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Old 01-30-2014, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Abby's Story

Abby is my first Rescue GSD and my intention for this thread is to share, and get input concerning the challenges and accomplishments Abby & myself encounter together.

This is what I know to be true about Abby since I brought her home on 1/24/14:

Abby is a 2 to 4 year old female GSD. She has been re-homed at least 3 to 5 times from what I know.

Abby was returned to the shelter from her last owner because of her whining and howling. She was staked outside 24/7 so she could be a guard dog. The temps outside were 5 above to -15 below & I'm shocked she manage to survive through those conditions.

The vet confirmed she has had a litter of puppies. And Abby is now spayed but it appears it her stitches were poorly done as my vet put it nicely.

Abby has about 10 bb's in here and the vet thinks she was shot with bird shot from a shotgun at one time. The bb's can be found from the front of her chest, belly, and rear. Feel's like NO# 8 or 10 bird-shot from what I can gather.

Abby has some skin issues and I forget what term the vet used but some of the pimples can be squeezed and white ooze comes out of them. Abby also seems to constantly scratch and chew several locations on herself through out the day. Abby has no flea's or parasites which was confirmed by the Vet.

Abby has an extreme case of separation anxiety. She follows me every where in the house. She panic's when I get ready to leave and whines/ howls in her crate from the time I leave until I get home from work. I've set-up skype so I can monitor her when I'm away from home.

I'm not much into medicating people or dogs but in Abby's case my Vet suggested fluoxetine, and I started her on this yesterday 1/29/2014

Abby is otherwise very healthy and very loving. She is a bit wild but has quickly learned/ relearned how to sit and lay down. Abby shows no signs of aggression towards people at this point.

Right now my goals are to get her comfortable with her crate, simple obedience training, overcoming her separation anxiety, to learn I wont abandon her like so many others have, and to just have a good time playing with toys.. Abby didn't seem to know what playing was when I first got her.

I will post more when I have time, but I just wanted to start this thread while I had some time available to me. There are so many wonderful things about Abby that I will list soon, but I wanted to get the critical observations and facts out before I forget anything.

I Love you Abby & I won't give up on You
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you for rescuing Abbey and giving her a home. Your picture in your avatar is Abbey right? She is beautiful!
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A few things I've done thus far to try and help with some of Abby's issues in this short time.

She was on a low grade Purina dry food from the shelter. I first started her on ProPlan Select natural Lamb & rice, but after doing a bit more research I switched her over to Wellness Core Ocean Formula.

I started spraying her coat down with an anti-itch skin care product to help relieve the itching, but she is a bit scared of me spraying her down and not sure how well this spray is going to work.

I've purchased a new large crate for her and even though I believe in crate training and have always done this with my other Shepherds, I might find myself leaving her on a level of the house that is safe from dangers un-crated.. to be determined.

Due to the itching and constant rolling in the snow,, Abby hasn't found much relief from her itching. I'm not sure if this is due to stress, or allergies or a combination of both.

Abby is now up to date on all her shots and her blood work came back normal with no elevated levels. I'm debating getting the bird shot removed from her but the vet said this shouldn't cause an issue right now and we could remove the bb's if she has a future surgery.

I did put Abby on 75 mg of Benadryl (diphenhydramine), but this hasn't really helped her itching much. Since I've started the fluoxetine last evening I will discontinue my use of Benadryl with Abby at this time.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy&Lucky's Mom View Post
Thank you for rescuing Abbey and giving her a home. Your picture in your avatar is Abbey right? She is beautiful!
Yes, that is my sweet little Abby
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you have a friend with a dog, try Abby to see if they will make friends. Then both of you leave them together to see if Abby acts out her SA.(you don't have to leave---just leave them in the house together{while you two are out of sight} and listen for any reaction). SA often disappears when there are other pack members that stay with the one having the SA. It might turn out to be a good idea to have another one that stays with Abby.

What does the vet say about the rash/itching? It could be that an antibiotic course would take care of the problem.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetdog View Post
If you have a friend with a dog, try Abby to see if they will make friends. Then both of you leave them together to see if Abby acts out her SA.(you don't have to leave---just leave them in the house together{while you two are out of sight} and listen for any reaction). SA often disappears when there are other pack members that stay with the one having the SA. It might turn out to be a good idea to have another one that stays with Abby.

What does the vet say about the rash/itching? It could be that an antibiotic course would take care of the problem.

Abby is a bit dog aggressive so I don't trust her for any length of time with another dog unattended. I did try to leave her with another dog for just a few minutes but she howled and cried until I came back in the house. My father was at the house and when I went outside to do some work, Abby cried until I came back in.

The Vet didn't think the skin condition was a major concern the other night when we visited, but I may call her back and let her know that Abby continues to itch. I had put a flea collar on her thinking her itching was caused by fleas and the Vet said I should take it off her as it may be causing some of the skin irritations. Also the Vet said I could use benadryl to help with the itching which I did do for 2 days but with starting her on the fluoxetine, I thought it best to take her off the benadryl.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My Vet turned me on to this product, Allerderm Spot-On. Comes as pipettes. Check it out. ....Good luck with Abby. Have you tried leaving the TV on when you leave the house?
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Day 2 fluoxetine update

Yesterday Abby was crated up for 8 hours while I was at work. I monitored her over skype and she howled/ cried for almost the entire time. She also defecated/ urinated in the crate. I followed the BOND training outline and when I returned home I didn't give her attention until she settled down, which took about 5 minutes. We played outside for a few hours on and off and had a great evening. Abby seemed a bit more sleepy then normal but this could be because of the 8 hour howling session.


Day 3 fluoxetine update

Again I'm monitoring from work via skype but today I did not crate Abby up. I made the house safe of any dangers this is what I found. Abby howled for about 2 hours after I departed then she settled down quite a bit. She would have calm periods of about 30 minutes, then she would start to howl again for about 15 minutes.

Its hard to describe Abby's howl.. I've heard nothing like it before from my past dogs. It starts out like a scratchy howl, then gets very hoarse and progresses into some type of high pitch whale like squeal. She really give it her all and put her whole body into making this sound. She has never made this sound when I've been around, so I think she saves this call when she is going through her worst Separation Anxiety. Abby will occasionally let out a bark but no very often.

I'm not seeing much pacing while she is alone, but I do see her walking about the house looking for me while she is making her call out. I thought she would have went up to my bedroom on the upper level but she continues to stay on the main level of the house and walks back and fourth between the garage door where I depart every morning and the kitchen.. She seems to think the treat cupboard may open by itself if she stares at it hard enough.

I will be home with her over the next few days because of the weekend, and I will continue with the BOND training and also crate her up a few times while I'm still in the house.

I know this is only day 3 on the fluoxetine, but I sure hope to see some results sooner rather then later with Abby's Separation Anxiety. I really don't think any amount of obedience training or "Wearing her out" could tackle this issue alone. It is very sad to see her go through this pain.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's only been a week; Abby will need time to adjust. When I brought home my rescue, Ralphie, last year it took him a couple of weeks to get used to his new house, his new family, his new routine, everything. He also had separation anxiety and he was medicated for it. We stuck to the desensitization training that was included with the medication as closely as possibly. After he was used to what times we were home or gone and how often he was let out and left alone, he was fine, but even with that it took several months for him to show his true personality (heck, he wouldn't even play inside the house for MONTHS)! So, be patient and stay consistent with the BOND training and I'm sure it will all work out.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Will leaving the TV or radio on a news channel (people talking) help?
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