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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering if anyone ever experienced anything similar to what I'm seeing in my 8 week old. He's having a weird fear reaction and I'm not sure how to handle it so that I don't reinforce the fear.

Saturday I let my boy out for his first real exploration of the backyard. As he's too small to do the stairs, I picked him up and securely tucked him under my arm to go down the stairs and outside. He FLIPPED out! It sounded like I was trying to saw off his legs with a butter knife. I thought he'd be fine once I set him on the driveway but he continued to scream and flattened himself out on the driveway with all 4 legs splayed out like a baby bear. He didn't move. I tried to ignore the behavior but after a few minutes it became apparent he COULDN'T move. I promptly took him inside but it was several hours before he calmed down, his breathing returned to normal and he got up and was normal again. Normal, except he was pissed at me and shied as far away from me as he could get. The next morning all was forgotten and I was his best buddy again.

He was perfectly fine Sunday and most of Monday, exploring the backyard and doing his business. But before dinner I decided to sweep the driveway and he went crazy again with the screaming and flattening himself. This time he wouldn't, or couldn't use his front legs. We took him inside but whenever he tried to walk he'd fall over and cry. He finally laid down. My daughter & I tried to get him to walk by enticing him with some chicken. It took 20 mins to get him to walk on his own and an hour of laying in his bed before he was normal again. This time he didn't shy away from me and was perfectly his normal goofy self.

Anyone have any experience with a hysterically paralyzed pup? He's a perfectly healthy, happy pup, well socialized with good manners for his age. Suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is it only on the concrete? Could it be cold and hurt his paws?


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Both times he flattened himself out on the concrete and screamed, but the screaming on Saturday started on the stairs inside the house and both times the was 70 degrees outside and sunny. The behavior continued inside the house.

The first time it happened, my first reaction was to cuddle him and try to reassure him when i brought him inside, but his paralysis freaked me out! When it happened again with the broom I took him inside then went back out to finish sweeping to give him time to calm down on his own. His paralysis didn't scare me this time because I knew for a fact that he wasn't hurt in any way. We just held the treat out of his reach so he had to work through his issue and walk to get the chicken. Any other time he is outside he runs all over the yard and driveway, so I don't think it's the concrete. I'm stumped.
 

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can you provide any more information such as what the pup was like at the breeder's , vaccination record , how long you have had him since he is only 8 weeks of age.

don't shoot the messenger but this dog is anything but a perfectly healthy dog . " it became apparent he COULDN'T move. I promptly took him inside but it was several hours before he calmed down, his breathing returned to normal and he got up and was normal again"

He may have a neurological problem --- or some maybe some reaction to the vaccination , or swelling that is putting pressure on a nerve which temporarily prevents him from being able to walk or the dog has some seizure problem.

did the pup come with a vet check prior to you taking him home. At 8 weeks of age you could not have had him for a long time -- so you get him to your vet . Call the breeder . Inform them.

return the dog .
 

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I'd be calling up the breeder ASAP on this one. Find out how the rest of the litter is doing. Have their past litters had the same reactions? On the socialization previous to your ownership did this also occur with your puppy/litter?

The reason we pay so much for our puppies and go to responsible breeders is so we have the background and experience of a great breeder. Call them up and let them begin to help.
 

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I'm sorry, it took several hours for him to calm down and slow his breathing, and he was paralized for a time? I would have been off the the vet after just a few minutes of abnormal behaviour like that, that is certainly not normal and especially with a small pup, they don't have a lot of reserves if they get ill.

I'm not trying to come down on you, but IMO you really need to get this pup to a vet ASAP for a physical examination and yes, call the breeder. This isn't something for an internet forum, that would be an emergency in my eyes, but maybe that's just me.

Best of luck to you and your pup, I hope you can figure this out and it's nothing too serious.
 

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Clarifying my question (sorry very long)

Thanks everyone for your concern. Zirq is NOT going back to the breeder or anywhere else. When we chose him, we chose him for life. He is completely healthy: his breeder, my vet, and 40+ years of living with and raising dogs from all walks of life confirms this. I think my question may have been a little unclear so let me clarify:

Zirq comes from an experienced breeder and a litter of 13. The whole litter is happy, healthy and well socialized, with great parents. We picked him while out of state on vacation visiting relatives and brought him home early, at 40 days old. Yes, this was extremely early, but not unheard of or well thought out. This was only agreed to because I have a wonderful relationship with my vet, several other dogs & cats, and the time and resources to care for his needs and to socialize him 24/7. My in-laws also own a boxer kennel. So I also have them for guidance, as well.

I have single handedly raised a litter of 9 Goldens from 3 days old, after the mother was killed by a car, all while I was 8 mos pregnant and chasing a toddler. They all lived wonderfully long healthy lives, 2 becoming service dogs, the rest as companion dogs.

I've rescued, loved and cared for Doxies with a variety of temperaments and health issues from neglect, aggressiveness and shyness, and from epilepsy and cancer to congenital demodex. So this isn't my first rodeo.

We recently lived through the heartbreaking experience of rescuing a dog with DM. Our beloved GSD, Einstein, crossed the Rainbow Bridge in March. Choosing a sound, healthy pup was our top priority.

I have heard of hysterical paralysis before but never really saw it until the other day with Zirq. The closest I've come to it was with my daughter's 12 week old Doxie pup that suddenly refused to walk. After $2000 of xrays and testing at the emergency vet, with no explanation or resolution and a referral to a specialist, I accidentally found the cause. It turned out that he was afraid of the new collar around his neck. Once it was removed, he took off like a bat out of ****! The hospital staff was dumbfounded. We spent weeks desensitizing him to having something around his neck, but now he is perfectly fine and well adjusted. 7 years later, he is a great teacher and companion for Zirq.

Zirq is dewormed and vaccinated. He hasn't been exposed to any diseases. He was carried everywhere and never set on the ground. He's been confined to my dogs and home and was only finally let out into my fenced yard on Saturday. He has been to the airport, grocery store, my husband's loud auto garage, my kids school and to swim team practices. He has been exposed to thunder, traffic, crying babies and unruly children. He is a very loving, confident pup, and hasn't been afraid of anything. Until Saturday, his 8 week bday.

My initial reaction to his hysteria was panic because I had never physically seen such a reaction. I've seen scared dogs react with aggression, biting, peeing, whining and hiding, and excessive licking, but not paralysis. The vet says there is a reason the expression "paralyzed with fear" exists, because paralysis can be a reaction to fear.

What I wanted to know is if anyone else had experienced anything similar to this and how they handled it. I don't want to reinforce or encourage his reaction to things that scare him. Scary, unknown situations exist in the world. I want to develop a temperament in my pup that acknowledges these facts but gives him the tools to move past them in a healthy way, quickly. My ultimate goal with Zirq is to have a long, happy life with the possibility of becoming a service dog.

So again to clarify, my dog is not broken or defective. I'm not looking for judgements or opinions on the health status of my dog. He will not be going back to the breeder, or be abandoned; he is here to stay. I'm looking for feedback from anyone that has had a dog react so strongly to a fearful situation that it was similarly paralyzed or close to it. What worked? What didn't?

Thanks.
 

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Well, I proudly have broken and defective dogs, and I'm having trouble understanding the specifics of this! Because if he's out and about to all these places and does well - is it the front drive that's the only trigger? I do have a dog who would go catatonic - I don't have a ton of time this am to go into it but she's great now.

If it is fear, it can't be reinforced so you don't need to worry about that. You can worry about flooding him and overwhelming him - losing trust/relationship and making every step forward more difficult.

TheraVet - Rochester Rehab, Equine and Canine Health Care is a really nice place to have your pup felt all over to rule out something physical. I am having trouble distilling this all to the most pertinent information - I am interested, just not able to read for detail right now!

I may be near you...
 

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Maybe he just doesn't like concrete.

Sometimes the simple answer is the correct one.
 

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Perhaps additional research might help;

Definition of CANINE HYSTERIA

: an epileptic condition of dogs usu. considered due to toxic elements in the food in which the affected dog may suddenly run or bark senselessly, hide without cause, or undergo spasms or convulsions —called also fright disease, running fits
 

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We picked him while out of state on vacation visiting relatives and brought him home early, at 40 days old.

Zirq is dewormed and vaccinated. He has been to the airport, grocery store, my husband's loud auto garage, my kids school and to swim team practices. He has been exposed to thunder, traffic, crying babies and unruly children. He is a very loving, confident pup, and hasn't been afraid of anything. Until Saturday, his 8 week bday.

So again to clarify, my dog is not broken or defective. I'm not looking for judgements or opinions on the health status of my dog.
I'm certainly not attempting to be judgemental - or stating you have a defective dog. I have a defective dog with major aggression issues, seizures and has to be managed 24/7. He's a Golden Retriever. I didn't give him up or send him back to the breeder. He's 13 years old now - I've had him since he was a puppy.

I only ask that you PLEASE try to reconsider your diagnoisis. You took him out at 40 days. At that time you had him out while on a short vacation. Now he's only 8 weeks old and he's vaccinated (but obviously not FULLY vaccinated as he's only 8 weeks old) and you've had him exposed to everything under the sun before he was even 8 weeks old.

There are SO many possibilities with regards to his symptoms. Some could be fatal. If your vet refuses to test your pup, seek another vet. I'm just suggesting that you make sure.
 

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I'm going to sound judgemental again, but I don't think any reputable breeder would ever consider sending a puppy home at not even 6 weeks of age. That is a different issue though.

You want people's help, but only if they agree with you on what the issue could be.

I was not suggesting you return the puppy to the breeder. I was suggesting you tell the breeder what is going on in case other pups have had similar issues. A good breeder will also have a health guarantee on the pup, so if this turns out to be some sort of genetic issue, you should be getting your money refunded.

I think you need to rule out any physical problems with your vet, before you self-diagnose this as a behavioural thing. It could also be neurological. That is NOT NORMAL BEHAVIOUR, even in a fearful dog, for it to continue for so long. A normal dog with fear issues, should calm down once they are removed from the situation that is causing them the anxiety.
 

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This doesn't sound like a perfectly healthy puppy. This sounds like a seizure of some kind. Puppies, like human babies, don't start screaming, breathing funny and present as if paralyzed unless something is wrong.

I have more than on fearful dog...and this is not how they behave at all.
 

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Well, I proudly have broken and defective dogs, and I'm having trouble understanding the specifics of this! Because if he's out and about to all these places and does well - is it the front drive that's the only trigger? I do have a dog who would go catatonic - I don't have a ton of time this am to go into it but she's great now.

If it is fear, it can't be reinforced so you don't need to worry about that. You can worry about flooding him and overwhelming him - losing trust/relationship and making every step forward more difficult.

TheraVet - Rochester Rehab, Equine and Canine Health Care is a really nice place to have your pup felt all over to rule out something physical. I am having trouble distilling this all to the most pertinent information - I am interested, just not able to read for detail right now!

I may be near you...
Jean, you are by me and I'll talk to my vet about a referral to Thera-vet for an evaluation. As to broken & defective dogs, all of my dogs were broken or defective in some shape or form, just like their people.

As for Zirq's issue, I know he CAN move but seems not to be able to move maybe due to being afraid his movement might have caused his perceived trauma. Does that make any sense?

Aside from those 2 incidents, carrying him down the stairs, and the sudden noise of the large push broom, he hasn't repeated the behavior. I do walk more slowly and deliberately down the stairs with him and I put the broom in the kitchen where he has to be near it. He's investigated it and taken a few chomps on it, and now he could care less about it. Tomorrow I'm planning on having my hubs record Zirq's reaction when I sweep the driveway again. This way if it happens again I will be able to show his reaction to the vet, because its far too complicated to explain properly.

Thanks for the info.
 

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I'm going to sound judgemental again
You don't seem judgemental at all, just concerned, which I appreciate.

You want people's help, but only if they agree with you on what the issue could be.
Not true. I appreciate the input from longstanding experienced GSD owners and wondered if anyone else had experienced something similar. Jax had a great point that it might be some sort of seizure disorder, which as you suggest is neurological. Could be triggered by extreme fear or being startled. I'll have that checked out with the specialist.

I was not suggesting you return the puppy to the breeder. I was suggesting you tell the breeder what is going on in case other pups have had similar issues. A good breeder will also have a health guarantee on the pup, so if this turns out to be some sort of genetic issue, you should be getting your money refunded.
The breeder is a friend of my in laws, which contributed to us bringing him home early. She has assured me that she hasn't seen this in his litter-mates, offered to refund my purchase price, plus pay for 1/2 of his vet bills and either take him back or let us keep him. My mother-in-law confirms the other pups are fine, as well.

Thank you for your input.
 

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Perhaps additional research might help;

Definition of CANINE HYSTERIA

: an epileptic condition of dogs usu. considered due to toxic elements in the food in which the affected dog may suddenly run or bark senselessly, hide without cause, or undergo spasms or convulsions —called also fright disease, running fits
Very interesting, thanks.
 

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Jean, you are by me and I'll talk to my vet about a referral to Thera-vet for an evaluation. As to broken & defective dogs, all of my dogs were broken or defective in some shape or form, just like their people.

As for Zirq's issue, I know he CAN move but seems not to be able to move maybe due to being afraid his movement might have caused his perceived trauma. Does that make any sense?

Aside from those 2 incidents, carrying him down the stairs, and the sudden noise of the large push broom, he hasn't repeated the behavior. I do walk more slowly and deliberately down the stairs with him and I put the broom in the kitchen where he has to be near it. He's investigated it and taken a few chomps on it, and now he could care less about it. Tomorrow I'm planning on having my hubs record Zirq's reaction when I sweep the driveway again. This way if it happens again I will be able to show his reaction to the vet, because its far too complicated to explain properly.

Thanks for the info.
Wildly interesting! Like I said, my dog would go catatonic - it is why I offered to foster her. If you ever want to meet up or anything let me know.

I always like to rule out medical stuff - with her it was made worse or caused by or something - no one really knows because she was found in a parking lot (they thought she was dead - probably doing her possum thing) and we think she may have been thrown from or hit by a car. And she got this huge infection, with off the charts WBC but thankfully no fever, and then her head got swollen and had to be tapped...it was so weird.

She would scream too - I only heard it once, her transporter heard it a few times, but she would do that while moving.
 
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