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Thread: Our vet visit today... Cassie didn't behave so well...

  1. #1
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    Our vet visit today... Cassie didn't behave so well...

    I took Cassie to the vet today for her rabies shot. First thing she does is growl at a woman who had kneeled down to pet her.

    Once I brought her in, the vet told me her records indicated that she had to be muzzled. So I struggled with her to put the muzzle on. Then, while the vet is examining her, she is crying, her tail is stiff, and suddenly she PEES, a Lot. Right on the table. While he went to get some more towels she tries to bolt forward, all 60 lbs of her, and her claws cling onto the mat underneath her. She was like a giant cat.

    He told me that it looks as if she has fear aggression, after I explained her history. Didn't surprise me. And it's a hard issue to deal with, semi costly, but that's another story.

    Before we left, she growled at some of the people and other dogs. She calmed down significantly in the car, and curled up and licked my hand for a second. We were both exhausted when we got home..
    Last edited by ToBeEvergreen; 10-27-2011 at 07:23 PM.
    The pups

    The Kitty Krew

    "Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer." - Dean Koontz, False Memory

  2. #2
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    Awww, give her a hug for me, okay?
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
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    Will do. It was NOT a fun time for her, that's for sure! Next vet visit, I want to get her all tired beforehand to calm her down a bit. I came straight from school to bring her in.
    The pups

    The Kitty Krew

    "Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer." - Dean Koontz, False Memory

  4. #4
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    Well, vet offices can stress animals out with all the people and animals she doesn't see every day. Even the best behaved animals can act out at the vet. Doesn't necessarily mean she's fear aggressive! Is she like this any other place than the vets?
    Krista : Buster : Coonhound : Rudy : Airedale Terrier x : Dixie : Schnauzer/Terrier X : Miagi : Tabby : Tiger : Tabby/Bengal X : Angel : Russian Blue X

    Rocky, Jenny, & Ginger.. forever loved & always in my heart..

    I have been frosted!

  5. #5
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    In our house, she is wary of any strangers, but eventually calms down enough. She does not take kindly to strange dogs entering our home. She has one doggy friend who she plays very rough with (besides her sister), a large black german shepherd.

    She has never bitten anyone, dog or person. Just growled (and never at us), which is when we usually try to get her away until she is calmer, then try a slow re-introduction. When we went on vacation last year, we had to train her not to bark and growl at passerby in the small cottage. Eventually she only did so to the occasional dog passing by. But she will lung both towards and away from other dogs while whining and barking, and she does not like people coming up to her in public, unless properly greeted and with a treat, and then it still takes about a half an hour for her to be calm around them.

    Could very well be a dominance thing too, but I'm at a loss on how to treat it. We have tried different methods, and everyone who meets her and us tells us something different- trainers, experienced dog owners, vets. They all say something different. The trainer at a pet store who tried to help me teach her "heel" told me I should bring her in to the free puppy socialization classes they offer, but I am afraid of her going after one of the young dogs. She tends to lose it the second she hears a bark.

    Little example of our problem with her and other dogs. A boxer was loose at the top of my street, and we were approaching my house on a walk. He sprints towards her, and since she didn't see him coming she didn't react right away. He sniffed her, nose to nose, him wagging his stubby tail enthusiastically. She is standing very still as this is happening, and I tried not to make any sudden movements with her, trying to coax her away in case she were to react. And then, he puts his paw on her shoulder, and she loses it, growling and snapping at him. Suddenly they're both going at it as I try to lead her away and the owner finally comes out to get her dog. (Right away, the woman asked, "Is that a pit bull?" in a slightly accusing tone. All I told her is that she is half boxer). Cass is not as calm around little dogs. She lungs towards them, always towards them. And if she gets close enough, she snaps at them as if they were a squirrel.
    Last edited by ToBeEvergreen; 10-28-2011 at 04:56 AM.
    The pups

    The Kitty Krew

    "Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer." - Dean Koontz, False Memory

  6. #6
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    Sorry you and your dog had a rough time at the vet. I certainly do not know how to help your dog's behavior. However, when I take my Annie (not used to car rides or vet clinics) to the vet for her rabies shot or blood work, I call ahead and the vet and/or techs come to the car and do it & Annie does great. Maybe that would work for you; it probably would not stress her out as much.

  7. #7
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    The car thing sounds like a good idea!

    Fortunately, for my pets and me, they all love going to the Vet's office. The cats don't like the container part, but they are as good as gold at and with the Vet. My dog can only think of treats, when she arrives at the office. They give out treats like it is Halloween, all the time. The animals love it. My cats also get a treat before they are examined and afterward. I think it is the treats that makes them happy to be there. My Vet is female and quite a loving person. She adores all the animals. I am lucky to have both good behaved pets and a good vet.

    The drive-by Vet service sounds like a good idea for some animals. Of course, some visits you will need to take the pet all the way in.

    My Vet has one room, totally off the beaten track from the other rooms. She also has and exit (two actually) that you can bring in an unhappy pet up/in and leave the same way. My pets come in the regular door, but I have seen many an unhappy pet leave through the private doors.

    Maybe you could try a bit of medication to calm the doggie down before you take her to the vet? Some dogs don't do well with it, but it can't hurt to try.

    I did have a cat that hated going to the Vet. From day one, he was a monster at the Vet's. When and if he had to be left there for teeth cleaning etc. I could hear him howling when I left and then would do the same when they went to retrieve him to put him in the container. It was embarrassing to me. He sounded so horrible that people in the waiting room would comment. Demian, the cat was a doll at home and moved and traveled with me from time to time. He lived to be 18 and came down with an illness that needed lots of blood work. The vet refused to deal with him each and every week, and I agreed! We finally put him down at a point where his health was failing miserably.

    Have you tried talking to a good animal trainer? Maybe a few private lessons for you, not the dog, will do. My trainer always says he trains the people, not the dogs! LOL.

    If your dog likes treats, maybe you could focus her on treats rather than the other things she hates. Just a thought.

  8. #8
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    Sorry you and Cassie didn't have a good vet visit It does sound like fear aggression rather than a dominance issue. It sounds like she showed a classic flight or fight response.

    Unfortunately of my four dogs, two are fear aggressive.. my rescue Sheltie and my adult Malinois. I've paid thousands for dog training and behaviorists and fortunately have learned enough through experience to manage a fear aggressive dog now. I'm happy to say that my rescue Sheltie has been fully rehabilitated and my Malinois is well on her way.

    The worst thing you can do is correct aggression with aggression (verbal or physical correction). I would suggest desensitizing at a pace Cassie is comfortable with.. however slow that is. It's important you don't let her get over her threshold. To give you an idea, I'll explain what I do with my dogs. Keeva didn't like strangers coming up to her. She'd flip out if they got to her level and tried to pet her. So whenever someone came over or we were out and someone wanted to say hi, I would explain our situation and ask that they just throw a treat. First it was about 10 feet away before she started hitting her threshold. We kept at it and slowly she accepted closer distances. Now she'll take it straight out of someones hand and accept a pat on the head. We also do focus exercises when we're around strangers or dogs (she doesn't like dogs either). Same thing.. she had to be far away enough to notice the dog/person but not be freaking out. Everything has to stay positive. We compete in agility with tons of people and dogs so the focus exercises have been great for us. We've never had a single incident in agility.

    Good luck! PM me if you'd like more tips or have any questions!

    Kai [Sheltie], Kaedyn [Sheltie], Keeva [Malinois], Kwik [Malinois]

  9. #9
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    Oh! I forgot to add that a Thundershirt might be a good idea for Cassie in situations you know she'll be stressed out about. They have a 100% money back guarantee and I know lots of agility folks who use it successfully for many different situations.

    Kai [Sheltie], Kaedyn [Sheltie], Keeva [Malinois], Kwik [Malinois]

  10. #10
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    I've never heard of the thundershirt, but it seems safe at first glance. Like a bodily meditation for dogs. Thank you for telling me about this, I may just invest in it. My vet won't come out to the car, and she is nervous in the car anyway, so that would not be the best choice for Cass. Besides the shirt, tiring her out good beforehand may help- she has a German Shepherd friend who helps her get her energy out, so maybe I can bring her to play with him before vet visits.

    I have tried a trainer, yes. It didn't quite work, and once I took her pulling into my own hands, I found better ways to help her with that. The trainer I went to, despite her dog aggression, wanted me to take her to puppy socialization classes, even though she has small dog aggression more, which I explained to her. Despite seeing how uncontrollable Cass can be around other dogs she doesn't know, she told me to come on in. I didn't go back to that trainer...

    Gradual desensitization is what we have been trying with her. While on walks, if she sees a dog ahead and gets excited, I'll try to give her a treat or toy (which she never takes) and then walk her away until she is calmer. It's fairly frusterating in a neighborhood where people aren't too kind about their dogs getting riled up, and not to kind to their pups in general.

    I think this will take LOTS of work, but I know it's possible as long as we keep at it.
    The pups

    The Kitty Krew

    "Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer." - Dean Koontz, False Memory

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