Big change, how does the dog adapt?
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Thread: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

  1. #1
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    DefaultBig change, how does the dog adapt?

    Here's the situation:

    My now ex-boyfriend and I got Abby about 2 years ago, right after we first moved in together. He moved out last Friday, and I know this big change has has an effect on Abby. She has become more jumpy than she was, any little noise or voice she hears she starts freaking out and barking. And now I just noticed she chewed a patch of hair off her leg! (She has had chewing issues with her feet, and she just went to the vet on Thurs for her depo shot) but she has never ever ever chewed on her leg.

    She wasn't really all that close with him, but I am sure she notices he is gone. Any advice on how to help her get through this?? I am scared she is going to keep mutilating herself.

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  3. #2
    Garth is offline Registered Users
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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

    She'll be fine. It's just a tough phase she's going through. I seriously believe dogs grieve in the same way us humans do.

    My dogs are a classic case of this. In the last 12 months, both my Mother & Lab have passed away. When Mum died they were both going into her room looking for her & every time I'd go out without them, they'd go running to the door when I came home looking outside waiting for Mum to come in after me. I helped them through it with lots of extra love & attention, new toys, different treats & extra walks to keep them mentally stimulated & help take their minds off it. They also spent extra time next door with the neighbours dog for company & she spent more time with me.

    Seven months after Mum died, so did my Lab leaving just me & the Pug. He went through the same routine of looking for Jo & looking out for him when I came home. It was history repeating itself. I did the same things as before & even took him out for extra walks sometimes at about 1 or 2 AM & still do just to get out of the house. About a month after Jo died, I adopted my GSD & he had instantly found a new friend. She settled in within about 5 minutes & neither of them have looked back.

    As I said, the key is to keep her occupied. If you have neighbours or friends with dogs, try & visit them more with her. If your situation allows, you might want to consider getting a second dog. It will help both of you through it. It helped my boy & it will her too.

  4. #3
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

    Keep as many things the same as possible - same walking and eating schedule, etc. Try to reassure her without coddling her - gentle massages are wonderfully relaxing, as is T-touch. When you leave, give her a stuffed kong or special treat. DAP diffusers and Rescue Remedy are all natural and without side effects - they work for some dogs and are worth a shot. If the mutilation becomes VERY bad, you may want to talk to your vet about a course of sedative medication in conjunction with behaviour modification.


    Has she always been a nervous dog?

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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaytris
    Keep as many things the same as possible - same walking and eating schedule, etc. Try to reassure her without coddling her - gentle massages are wonderfully relaxing, as is T-touch. When you leave, give her a stuffed kong or special treat. DAP diffusers and Rescue Remedy are all natural and without side effects - they work for some dogs and are worth a shot. If the mutilation becomes VERY bad, you may want to talk to your vet about a course of sedative medication in conjunction with behaviour modification.


    Has she always been a nervous dog?

    Yes, she has. There's always been something about her that just wasn't right, don't know if it was abuse or what. We got her at 11 months, and I was never really told much about her history.

    She was calm a lot of the time however, and normally on a sat when it was just me and her anyways she'd lay and sleep while I would work on my school assignments. Not today, though she is jumpy and just will not sit down. I am planning a visit tonight to a friends and they have a dog that she loves to play with so hopefully that will be helpful.

  7. #5
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    amazongold is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

    First of all, she is picking up on your feelings. If there was tension in the house before the ex left, she felt it. If you are a little sad and lost now with him gone, she is picking up on that, too. Distract her with games and visits to your friends, and when you feel better, she will, too.

    When Bill left to go back to work, both our boys became more alert and protective of me. They missed their Daddy, and would look for him every day. Any sound at night after we settled down for bed would send them both running down the hall, woofing, until they made sure no one was breaking in. Then Bill came home on a weekend, and left again, and they were a bit better. Each time he comes home and leaves again, they react better and better until it has became routine and now they are more used to him being gone than home.
    Jackie, Champ, and Buddy

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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmazonGold
    First of all, she is picking up on your feelings. If there was tension in the house before the ex left, she felt it. If you are a little sad and lost now with him gone, she is picking up on that, too. Distract her with games and visits to your friends, and when you feel better, she will, too.

    When Bill left to go back to work, both our boys became more alert and protective of me. They missed their Daddy, and would look for him every day. Any sound at night after we settled down for bed would send them both running down the hall, woofing, until they made sure no one was breaking in. Then Bill came home on a weekend, and left again, and they were a bit better. Each time he comes home and leaves again, they react better and better until it has became routine and now they are more used to him being gone than home.

    That is a great point. I have been sad, but most of all I have been a nervous wreck and had this sick anxious feeling for the last week about making it w/o him financially. Things are falling into place with that, so I have been calming down.. hopefully she will too

  9. #7
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    amazongold is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

    She will be fine once you are. Best of luck to you.

    About the feet chewing - have you tried taking her off wheat and corn? When we first got Shadow, she used to chew her feet and would get a gunky ear until we took her off wheat and corn, then the itchies stopped and so did the ick in the ear. Check all treat labels before you buy them, too. You will be amazed how many contain wheat (or flour), and/or corn.
    Jackie, Champ, and Buddy

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

    Exercise, exercise, exercise. If you can get her out more, different places to explore it would be helpful. There is the possibility that the chewing is totally unrelated. We are at the time of year when grass allergies are plentiful, it might be that.
    Olie

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt? (Updated)

    I ended up taking Abby to the vet last night, because the area on her leg where she has been constantly licking is infected (she wakes me up almost every single night at least once licking her leg.. I have to nudge her and she will go back to sleep)

    She was diagnosed as having acral lick dermatitis. Which I am sure was triggered by her "daddy" just leaving and of course her picking up on my feelings. She had issues before this happened, she had bad separation anxiety if I would leave, so this made her the perfect recipe to get this problem. So, the vet recommended a round of antibiotics and a topical spray. She may have to wear an E-Collar (I'll see how she did today while I was at work) He's hoping that we can get the infection cleared up and that she won't relapse. He said a lot of times they do relapse, and this is very difficult to treat and she may require antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft.

    I just got done looking up acral lick on the internet, and I have seen some horrible pictures!! There are dogs whose whole leg is just the granuloma. Abby's is still very small, so I hope we caught it early and it can be treated.

    Along with the meds, I am going to try to get her out of the house a lot more and hope that helps too. We've always been kind of a lazy.. lay around the house when I am off, and Abby has been pretty content just to lay with me on the couch.. but we both could use the exercise.

    Anyone have any experience with their dog and acral lick?

  12. #10
    blackandyellow is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Big change, how does the dog adapt?

    Perhaps the dog is actually nervous because she´s picking your state of mind, more than actually missing the person who left. If you are anxious or feel nervous at night being alone, the dog will pick this up immediately and will also be anxious.

    I am just going through something similar, I just moved, but Misha had been at a friend´s house for the last three weeks (she was in heat, so I kept Homer and sent her to my friend´s place). I just got her back yesterday, she peed in all but the correct places but other than that just seemed confused and excited to be back with us.

    With Homer the first three days were tough, he´s more sensitive, got scared from both my neighbors dogs barking and would jump and bark at night at the slightest noise. He´s been sleeping inside with me and took him three days to calm down

    I´m sure it will pass if you actually solve your personal problem

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