Help me with psychological issues in dog after traumatic attack... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 03-29-2011, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our (neutered) Yorkie mix (Colby shown below) was viciously attacked by a neighbor's 6yo female (unneurtered) German Shepherd about a week ago on our property.  Thankfully, the neighbors have paid for the vet bill, which was over $700, because Colby had serious injuries that required surgery.  He came home last Wednesday with a drain tube, which was removed yesterday, but he still has quite a few stitches.

 

Well, he is healing.  And he is resting a lot.  He really doesn't do anything but lay around.  He is still shaking a lot, and resists moving even when he hasn't gone to potty in over twelve hours.  He is not very responsive, but rather just hangs his head and trembles.

 

As I said the attack was vicious.  The dog shook Colby while she had him in her mouth, and my 10yos and I could NOT get her off.  My husband, whom had only been home a few minutes, had to get her off.  And even when Colby was freed, she went after him again to finish him off. :(  We were all very traumatized by it.

 

I am just concerned about Colby.  I know that it's only been a week, and he needs more time to heal.  But he's just so despondent.  And I don't know whether to insist on obedience, or to give him leeway.  

 

What do I need to expect of him as far as coming when called, and such.  Just this morning, he ate his food well.  He has an appetite, thankfully.  But afterwards, his legs just shook and he just stood with his nose pressing up against the cabinet.  He wouldn't even back up or sit back, realizing he was so close. I didn't instruct him at all, I just sat back and observed him.  It was like his mind wasn't working well enough to tell him to step back so that he could move.

 

I understand that it has only been a week, and that he has been under a huge amount of stress from the pain and trauma.  I just have never treated an injured dog before, and am clueless about how to approach obedience issues so that we don't end up with a complete brat after all is said and done.  He is a Yorkie, and didn't have a high need to please prior.  He was mostly food motivated when it came to training.

 

Well, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions, as long as they are kind.  We are still recovering from the trauma ourselves, and really don't need harsh words at this time.  But I'd love to hear your suggestions on how we should treat Colby, as far as, coddling vs. tough love approaches. :)

 

Thank you, 

 

Rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 16 Old 03-29-2011, 10:22 AM
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Well I don't know why you would try a "tough love" approach with a dog who was traumatized...Would you do that with a human who had been traumatized? I doubt it..

 

Maybe your vet can prescribe some kind of anxiety med for your pooch? I don't know if there is such a thing as a dog suffering from PTSD but I don't see why it isn't possible...Poor thing, that is a really really traumatizing situation. I am impressed you were able to handle everything so calmly and yes the neighbors should pay the vet bill and any ongoing vet bills related to the trauma. They are lucky, you would not be out of line demanding that dog be put down...Also how did that dog get into your yard? I would be very VERY concerned about their dog getting loose again. I would DEMAND that the dog is properly secured at all times or fenced securely..

 

As far as your poor dog goes, I would talk to the vet about the behavior and ask for a rec for a behaviorist if things don't get better. Give it time though, this only happened a week ago, your dog is probably still in pain!

 

Finally, as a life long German Shepherd fan (and current shepherd mutt owner) I will just ask please PLEASE don't color all German Shepherds with the same brush based on your awful experience. They can be and are wonderful loving family dogs, just like any other breed. 

 

Oh, also I am a huge fan of Rescue Remedy for people as well as pets!

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#3 of 16 Old 03-29-2011, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lauren, 

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

The reason I said "tough love" was to show the opposite of coddling, not to advocate that. Plus, I know that dogs can sense ANY weakness, and feed on that for power.  Now, I am not saying that is what my dog is doing at all.  I just don't want to do anything during this tough time of recovery, that will cause an issue for later.  Like him ignoring me when I call him to come to me.  That could potentially be a problem later.

 

My family always had dogs when I was growing up, and German Shepherd were a normal, daily part of my life.  So, no worries about having a negative view of the breed...it's the lack of leash laws that I have a negative view of.  We live in the country, now, and there are no fences, nor leash laws so that is how the dog came into our yard.  

 

This was not the first altercation between the two, but it was the only one where blood was drawn.  This dog pulled Colby from my son's arms!  We are suspecting that she was jealous of the attention (or rather possessive of the children's attention) which triggered her aggression.  The neighbors has said they are looking for another home for her, or will keep her on a chain outside.  This has been heartbreaking for both of our families, as they were shocked by this and heartbroken at the thought of losing their dog.  And I am very concerned about the dog getting in our yard, and always check before taking Colby out to potty.

 

I wanted to make the point that the reason for this post is because I don't want to simply "humanize" my dog.  I want to be loving, compassionate, and still a leader that he can know is able to help him heal.  I would only use "tough love" when it was the best for my dog.  Just like each day, morning and night, I have to shove two pills down his throat because they are for his good.  It is tough, but I do it lovingly because I want him to not have an infection that could kill him and because I want him to have some pain relief. :)

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, 

 

Rebecca

 

 

 

 

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#4 of 16 Old 03-29-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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I am so sorry for your pup...yes, it does take time and patience to get over trauma.

 

However, a couple things you said worried me.  A dog is not out for power and is not looking for any sign of weakness from you to take over.

 

While what the GSD did is horrible, it is not really related to jealousy or possessiveness most likely.  Little dogs can be very confusing to other dogs, especially while being held...they look like prey.  

 

 


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#5 of 16 Old 03-29-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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I just wanted to send you a hug2.gif.  Our dog (Alaskan Malamute) has chronic aggression problems with other dogs and has also sent a couple of dogs to the vet.  As a result she is never unsupervised, never off-leash.  Even within our fenced yard she is on a leash because she will dig under or jump over the fence.  Your neighbors should be making some changes to ensure that this never happens again.  I don't think it would be too much for you to approach them about how to avoid future incidents.  You can't always be looking over your shoulder and shouldn't have to.

 

 

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#6 of 16 Old 03-30-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post

I am so sorry for your pup...yes, it does take time and patience to get over trauma.

 

However, a couple things you said worried me.  A dog is not out for power and is not looking for any sign of weakness from you to take over.

 

While what the GSD did is horrible, it is not really related to jealousy or possessiveness most likely.  Little dogs can be very confusing to other dogs, especially while being held...they look like prey.  

 

 


This is sound advice. I would also be giving the dog certain flower essences to help heal from the emotional trauma of the attack.

 

ETA: as the whole family is in shock from the attack, I would have everyone take essences also.

 


Rainbow.giftstillheart.gifsmile.gif

 

"If you find from your own experience that something is a fact and it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority and base your reasoning on your own findings"~ Leonardo da Vinci

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#7 of 16 Old 03-30-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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I would ask the vet for a prescription of doggie Prozac, at least for a while. 

 

I don't want to be debbie downer, so take this with a grain of salt, but one of our dogs was attacked in our yard a while ago. Our other dog tried to help him. She couldn't. She was never the same after that, and we eventually had to put her down. 

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#8 of 16 Old 03-31-2011, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 4myfinn View Post

I just wanted to send you a hug2.gif.  Our dog (Alaskan Malamute) has chronic aggression problems with other dogs and has also sent a couple of dogs to the vet.  As a result she is never unsupervised, never off-leash.  Even within our fenced yard she is on a leash because she will dig under or jump over the fence.  Your neighbors should be making some changes to ensure that this never happens again.  I don't think it would be too much for you to approach them about how to avoid future incidents.  You can't always be looking over your shoulder and shouldn't have to.

 

 


Thank you!  I really appreciate your hugs.  They have said they would keep her chained or find a new home for her.  I would prefer to have her re-homed because I don't want to be constantly watching to see if she is around when I take him outside.  I am sorry your dog has had aggression issues.  I really felt so bad for this couple, and was extremely thankful that they were able and willing to pay the bill.

 

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#9 of 16 Old 03-31-2011, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post

I would ask the vet for a prescription of doggie Prozac, at least for a while. 

 

I don't want to be debbie downer, so take this with a grain of salt, but one of our dogs was attacked in our yard a while ago. Our other dog tried to help him. She couldn't. She was never the same after that, and we eventually had to put her down. 



Thank you for this thought.  I did call the vet about his behavior, but have not yet heard back from them.  Honestly, in our area of the country, they don't give dogs psych meds much.  Colby's only pain pill was similar to ibuprofen,  so I don't know how much relief he actually got. :(  I have been giving him Flaxseed oil with his food to help with the healing.  Maybe I can find something calming that would help, too.  Thanks again!

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#10 of 16 Old 03-31-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Thank you for this thought.  I did call the vet about his behavior, but have not yet heard back from them.  Honestly, in our area of the country, they don't give dogs psych meds much.  Colby's only pain pill was similar to ibuprofen,  so I don't know how much relief he actually got. :(  I have been giving him Flaxseed oil with his food to help with the healing.  Maybe I can find something calming that would help, too.  Thanks again!


I don't know where you are, but I'm in Georgia, and not an especially upper class area. The vets still have the resources and can still do it. It's also, remarkably, really cheap. 

 

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#11 of 16 Old 03-31-2011, 01:31 PM
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I always advocate Rescue Remedy for dog's you can get it in the organic section at a grocery store...Just don't get the human version..

 

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#12 of 16 Old 03-31-2011, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know where you are, but I'm in Georgia, and not an especially upper class area. The vets still have the resources and can still do it. It's also, remarkably, really cheap. 

 


I am in a very rural part of the country.  I had to drive to another town and county to get emergency vet care for my dog. Seriously.  I'll check with them, but will not be at all surprised if they look at me like I have three heads.  Glad to know it's cheap, if it is available.

 

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#13 of 16 Old 04-04-2011, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to update on Colby...we got to see the little "let's play" puppy stance of his!  I loved it!  He is doing much better, and has all stitches are out.  He still rests most of the day, but I know we are on the right track. :)

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#14 of 16 Old 04-05-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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Glad your dog is doing better.

 

My dog was attacked in OUR yard by a neighbors husky. They too paid the vet bill of $400. We have fenced in our entire yard and  always keep the gate locked. My dog was nervous going outside for a long time,but I always stayed with him. It has been 2 years now and he is all better. I now keep a bat and/or mace handy when outside. I had a hard time keeping the husky off my dog with my bare hands. Next time I won't be so forgiving to a dog that comes into my yard.

 

 IConsider reposting the attack to AC. The neighbors dog needs to be listed somewhere regarding this attack and possibly  be fined. Or you can just let it go THIS time,but have a copy of the vet record,and that they paid the bills.

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#15 of 16 Old 04-05-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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Having an aggressive dog is really, really hard.  We knew Malamutes were prone to aggression with other animals and worked so hard to prevent it.  We socialized her constantly with other dogs and she was doing great.  Then one day at the dog park she approached a pit bull to say hi and the pit bull turned on her.  She wasn't hurt (thanks to such thick fur) but she's never been the same dog.  For some reason that fight brought out aggression that we've never been able to overcome.  At the same time, though, she is submissive to all humans.  She lays on her back for anyone that comes in the house to show them they're the boss.  

 

Your neighbors keeping their dog leashed is a good first step, but it doesn't prevent other dogs from approaching him.  They really should fence him in too.  Have you told your neighbor that you'd prefer for them to find a new home for their dog?  I would be honest and just say it if you haven't, as hard as it may be.  It's probably something they're prepared to hear.  We love our dog, but if I had to re-home her or put her down, I would.

 

 

 

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Thank you!  I really appreciate your hugs.  They have said they would keep her chained or find a new home for her.  I would prefer to have her re-homed because I don't want to be constantly watching to see if she is around when I take him outside.  I am sorry your dog has had aggression issues.  I really felt so bad for this couple, and was extremely thankful that they were able and willing to pay the bill.

 



 

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#16 of 16 Old 04-05-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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I'm so glad to hear he's doing better!  :) 
 

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I just wanted to update on Colby...we got to see the little "let's play" puppy stance of his!  I loved it!  He is doing much better, and has all stitches are out.  He still rests most of the day, but I know we are on the right track. :)



 

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