German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Morning All, I have with me a nearly 2 year old German Shepherd that I rescued from a chain last summer. He was being given away, unaltered and with an intense dislike of men. I felt I had to intervene, no telling where he would have ended up. My intention was to find a GSD rescue to take him, but that did not pan out due to many problems ranging from fear aggression to EPI. He was extremely thin when I brought him home and had SIBO and EPI. With that taken care of, I worked for months trying to build his confidence, to no avail. When it comes to strangers approaching, he is in his own world and impossible to get under control. I decided to keep him, although I fear I many not outlive him, my death will be his, as well. He has now broken with demodex. He cannot take Ivomec, due to a reaction (possible MDR1?) With his inability to digest food and my having spent a fortune to get his system on track, I am hesitant to treat with antibiotics and blow the good out of the water. I truly love this dog, but am nearing the end of my rope. He is beautifully obedience trained and would do anything for me, with the exception of not eating strangers. My 23 year old son, who just moved out 2 months ago, could not even approach this dog. Simon offered to bite him on several occasions, resulting in him wearing a basket muzzle when my son was home. He wears it when we are out, as well, leading to some pretty nasty comments from passersby, better than a lawsuit, I say. Simon freaks out at the sight of a broom, flyswatter and prong collar, but chases the lawnmower, does not flinch when the neighbors are shooting guns or fireworks and has zero reaction to thunder. He won't even move for the vacuum, I have to go around him, silly pup. Anywho, this is Simon in a very large nutshell. Looking for advice and kinship, as I feel very alone in this, he just has soooo many problems.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
I have no insights to share, but thank you for the good you are doing him, and for boldly facing down exactly what he is in terms of temperament and taking the needed steps to keep him safe and managed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,697 Posts
Be patient with him. You'll likely have a different dog in a year, though he may always need some management. Project dogs are like onions with layer after layer to peel through. As time goes by, you'll solve one thing only to discover something new that reveals itself.

For the demodex, in rescue we sometimes treat it with Advantage Multi (RX only) given every other week for 2-3 mo. That's a protocol used in Europe. We have a lot of HW+ dogs who can't do the ultra high dose of ivermectin used to treat demodex, and this alternative protocol works. It's a topical applied to the skin on the back around the shoulders. (With your vet's RX, you can buy Ad Multi in 6-packs from Valley Vet or KV Supply for around $85 -- much cheaper than most vet clinics sell it for.)

Add in some sulfur baths, as they'll help the skin heal faster -- just use a kiddie pool outside as it sticks like rotten eggs!

You may have a few rounds of demodex as he works on getting healthy. Once he's healthier, you'll stop having mite outbreaks.

Your son can work on his aggression slowly, by ignoring him in the home, and then tossing him a very high value, special treat without saying a word, every time he walks by the leashed or crated dog. No communication, just treats, so that he starts to have a good association. He needs to have a very calm, quiet demeanor. Over time, that can help a lot. The son shouldn't approach or try to make-up with the dog -- the dog has to decide when it feels comfortable, so the human just ignores it and drops treats. I've fostered a lot of dogs afraid of men, and they nearly all become totally smitten with my DH by the time they leave us. This can get better, but it's a very slow, patient process -- and manage carefully during rehab.

You're a good egg for helping him find his way out of the darkness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,697 Posts
By the way, my heart-dog's name was Simon. He came to me as scrawny, terrified 1-year-old, from rescue. He'd been a runt not allowed by other dogs to eat, and constantly bullied by the other dogs -- his face was scared from all the times they'd gotten him as a pup. He was afraid of his own shadow, and if a loose dog approached on walks, he'd splay flat on the ground and shriek in fear.

My Simon grew up to be the most gregarious, dog-friendly, happy-go-lucky dog I've ever known. He shook off all his fears with the help of a great trainer and good obedience work that made him feel confident. He became nurturing and lovely with other dogs. He was a jokester who brought joy and laughter everywhere he went.

As an oldster, he "adopted" one of my terrified foster dogs as his own (a female pup whose mama was euthanized by a god-awful shelter in front of her, and then the shelter workers got cold feet about also doing in the pup...after she'd already seen it...traumatized for life). He made it his mission to look after her, teach her not to be afraid, and help her be confident. For a long time, I could only walk her by clipping her collar to his, and he walked her, looming over her protectively as she tentatively ventured out.

We ended up keeping her, because she was so attached to him. She blossomed into a lovely dog -- she found her confidence, and she now loves going on adventures. Now that he's passed, she's my foster rehabilitator. She pays it forward for the scared foster dogs now. She connects me to his wonderful spirit, and it's beautiful. I could not foster without her--she has been able to reach countless dogs that I didn't know how to help, and she showed me what they needed. She was his parting gift to me, a gift I didn't know I needed but I'm so grateful that he left behind.

I share these two dogs' stories because who these dogs were when they came to me is not who they really were meant to be. They utterly transformed over a period of months and even years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,020 Posts
Great advice Magwart! In training keep him in the vicinity of his comfort zone but also give him plenty of time where he can truly relax. They are very intelligent and he may very well overcome many of his issues as a result. After all he is still a young dog. I agree with keeping him muzzled; it will relax the humans and as a result he may pick up on that as well.
Maybe consider CBD oil to get him calmer. I give my dogs bovine colostrum to increase immunity (to better deal with the Rabies vaccine, which may help the Demodex in Simon.
Give him gentle but consistent leadership so he doesn't have to make his own decisions. I admire you fro taking him in. You may very well have been his last chance.
Please keep us posted so we can follow and enjoy his progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the welcome and advice. Funny, I just started Simon on colostrum a couple of weeks ago, no improvement, but I understand that these things can take quite a bit of time. I thought about using the CBD oil, we have it available at a local health store, but it's made from hemp. Does it work as well as marijuana? He is also getting salmon oil, b12, enzymes, probiotics and so much more, his meals should be made in a lab. I am feeding a bison, grain free kibble and was wondering about a raw diet. As a vegan, it think I will have a difficult time feeding raw, but watching him itch and scratch and stink one day after a bath is probably more difficult. If tossing animal carcasses around my house is what I have to do, then I'll do it;) He has had 4 lime sulfur dips (you aren't kidding, Magwart) but showed zero improvement. I used coconut oil combined with essential oils and rubbed that all over him. He seemed more comfortable, but what a mess. I use Advantix II and not only does it not work for fleas, but he reacted to it with sores down the length of his spine. I'll ask the vet if the Multi will do he same to him. He really is such a mess, but I figure he was sent to me for a reason, with my son out of the house, this guy is my best bud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Even if a shelter had agreed to take this dog, it's really unlikely he'd have lasted over a couple weeks. So you very literally saved his life, in time he'll repay the kindness, Thank you for saving him!! I had a female rescue that presented as fearful of many things when I got her, but ended up being one of the most stable and courageous dogs I have ever seen...it took her almost 2 1/2 years to really get there, but when she finally "became" herself, she was rock solid...except with vacuums, she never got comfortable with vacuums >:) Hang in there, and please keep us updated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,697 Posts
As a vegan, it think I will have a difficult time feeding raw, but watching him itch and scratch and stink one day after a bath is probably more difficult. If tossing animal carcasses around my house is what I have to do, then I'll do it;)

I'm right there with you. I was lacto-ovo veg for over 20 years, and have been vegan for at least a couple of more. I keep a plant-based kitchen.

....And one of mine is raw fed -- he'd probably be dead had he stayed on kibble. He's got bad, bad food allergies that were causing cascading internal inflammation, with bloody diarrhea, diseased anal glands and more. No limited ingredient kibbles worked for him. The vet was concerned he would not be a long-lived unless the inflammation could get under control. You'd never know it's the same dog now.

What saved by dog was The Honest Kitchen's Preference base mix, fed with added beef. That solved ALL of his health issues. We started out cooking the beef (boiling muscle and organ meat, throwing out the congealed fat, and rehydrating the base mix with the broth). That got tiresome and one busy week, we just gave him the raw meat with the base mix....and never looked back. Now at least we don't have to smell it cooking! *gag*

The raw is SO much easier. We have rubber gloves, special dog bowls and utensils and a dog fridge in our laundry room so it never has to come in my kitchen now. I bleach the laundry room's prep area regularly.

The funny thing about being vegan is that meat, and organs, and even tripe is all indistinguishable to me -- nasty organs are no different than hamburger, AFAIC. It's all dead animal, and it's all disgusting -- the hamburger no less so than the kidney or liver-slime. So that makes it somewhat easier to buy bull testicles or other stuff like that to feed the dog! One part is no grosser than any other part.

You can make it easier on yourself by buying something like Primal Grinds, commercial 5# chubs of frozen meat. I often feed them with base mix. Any mom-and-pop independent food shop that sells commercial raw dog food could order those. The Primal Grinds are not a complete diet by themselves (just an 80-10-10 mix), but THK said they're fine to feed with the base mix.

Another option is the version of the Honest Kitchen that already contains dried meat. Just add water, and feed. Ziwi Peak also makes a really good meat-based dehydrated food that looks like little squares of jerky. It's very expensive but excellent quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,917 Posts
Oh you are so NOT alone!
Shadow wears a muzzle out in public, and you would not believe the snotty comments I get.
She also is mostly pretty awesomely behave except when she gets in her zone, then there is simple no reasoning with her. She cannot hear or see me, food won't work, corrections won't work, I just have this raging dog determined to do her own thing
She has multiple allergies and some pretty odd ones. Colostrum gave her hotspots, coconut oil made her not eat and any thing made from fish makes her throw up.

Also you may want to look at ACV for his skin. I had pretty awesome results with it. You can put it in his food or apply to his skin or both. And remember at least couple of hours of sunshine daily. The sun naturally boosts our immune systems and helps restore balance to our bodies.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top