Thanks for the responses to my OP. I'm sorry, it seems it started a bit of a debate. Anyway, we did get the lab, his name is Baliley. I'm hoping that it's going to work out. Before we went for me to meet him we called the vet who had examined him and were told that we needed to call the Humane society as there were a lot of issues with Bailey and he had a case worker there. I spoke with her and basically the original owner had been reported to them because of his severely low weight. We're getting conflicting info as to how long he was with the sister who took him in. Based on our first day and night with him, he's absolutely starving! For food and attention both. But in observing and talking to them I imagine that he wasn't getting a lot of either. All of his lab work and from the sound of it there was a lot of it done, came back negative.( Not sure about the EPI but will ask our vet today about that) He's never been crated and we don't know how house broken he is as he and his brother were basically I think kept in a workshop with a dog door. They told us he'll bark when he needs to go out but I haven't seen that yet and even though I let him out before I went to bed, he had a huge pile of diareaha(sp?) inside last night in the middle of the night. Plus everytime one of us rolled over he got up to see what was going on. Needless to say not a lot sleep happened last night. He also has Happy Tail syndrome which I had heard of but never seen up close and personal. Yikes! My house looks like a small massacre took place in it! Our other lab Cody was crated so I don't have a problem with that but I worry that until we get his diet straightened out crating him at night could cause a big mess.
One question I have for those of you who may have taken in a starving dog, once we get his weight up will his insatiable appetite let up any. I know that labs will eat themselves stupid it you let them but this poor guy I think has literally been starving since birth. And while Cody will eat anything put in front of him at any time, he's not nuts about it.
BTW, Bailey is one of the most sweet tempered dogs I've seen even with what he's obviously been through so we really want to make this work. He gets along good with Cody, who's been really lonely since we had to put our 16 yr old Westie down a couple of months ago.
Anyway, Hi, it's good to be back and I'm sure you'll see a lot of us on here begging for advice!
You're going to need to start at ground zero with him. Treat him like an 8 week old puppy. Crate train him and have him earn his place in your pack. The diareaha was probably caused from transition, extra food and lots of things. Upping his food substantially will always give a starving dog the quirts. That's why I recommend giving pumpkin and plain yogurt. It will help to solidify the stool as he get's used to more nutrition. And yes, his appetite will decrease as he understands he's getting regular food.
You'll have to be careful with that happy tail. We had another foster dog who ended up having half of his tail docked because we couldn't get it under control. And yes, I know what painting with blood on the walls looks like. It's terrible! You're going to need to crate him. Don't over feed him and don't feel sorry for him. Treat him like a pup and make him understand your rules. He'll learn and he'll flourish. Trust me.
good luck with Bailey.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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well, as you already know Bailey will be alot of work. Personally I would crate him. It won't hold his housebreaking back at all by having a few accidents in the crate. Once his health is better you can work on that. Spend as much time with him as you can because that will help his anxiety, but try not to baby him. (Hard to explain in words but don't hug and pet him when he is acting nervous just be there and give a few pats) My dog has diahrrea when he is nervous but he is also the same dog that had giardia when younger. Start basic obedience now because it will help him understand what he can do vs not knowing what to do. The happy tail can be superglued and wrapped. You can have your vet do it but it can be done at home too. And try to move furniture out of his way so when he wags his tail it won't hit anything. Those tails are so hard to heal, once you think it is fine he will wack it again and you will have to start all over. The best treatment I found was moving furniture so the room was wide open and never talking to the dog near a doorway.
I think what you are doing is amazing. It will take a few months for Bailey to calm down...just be consistent!
"Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one"
agree, treat him like a puppy. talk to a vet about how to get the weight back on in a healthy way, avoid just feeding as much as he will eat as it could make him sick. alot of labs eat like they are starving (and have never starved!) so he may always be like that. Some dogs that DID starve will continue to eat like that as well even after years of being at a healthy weight. Or he may relax, only time will tell.
Don't coddle him too much. Set the rules and stick to them. Don't alllow now what you won't in the future (this goes for everything and anything).
The first few nights are always rough, I go thru this with fosters. Some are worse than others but anxiety, pacing, panting, not being able to relax are all normal. I generally expect a few sleepless (of less sleep) nights when I get a foster.
Treat him like he is not house trained until he proves otherwise. And note that even a house trained dog may have accidents when they are rehomed, it happens.
You mentionned not having alot of extra cash for health issues - I would recommend starting to put abit aside weekly (bi-weekly) "just in case". especially with a happy tail and being that udnersweight. He will likely need more visits to the vet at first to monitor (though ask if you can do some visits without seeing the vet, which shoudl be free/less expensve, stuff like weight ins you can do without seeing anyone and they can just write that in his file). He may bounce back with few bet bills but in this case i say better safe than sorry.
I'd highly recommend obedience training as soon as he is ready for it. They are graet for bonding and it will help you work on his training.
I'd also start crate training him - this can be done at any age.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Congratulations on getting Bailey. Sounds like he is a wonderful boy.
I agree with the others about taking him back to puppy. Erns wasn't house trained when I got him at 3.5. He had slept in a garage, no toys, not much company, no training at all scared of people and his food was left in a huge container for him to help himself when he felt like it so he was very independent.He wasn't abused, they just didn't know what to do with a dog. He was very fearful the first month and wanted company, but didn't know how to react with it. Like Bailey if we moved at night he would wake up.
I took it slowly giving him lots of love, being firm but patient and today I have an amazing dog. Took a bit of work.He had never been crated, but once he got used to being restricted loves it.
Good luck and look forward to more of him.
Sorry about your Westie. It is hard loosing a dog.
You've gotten good advice. Nothing to add - just good luck and thank you for saving this boy.
And - you don't need to apologize for the debate - there is no controlling that stuff sometimes.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Nothing to add..you have gotten great advice above. Thanks for sabing this guy. I am sure with a lot of love and patience he will turn out amazing Good luck and keep us posted.
How's he doing today? How are you doing?
Me, Abzilla and the Helomonster.
Nothing to add. Good luck. I think with time and patience, you'll have a great dog.
So happy to read that you adopted him. Poor baby boy. You've gotten great advice, start out like he's an 8 week old puppy. Please keep us posted.
What kind of food are you feeding him? Put something in his bowl to slow down his eating)
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"