A dog & canine forum. DogBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » DogBanter forum » Dog forums » Dog health
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old January 10th 06, 10:03 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)

Hi all -- I'm concerned about one of my dogs and need some opinions from you
all here as dog lovers. This post is long, but please bear with me because
I want to be as clear as possible about my situation. In November 2004, I
adopted a 2-year-old female Walker Coonhound from a rescue organization in
my area. The dog, now named Daisy, was found running loose someplace in
rural West Virginia by a kind-hearted soul who took her to the local animal
shelter. When she came to us (we were then living in the DC metro area),
she was emaciated, had recently been nursing a litter of puppies, and was
recovering from spay surgery. For the first few days, she was really quiet,
which I guess is expected after the surgery, which she had about a week
before I got her. She was friendly with me (a woman) but acted scared and
nervous around most men who came to the house in those early days, so we
speculated that she might have been abused by a man at some point in her
life. The odd thing was that she didn't appear to have any "house
manners" -- didn't know how to navigate the stairs, didn't know what dog
toys were for, didn't know what "outside" meant, etc.

Shelters never know much about strays, of course, but I contacted them
anyway to find out as much as I could about the conditions under which she
might have lived before being found as a stray. The shelter woman told me
that given the rural area where she was found, Daisy was likely one of a
group of dogs who were raised outside in a hunting kennel (which would
explain her lack of knowledge about stairs). The woman said she doubted
Daisy was a companion pet -- she was probably trained to hunt and somehow
got away from the kennel or maybe was lost in the woods and didn't find her
way home. She said they tried finding her owner for a couple of weeks after
she was brought in, but had no luck so they started looking for another home
as they don't have the room to keep dogs for very long. (Luckily for Daisy,
they found me or she would have been a goner.) After a week or so, she
started settling in and got friendlier with us, even with my brother, a big,
tall guy who lives with me. She's still a little scared in larger groups --
I've had a couple of family functions during which she's basically stayed in
my room because there were just too many people around. She and my other
dog, a sweet 8-year-old male pointer, get along fine and there are no
problems there. In general, Daisy is a loving, affectionate animal with a
quirky personality and lots of energy.

Anyway, things went along fine until this past summer when she began
exhibiting some strange behaviors, the three most worrisome of which I'll
describe separately below:

Issue 1: First, and most concerning, she acts like she's always starving.
As I said earlier, she was emaciated when I got her, but in the past year
she's put on about 20 pounds and now is really healthy-looking. The vet
says she's actually a couple of pounds over her ideal weight, but the dog
acts as if she's never been fed in her life. I feed my dogs twice a day --
in the morning they get a combination of high-quality kibble (generally
Eukanuba or Iams) and canned meaty chunk food, and in the evening a another
scoop of kibble. But this animal will eat an entire bowl of food and a
half-hour later act like she's starving again. And I don't mean just
sniffing around the bowl -- she displays a desperate, anxious food-seeking
behavior that I've never seen from another dog. She and my other dog get
fed in separate rooms, so it's not an issue of wanting what he has (although
they usually sniff each other's bowls after they eat), and she can't
possibly be starving again after just eating. No worms, so it's not that.
Could this be a remnant of her experiences as a stray when she apparently
didn't eat regularly? If so, what might cause this behavior to crop up
months after she'd found a new home? Is there anything I can do to relieve
her apparent distress? (I should say that in addition to her regular food,
she also gets tasty treats of both the human and canine variety.)

Issue 2: Separate and apart from the hunger anxiety, over time she's become
an anxious dog in general. For the first few months we had her, she was
really quiet -- rarely barked, never growled (and still doesn't) even when
playing, and seemed to be adjusting really well to her new surroundings.
However, over the past six months or so, she has been exhibiting an
increasing anxiety that manifests itself through pacing, whining and general
restlessness. For example, she wants to go outside constantly, but when she
goes out, she stays out for a few minutes and then whines to come back
inside. At first I thought this might be happening because she wanted us to
be outside with her, but she does it even when we *are* outside with her.
Another example -- when we engage her in play, she'll play for a few minutes
and then either (apparently) get bored and go lay down, or go back to her
pacing. As time goes by, I'm more and more wondering if she's a candidate
for doggie Xanax! Unfortunately, although she and my pointer get along
well, they don't play together consistently because he likes to growl and
bark when he plays and that seems to scare her. He's the dominant dog and
it seems that his vocalizing reinforces that for her (not to mention that at
8 years old he's starting to slow down a bit).

Issue 3: This is not a behavior, more of a health concern, but my suspicion
is that it might be related to her anxious behavior. About the same time as
some of the other stuff I've described started happening, Daisy developed a
skin rash that, despite constant treatment, is has never truly gone away.
She gets dry, scaly patches on her underarms, belly and the insides of her
ears and thighs that she scratches until they turn red. The vet prescribed
some type of antibiotic cream (can't remember the name right now) that
clears it up really quickly, like within a few days after it appears, but a
few weeks later the rash comes back. The vet said it might be a food
allergy, but it occurs to me that if this rash were caused by a food allergy
it would *never* go away, even with antibiotic treatment -- the itchy
patches would remain because she eats every day. She's never had fleas, so
it's not a flea allergy, so I'm wondering if this might be related to the
generalized anxiety described above - like a stress reaction to her living
situation (or whatever it is that's causing the anxiety).

OK, those are the three most concerning issues. I apologize for the length
of this post, but to really understand you need the background. Let me also
add a couple of comments about the living environment, to round out the
information. We live in a nice-sized single family house with a big fenced
yard that backs up to the interstate on one side and to our street on the
other, so there is quite a bit of noise from vehicle traffic. She has lots
of room to run around, another dog for company, two dog-crazy humans that
love her, other dogs next door to bark at across the fence, and a mailman to
aggravate six days a week. What's missing from the picture to make her
(seem) so anxious? Did I adopt a country-dwelling hunting dog that just isn't
happy living in the city? What can I do to improve her seeming unhappiness?
Any serious suggestions, comments, questions, etc., are welcome. I love
this dog and don't want to give her away, but if she's going to have a
miserable life with me, what other option is there?

Thanks so much for reading.

ND




********
Basic human psychology is one of my subroutines.


  #2  
Old January 10th 06, 10:38 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)

In article ,
Natty Dread wrote:
Is there anything I can do to relieve
her apparent distress? (I should say that in addition to her regular food,
she also gets tasty treats of both the human and canine variety.)


I'd have a veterinary evaluation - bloodwork, etc. Is she
drinking and peeing normally? Some endocrine problems have
associated skin changes, but they tend to start on the
thighs. Still it's worth checking out.

Second, I'd turn into a Food Fascist. She needs to be fed
on a regular schedule. Same time every time, like
clockwork. I feed twice/day but if she's having food
anxiety she may be happier being fed 3 times/day. Either
way, she should feel certain that the next meal is coming,
when it's going to come, and where it's going to come.

Third, she probably wants a job. If you don't hunt and
you're not one for hikes or other big excursions, think
about getting her into some sort of classes - obedience,
agility, tracking, whatever. You'll both have fun and it
will liven up her life a bit, and give her something to
think about.
--
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis -

Attacking Bushonomics is too easy, like shooting a lame duck
-- Sebastian Mallaby
  #3  
Old January 11th 06, 12:17 AM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)

"Natty Dread" wrote in message:

Hi all -- I'm concerned about one of my dogs and need some opinions from

you
all here as dog lovers.


I agree with others that this dog probably needs more stimulation. If
you're in DC, there are plenty of dog parks around
(http://www.metropets.org/YellowPages/parks.php), and it might help her to
work off some of her nervous energy. She could probably use more
socialization, and something to keep her brain occupied as well.

On the food front, it would probably help if took her longer to eat, and if
she had to work for it. How about using a food dispensing toy or a frozen
Kong to feed her from? It will take her longer to eat, and working for it
would keep her occupied.

To clean up her skin issues, have you contacted any doggie allergists or
dermatologists? My friend takes her dog to someone in Gaithersburg, MD and
I could get the info from her if you'd like.

Suja


  #4  
Old January 11th 06, 09:30 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)


"Melinda Shore" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Natty Dread wrote:
Is there anything I can do to relieve
her apparent distress? (I should say that in addition to her regular
food,
she also gets tasty treats of both the human and canine variety.)


I'd have a veterinary evaluation - bloodwork, etc. Is she
drinking and peeing normally? Some endocrine problems have
associated skin changes, but they tend to start on the
thighs. Still it's worth checking out.


We've done that; according to the vet, she's healthy. She drinks and pees
fine, no incontinence, etc.


Second, I'd turn into a Food Fascist. She needs to be fed
on a regular schedule. Same time every time, like
clockwork. I feed twice/day but if she's having food
anxiety she may be happier being fed 3 times/day. Either
way, she should feel certain that the next meal is coming,
when it's going to come, and where it's going to come.


She does get fed on a regular schedule, as I said in the morning and
evening. The problem with feeding 3x a day is that I'm at work during the
mid-day and live too far from work to drive home to feed her. I see your
point, though, about knowing when her next meal is going to come.


Third, she probably wants a job. If you don't hunt and
you're not one for hikes or other big excursions, think
about getting her into some sort of classes - obedience,
agility, tracking, whatever. You'll both have fun and it
will liven up her life a bit, and give her something to
think about.


I'll have to find something, I guess. As I responded to Janet, Daisy has a
really short attention span and even doing obedience training with her has
been a chore. We do have dog parks where I live and she likes that, but
it's too cold right now to stay out for too long. When the weather gets
warmer, we'll be doing a lot more of that type of activity.

Thanks for your response!

ND


  #5  
Old January 11th 06, 09:35 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)

In article ,
Natty Dread wrote:
I'll have to find something, I guess. As I responded to Janet, Daisy has a
really short attention span and even doing obedience training with her has
been a chore.


I've had dogs like that. I've got one right now, in fact,
although her basic problem is that she's not that clever and
she's preternaturally unsure of herself. The thing is that
her attention can be improved through a little effort on
your part. Keep your training sessions short and fun, and
frequent (a few minutes several times/day).
--
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis -

Attacking Bushonomics is too easy, like shooting a lame duck
-- Sebastian Mallaby
  #6  
Old January 11th 06, 10:55 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)


"Natty Dread" wrote in message:

We do have dog parks where I live and she likes that, but
it's too cold right now to stay out for too long.


Most dogs I know are waaay more active when it is cooler than in the summer.
Just bundle up and get out there. Besides, we appear to be in the middle of
a really warm spell (60-65 degrees here), so cold shouldn't be a factor.

Suja


  #7  
Old January 12th 06, 04:51 AM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)

Natty Dread wrote:

snip
I'll have to find something, I guess. As I responded to Janet, Daisy has a
really short attention span and even doing obedience training with her has
been a chore. We do have dog parks where I live and she likes that, but
it's too cold right now to stay out for too long. When the weather gets
warmer, we'll be doing a lot more of that type of activity.


There's no such thing as bad weather, there's only inappropriate
clothing. A tired dog is a happy dog. It's worth investing in a nice
warm lightweight coat and some good gloves so you can spend some time
outside with her. You'll be amazed how much better it will make you
feel, too, even under overcast skies. And if it's really cold Daisy
will be working hard at just staying warm, as well as whatever other
playing and running she might be doing. Even short outings will really
help to take the edge off her various manias.

Kathleen

  #8  
Old January 12th 06, 09:55 AM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)

I'll have to find something, I guess. As I responded to Janet, Daisy
has a really short attention span and even doing obedience training with
her has been a chore. We do have dog parks where I live and she likes
that, but it's too cold right now to stay out for too long. When the
weather gets warmer, we'll be doing a lot more of that type of activity.


There's no such thing as bad weather, there's only inappropriate clothing.
Kathleen



Within reason. I do agree, but every now and then--every three or four weeks
or so--Saskia has to miss one of her twice-daily runs and very occasionally
both of them due to driving rain with tiny ice centers that is whipping
along horizontally while the winds screaming by are bring branches and
occasionally whole trees down in the park. But other than that (and the
blizzard we had a couple of weeks ago, for which the media warned us all to
stay indoors), you're right.
--Katrina


  #9  
Old January 12th 06, 01:41 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)

"Natty Dread" wrote in message
m...
We do have dog parks where I live and she likes that, but
it's too cold right now to stay out for too long. When the weather gets
warmer, we'll be doing a lot more of that type of activity.


We took our miniature schnauzers to Minnesota. And yes, it was cold. AND
windy. They were a little shaggier than they usually are but we never used
the coats or sweaters that we took along just in case. They got about two
miles of walk in the morning and a second, slightly shorter, walk in the
late afternoon. They LOVED it. And always, but especially when you're
visiting someone else, a tired dog is a well-behaved dog.

Now, if it had been a wet snow that stuck to their leg furnishings, we would
have had to make adjustments. And if the only places to walk meant heavily
salted paths, then we also would have made changes. Instead the only
adjustment we made was to put on more clothes ourselves.

I've had hounds - including coonhounds. A cold, windy rain will chill them
faster than dry weather of any temperature. But they're pretty hardy. And
when they're running around, they can take most weather pretty well. I've
never had either a beagle or a coonhound that seemed to be suffering at all
from the weather when they were hunting. Not a one ever came back and asked
to get in the truck to get warm.

Unless you think my little lapdogs are tougher than your coonhound, I think
the problem with the weather is yours, not Daisy's. I'm not a winter-lover
myself so I understand that. But if the dogs need to be exercised, I pull
on the layers and all stages up to the Michelin Man look and we go.

~~Judy


  #10  
Old January 12th 06, 02:10 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Worried about my dog and looking for feedback (LONG)

White Monkey wrote:

I'll have to find something, I guess. As I responded to Janet, Daisy
has a really short attention span and even doing obedience training with
her has been a chore. We do have dog parks where I live and she likes
that, but it's too cold right now to stay out for too long. When the
weather gets warmer, we'll be doing a lot more of that type of activity.



There's no such thing as bad weather, there's only inappropriate clothing.
Kathleen




Within reason. I do agree, but every now and then--every three or four weeks
or so--Saskia has to miss one of her twice-daily runs and very occasionally
both of them due to driving rain with tiny ice centers that is whipping
along horizontally while the winds screaming by are bring branches and
occasionally whole trees down in the park. But other than that (and the
blizzard we had a couple of weeks ago, for which the media warned us all to
stay indoors), you're right.


True enough... It's not often we have to deal with horizontal sleet in
our area. That would probably keep me inside. But a couple of winters
back I was out on one of the local trails on my mountain bike when it
started snowing, and it was simply amazing. It was already cold, so the
ground was frozen solid, and the snow was like freeze-dried angel
feathers. It was nothing short of magical, standing in the woods,
watching the snow falling through the trees. Seeing it swirling away
from my front wheel as I rode. There were a few other riders out that
day and instead of the usual curt nod in passing, people were laughing
out loud, and when you stopped to talk, steam billowed from our mouths
and rose from the vents of our helmets. That ride is a memory I'll
treasure for the rest of my life. It was like being inside a diamond.

That trail is one of our favorite winter hiking spots as well. There's
a creek there, and where it's sheltered by the bridge the ice freezes
thick and smooth and clear as glass - the perfect spot for sliding and
playing. The ice is so clear that you can see the creek flowing beneath
and the fish swimming. Zane, my male BC, is outraged by the ice. He
yaps indignantly and bunny hops up and down on it, as if to try to break
through to the swimming hole he enjoys during warmer times. Eventually
he gives up and retreats to a spot where the creek runs shallow and
fast, and vents his frustration on the thinner ice, smashing through it
and biting the chunks with great gusto. The trailhead, and the nice
warm van is only a couple of minutes walk, so no matter how cold it is,
I don't have to worry much about frostbite or hypothermia, even if he
gets totally wet.

Kathleen

 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.2.0 (Unregistered)
Copyright 2004-2019 DogBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.