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Thread: first dog ever-behavior questions-3 or 4 y/o female rescue Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-07-2014 07:40 AM
JeanKBBMMMAAN Oh my gosh.

Good on waiting - are you also doing a doxy type med to kill the wolbacchia? Big Dogs, Big Heartworm NO exercise for now until a month after treatment ends.
06-06-2014 11:04 AM
jwllorens Oh wow. She has just been spayed and thank god the blood from her vagina prompted us to not do the heartworm treatment first. Her uterus was so infected that part of it was necrotic. She would not have been long for this world.

She was spayed two days ago and has slept and eaten for the first time since. It was not a full meal, about 1/2 cup of thick slurry made using BilJac (to get as many calories in her as I can). It is progress nonetheless. She has been drinking a good amount of water since the surgery though.

She is moving around nicely today and wagging her tail. I live on the third floor of my apartment so I have been carrying her up and down the stairs (in a way that no pressure is on her wound) to let her go out, and today she made a go for the stairs by herself and I had to intercept her to carry her (so she must be feeling more energetic, or just really hates being carried). She was pitiful yesterday.

The bad news is that her heartworms are much worse than we thought and she will need the "fast kill" treatment. The other bad news is that she wont be able to get the treatment for a while, even after she recovers from being spayed, due to how little muscle mass she has. She is extremely skinny.

I really hope her appetite comes back soon. If I can't get her to eat any more today I will have to bring her back to the vet. I really want to get some weight on her. She will be taking heartworm preventatives for the next few months to keep the worms from infesting her worse than she already is.

I set up my closet in the other room so that it is a nice quiet and enclosed space, and put a bed in it. I introduced her to it. She has started going back there to rest and seems to like it. I hope it helps with her anxiety a bit, being comfortably away from me in the other room. Perhaps she will eat more if she feels more secure.

This is one tough girl. Once she is healthy again, I bet I will have my hands full.
06-04-2014 10:50 PM
jwllorens Ok, so she is off at the vet recovering overnight from her surgery. Heartworm treatment should begin soon after she recovers, in about a week. Poor girl is going through a rough time.

She has definitely come out of her shell a bit. She played with a toy for the first time and she is moving around great and very curious. She is still a little off balance, when she doesn't look straight ahead while walking, for example if she turns her head to look at me while walking foreward, she will stumble a little. The vet will check her ears.


I am having separation anxiety problems with her already. I have been working on this from the get-go, but it is still getting worse. She sticks to me like glue and moves with me from room to room, following me at my side or right behind me. She bolts through the door at a hundred miles an hour when I open it because she is fearful of me going out and not bringing her , often hitting the door or frame because she lunges before the door is even open. I set of a monitor to see her behavior while I leave, and she barks or cries for about three minutes, then waits by the door patiently standing for ten to fifteen minutes, and then explores the apartment or sleeps.

I have been trying different approaches to ease her anxiety. I leave her with my shirt from the previous day. I feed her right before I go out. I leave the TV or music on that I had on earlier when I was there. I avoid creating triggers (grabbing my keys, ect) by varying my exit routine. I try to sneak out so she wont see me and bolt through the door, hurting herself and requiring me to tell her to get back in the apartment (which makes a big deal about leaving). I have worked on down/stay with her to practice getting comfortable being in separate rooms so she doesn't feel like she needs to follow me everywhere (she is already good at it, will remain in the room until she thinks I am gone or I call her, but will not remain "down" if I am not in her line of sight). I have tried going outside, watching through a tiny crack in my blinds, and when she relaxes and lies down I come back in. I don't make a thing of leaving or arriving and do not say goodbye or greet her until she is calm. I step out for short intervals, a few minutes or so, all throughout the day to try to get her comfortable with me not being there sometimes and so she might recognize that I always come back.

Anyone have tips to deal with this? It seems to be getting worse, yet it is pretty much the only thing I have worked on with her so I am doing something wrong. I wont be able to do much at all in the way of toys or distractions for a while because of her treatments. Has anyone tried those Thundershirts? I was considering one of those to help her feel safe but I am skeptical if they work, and I was going to get her a crate as well but if she hasn't been crate-trained properly (I have no idea) then that isn't really an immediate solution to ease her suffering.
06-03-2014 11:26 PM
Magwart
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoorsini View Post
I just got a 6 week old Male GSD, planning to keep it as an out door dog . is it recommended for GSD to make him an out door pet
No. No. No. This breed thrives on human company. They live for their people. Nothing makes them happier than being with you, watching you, smelling you, listening to the sounds of your shared life together. Please don't deprive yourself of the amazing bond that forms by allowing them to live that way--it's one of the great blessings of owning a GSD! I have two of them asleep next to my computer, waiting for me to take them to bed--they're my loving, protective, furry shadows -- always close by -- and life would be so much less enjoyable without their constant companionship!

That 6-week pup is just a baby. Please don't stick it out in a backyard alone. It needs you!
06-03-2014 04:48 PM
marcoorsini I just got a 6 week old Male GSD, planning to keep it as an out door dog . is it recommended for GSD to make him an out door pet
06-03-2014 12:02 AM
jwllorens
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
If she's HW+, the fact that there was some abnormal breathing worries me. Does she cough at all? What exactly was she doing when she was "breathing funny" (as you put it)?

Did your vet listen for a heart murmur already? If the dog is symptomatic, she may need those worms out of her sooner rather than later....
Yes, the vet listened for a heart murmur. Her heart is beating fine.


As I mentioned earlier, she had all the symptoms of Eclampsia and was allowed to nurse quite a few puppies for a while some of which were not even her own. The symptoms included the breathing.

The breathing was fast, even when she was sleeping. It was always fast, but would alternate every few minutes between very rapid shallow breaths and extremely deep slower (but still faster than normal) breaths. There was no coughing, sneezing, or wheezing, though the heavy breathing was so forceful that it was quite loud.

When I first noticed, I contacted my vet immediately and sent her a video, then researched her symptoms and matched them with Eclampsia. The vet saw her the next morning and was not too concerned about her heartworms after listening, and suggested Tums to get some calcium in her. Anabel was doing much better during the vet visit so the vet didn't get to witness the worst of it in person.

After a day and a half of hiding Tums in her food and encouraging her to eat proper food with a good balance of nutrients (so far, only 4 Tums) her breathing is completely normal and her anxiousness is almost gone (but she is still jumpy). She is stumbling less, but still a bit clumsy. She has a long way to go but she is like a new dog already.

So, she was nursing more than she should have which would be a cause for Eclampsia, had all the symptoms of Eclampsia, and has shown marked improvement especially in her breathing with a little extra calcium which is the treatment for Eclampsia. I think it is safe to pin her abnormal breathing on Eclampsia, and fortunately she seems to be recovering just fine. I worry about the heartworms too, but I don't think they are dire as of right now based on what I have seen and what my vet has determined.

I am looking forward to getting those heartworms out of her, but the vet did not detect any heart murmur. She is going back to the vet in a day. She will probably have to get some more bloodwork very soon to make sure.



Edit: She has taken a liking to the tiled kitchen floor, and alternates between sleeping there and sleeping in her bed. At first she loved her bed, but now she likes the hard kitchen floor at least as much if not more. I am assuming the coolness of the floor must be soothing.
06-02-2014 11:41 PM
Magwart If she's HW+, the fact that there was some abnormal breathing worries me. Does she cough at all? What exactly was she doing when she was "breathing funny" (as you put it)?

Did your vet listen for a heart murmur already? If the dog is symptomatic, she may need those worms out of her sooner rather than later....
06-02-2014 09:50 PM
jwllorens
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanKBBMMMAAN View Post
Yes, exactly - no matter how they are being treated ("fast" which is recommended, or slow kill) - leash potties and back in, no activity in the house (or out). No walks.

If she's already been treated, she's exhausted. If she's not been treated, all exercise must cease until treatment ends.

Is there a foster person you got her from - what did you discuss with them?
The foster knew very little about her other than that she did well with the many other animals in foster care, large and small, and that she was beginning to stick to her like glue. She had her for only a few days, and was preparing to send her off to a shepherd rescue because she was concerned that she did not know anything about caring for them.

Her walks were less than a block, and I keep her from jogging or getting excited at all to the best of my ability. Mostly, I allow her to explore a little near the apartment for some fresh air, to allow her to familiarize herself with the location, and to stretch her legs. I wouldn't call it exercise. If the vet chooses to put her on heartworm preventatives, the vet seemed to indicate that easy walks would be OK for the first year while the worms die, but no exercise. If she gets the shot, I know to keep the poor girl practically immobilized for a few months.

I have been giving her one or two Tums a day to get some calcium in her and she is doing much much better. Her breathing has stabilized and seems perfectly normal, and now she will sleep for hours without popping her head up on full alert and panting like she used to. She hasn't stumbled all day, though her balance is still a little off. She got a little excited when I took her out to relieve herself today and a stray cat took off through the bushes. It startled her, but she perked up and acted as if she wanted to play and her tail got to wagging more than I have seen before, so I brought her in and gave her some love.

Today she has mostly been sleeping which makes me happy. She was having a hard time resting before, breathing funny and waking up after only a few minutes, and wandering around the apartment as if she was anxious. She deserves several days of rest. She requested to go out only three times today and mostly wanted to sleep, so she must feel a little better and more relaxed. She did wander the apartment once today, but for the first time she acted as if she was exploring, stopping to investigate everything, rather than walking a circuit anxiously. Her appetite has improved today as well, and she finished all of her food. I saw no blood in her urine yesterday afternoon or today, so the antibiotics must be helping.



She is still skittish though. When I returned home and walked my bicycle in, she was excited to see me at first but would not approach, watching the bicycle and hunkering down with hair standing on end. The other day, a bird made a low pass over us while I took her out to relieve herself, which startled her. She is still very cautious around everything. I am starting to see her be a little more curious though, and approach things on her own. This was my major concern, that her timidness and jumpiness might be indicative of her personality rather than a symptom of her poor condition. After only a few short days, her confidence has improved as much as her health which seems to confirm what you have all said.

She has already improved so much, mentally and physically. I am excited to see where she will be a year from now when she is fully recovered from all she has been through. She must be a tough girl to have improved so much and so quickly. And she is full of love!
06-02-2014 07:35 AM
JeanKBBMMMAAN
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I've never had a dog that was HW positive, but don't they require lots of rest? Before you go any further, make sure that the exercise she is getting isn't to much. These dogs will do anything to make us happy, even if they are not feeling well.
Yes, exactly - no matter how they are being treated ("fast" which is recommended, or slow kill) - leash potties and back in, no activity in the house (or out). No walks.

If she's already been treated, she's exhausted. If she's not been treated, all exercise must cease until treatment ends.

Is there a foster person you got her from - what did you discuss with them?
06-02-2014 01:24 AM
llombardo I've never had a dog that was HW positive, but don't they require lots of rest? Before you go any further, make sure that the exercise she is getting isn't to much. These dogs will do anything to make us happy, even if they are not feeling well.
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