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Won't go in the sun...

3527 Views 19 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  middleofnowhere
My fiance and I took our first german shepherd puppy home on Friday night. We are currently in the proccess of crate training him and teaching him to eliminate outside on command. Although he has made unbelievable progress, we are still experiencing an odd behavior.

Our pup is displaying an odd behavior. He will not go into direct sunlight what so ever and cries uncontrollably when brought into the sunlight. He will walk in the shade but will not go into the sun. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced odd behavior such as this? Is this just a stage and will it pass?

Housebreaking the poor guy is almost impossible because he won't relieve him when it is sunny. Any help, advice and or suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for your time,

Randall and Jennifer
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Even if he has been to the vet-- bring him back to the vet. Get his eyes very, very thoroughly checked. If his eyes after a very thorough exam check out just fine.. don't go home without then getting a referal to a veterinary eye specialist from your own vet. Photosensitivity (discomfort/pain when in sunlight) can point to several eye disorders, and sometimes all the dog needs is something as simple as eyedrops for life. Please make a vet appointment as soon as possible, and plan on getting an eye specialist referal from your vet. Wishing you the best of luck!
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Our pup is only 7 weeks old. Do these types of conditions manifest themselves at such an early age? I did a few searches based on what you said and quite honestly, I am nervous . I certainly hope that this isn't a problem in the future. I really hope it is as easy as eye drops...
Yes, they can and do manifest early. It may be behavioral, but honestly, sounds like an eye issue. Try not to worry, please! I would worry too, but honestly, there are tons of therapies out there for many of the eye conditions. In fact, a few of us on here have dogs with eye conditions where we just give drops in the eyes before each meal (helps us remember when). Some of us even have dogs that wear Doggles! (the totally cool sunglasses for dogs.. protects sensitive eyes, and adds an off-the-charts 'coolness factor'
) Try not to worry. Get an appointment, this will help you feel that you are getting things checked out.
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Thank you so much for your kind words and helpful advice. We have to take him in next week for his shots so we will bring this up with the vet at that time. It sounds like he might have Pannus, but then again I am not a vet. Needless to say I am merely speculating. Hopefully the vet will have good news and find out that this is just behavioral or that his eyes are not yet fully developed. I will let you know what I find out. In the mean time, I will post pictures of the little guy and formerly introduce him to you and the rest of the readers of this forum
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Yay! Can't wait to meet the little cutie!
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Pannus doesn't cause pain. At least that hasn't been our experience. However, photo sensitivity is a bid deal. WDJ had an article about a dog that ate some food contaminated with a certain mold that caused photo sensitivity. Very very nasty. Have him checked out is the best thing you can do.
I certainly hope that isn't the case
Do you happen to know where I can find that link? I am looking for anything...we are both very upset by this.
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Try not to worry so much and pre.diagnose. I know.. I do it all the time too.
Seriously, it could be something as fixable as an eye infection that is new enough to not yet have any discharge. Believe me.. so many things can cause pain in bright light, and so many are manageable! This may not be the disaster you fear. Envision making that vet appointment.. going in with your pup.. and either getting a definite, conclusive answer-- or a referal to a specialist who will give you an answer.... a gameplan is coming up in any case! Focus on that now. Answers help us breathe easier.. and soon you will have a gameplan for treatment, if any is needed, with this wonderful little new best buddy of yours.
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Did you meet the puppy owner, littermates, parent dogs? See the conditions they were raised?

Have you spoken with the breeder about the condition? Talking to them right now by phone may be a huge help.
Yes we did meet the breeder, several times infact. We met all the puppies in the litter and at about 3-4 weeks i think they were all introduced to and remained out doors. The breeder said that they didn't notice any pecuilar behavior but that has all seemed to change since we have brought him home. For us it is frusturating that we can't get him to use the restroom outside when it is sunny but we know that it isn't the dog's fault and are doing our best to cope with the situation. If this is a situation the requires sepcialized treatment would we be out of place to ask for a replacement puppy?
You'll have to check your contract about the replacement puppy.

Pannus can cause very severe pain but it's rare in a pup so young.

I would make sure you're going to a very good vet because this is clearly a health issue.
Whole Dog Journal

You will have to buy the back issue but their index should be available on line and some articles are available on line.

Mention to your vet that dogs who have eaten contaminated food can develop light sensitivity. I do not remember what the thing is that causes this but one of the early and persistent symptoms is sensitivity to light. It's easily taken care of - you get them off the bad food and clear their system - and the dog recovers. Whatever is going on you have caught it early. That's good. We're all hoping that it is something simple and easily "fixed."

Think too about what else is in your backyard in daylight that might be a problem. Try the back yard from the pup's point of view - down on the ground and see what's going on.

Good luck. I hope you get an answer, I hope it's simple and easily taken care of.

Yes, if it is expensive and life long, you could ask for a replacement. (You can ask regardless of what the contract says.) There is no guarantee that the breeder will accomodate you.
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We have contacted the breeder and we are going to take the puppy to her so she and her vet can observe this behavior. She sounded genuinely concerned which was also very reassuring. This guy would be the perfect pup and hopefully will be able to be after this light sensitivity issue is resolved. He even, for the first time, this morning let us know he needed to use the restroom. Exciting times around here

Thanks again for all your support.
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Quote:pannus can cause very severe pain

Interesting, BowWowMeow. Skye has pannus and I've learned quite a lot about it, but don't remember hearing it causing pain. Certainly it didn't for her, but I caught it very early.

I would doubt this pup has pannus - the whites of the eyes would be extremely red and the OP would see seepage if it was that bad.

I would certainly suspect a light sensitivity, though. Maybe something more like this?

Uveitis or inflammation of the eye can be caused by foreign bodies or by systemic disease. It can cause symptoms such as blinking, squinting, or reluctance to enter brightly-lighted areas and can produce a watery discharge. The appearance of the eye may change depending on where the inflammation is centered. Some eyes become dull or bluish; in some cases the white becomes red or swollen or the iris changes color.

Diagnosis of uveitis is done with special instruments that illuminate the interior of the eye. Unless the cause is obvious, blood tests and other lab work are necessary to determine the cause. Diseases that can cause uveitis include ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Lyme disease and brucellosis. Other causes may be a foreign body in the eye, a bacterial infection, an autoimmune disease, a scratch, a cataract, or cancer or arasitic disease.

Treatment is critical to relieve pain and to prevent scarring, glaucoma, or blindness. Aspirin, corticosteroids, or other anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to minimize soreness. Oral or topical antibiotics are useful in bacterial infections. Dilating drops or ointments may be used to relax the muscles in the eye and thus help reduce pain. Corticosteroid drops are not used in cases of corneal ulceration because they could slow healing or actually worsen the ulcer.
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The symptoms of this disorder sound very much like the symptoms our pup is experiencing. He just had an accident in the house because he refuses to go outside. When I pick him up and place him outside to relieve himself, he quickly retreats to the shade or sits by the back door crying until I let him in. I can't get the poor guy to spend enough time in the direct sunlight to get him to go potty, thusly he has accidents when it is sunny. If there is enough shade, or night time, he has no problems what so ever with going outside. I mean he even has began whinning when he needs to go outside, but only when it isn't sunny. Hopefully the visit with the breeder and her vet will provide us some hope in treating this problem. If we can't get him to outside to use the restroom when it is sunny we will have no choice but to send him back the breeder or find him another home. Neither of these two choices are what we want to do...
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We met with the breeder and our pup showed no signs of being afraid of the light. He seemed quite at home playing with his litter mates in and out of the sun. We went and saw her vet and he gave him a clean bill of health which was very reassuring. He wants us to keep a journal for a week or two detailing how our pup deals with being exposed to light. We are hoping for the best. I have will be introducing him and posting a couple of pictures in the introduction forum for those who are interested! Thanks again everyone.
Wow--how strange! He went outside and was fine?

Perhaps tomorrow you could drive him somewhere and take him out in the sun and see what happens. Maybe it's something in your yard?
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Well that's a relief! Now you have to figure out what's really bugging him.
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