the meds. When our female started on her meds, she went from a very intelligent, very well trained dog with a ton of personality to an absolute dullard who seemed dazed and confused much of the time, didn't respond as normal to her name or commands, forgot many of her manners (including housebreaking) and pretty much was just sort of blank as you described. Sometimes she would pace constantly in an anxious manner, other times she'd do little but doze and sleep and was uninterested in food, play or any of the things she usually loved. Over time as her body adjusted to the meds she became more her normal self, but was still never back to the same Jasmine she had been before she had to take daily meds.
Now add in that this dog was under a tremendous amount of stress and confusion, doesn't know where he is or what is going on, doesn't know who you are, and I don't find this horribly unusual. It will take a normal dog without psychoactive drugs usually a few weeks to fully settle in. Add in the meds and this really isn't surprising to me. Even if he has adjusted to the meds prior to this, the stress and confusion causing some regression in that area is to be expected as well. I'm sorry you gave up on him so quickly. :(
You post was long and maybe I didn't read it correctly, but you and your husband are in the medical field and strongly felt the dog had a UTI, so I don't understand why you wouldn't take the dog to the vet for a urinalysis and treatment? In elderly adults UTIs can present in confusion and behavioral changes. As others said the behavior could also be as a result of the seizure meds.
I'm really surprised you did not spend more time with the dog before bringing him home and then again before returning him.
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