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Jellyblush

Please Help Me Save My Dog

889 posts in this topic

Hi dog lovers. I am posting a plea for help, and I am really quite desperate

I have a gorgeous 3 year old terrier, Roo. I got her as a rescue. She is cute as a button but she does have some significant issues around separation anxiety. Very significant. When around people, she lolls around, she's quite gentle and submissive, she knows all her commands and a couple of tricks, and is great with kids and other dogs. When I got her, it was with my ex partner who worked from home, unfortunately he left so now she I muddle along as best we can, but I can't be with her as much as she needs :(

When she is left alone, which she needs to be each day as I work full time, she self harms, chews at steels doors and breaks all her teeth, rips her claws out scrabbling at the concrete and is in a frenzy of anxiety for 8 - 9 hours.

I have tried every avenue to help her and am now faced with putting her down. To cut a long story short - I have fostered another dog, tried training, breaking behavioural cues, switched to raw diet, run her twice a day including before I leave, hide her food and feed from toys, have created a sandpit in the yard to occupy her, she has a behaviourist as well as her trainer and is on the highest doses of meds her body can handle. Yet still she panics and self harms. She's my best friend and this breaks my heart. So, in a last ditch effort to help her, I am hoping to find someone who is at home all the time, and would be happy to have her mooch about at your feet or lie in a spot of sun in your yard while you potter about your business.

She's no trouble, and there'd be no need to feed her, walk her, take her to the vet or commit to a dog. Just to have her chill with your family from 8.30 - 5.30 five days a week. She is a gentle, sensitive soul and very calm and obedient as long as not alone.

I can't afford professional dog daycare in Melbourne at $45 per day on an ongoing basis, but I would be happy to pay the right person what I can.

Please, if you are interested, or you know someone, PM me as soon as you can. Ideally looking for someone in Melbourne's inner north.

I am also very very grateful for all other suggestions.

Jelly

Here is our story:

http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/lofiversion/index.php/spam/t1045158.html

And here is my girl

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DSC_6928.jpg

Edited by Jellyblush

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Oh no :( She is lovely. I'm sorry there is no way I can help, hopefully someone can, but just bear in mind that sometimes when everything has been tried the kindest thing is to give a loved pet a peaceful passing.

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Have you ever tried Chinese herbs?

There is a Facebook page "Herbal Hound" - they are making me some herbs as I have a dog with a behavioural problem that I'm having trouble living with.

I've had great success with Chinese herbs for anxiety before - they are amazing!

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I'm so sorry to hear your story :cry: Rehoming may be a solution if it's to a suitable home. Is her attachment only to you or does she hate to be left alone and anyone would do? Can you leave her for even one hour or will she start panicking as soon as you get out of the door? I can imagine that being left for long stretch of hours, her anxiety would only worsen even with medication. I'm sure you have tried this, but one thing I read about is to transition slowly - go to another room and stay there. Then go out of the house for a 10 minutes and come back. Extend that to 20 mins, and so on. The idea is to (very slowly) easing your dog to the idea of being alone. Anyway, I really hope you find someone who could help you two. She looks very sweet.

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JulesP   

Have you tried a thundershirt? A friend has a manic little dog with separation issues and the shirt apparently calms him down.

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Kavik   

Sorry you are having a tough time :(

I have heard good things about thundershirts and DAP (dog appeasing pheremone).

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Hi everyone. Thanks heaps for your replies.

Roo does start panicking the second I am out the door. Even if I pop into a shop for 2 seconds she panics. She has become worse over time – anxiety is cumulative so says her behaviourist and I can see this in her.

She has tried a DAP, which wasn’t really effective, plus I can’t have Roo inside, although I know this is preferable, as she does such severe anxiety that she does an awful lot of damage, her damage bill in 3 years to my place is nearly $8000. I can’t afford it 

She has a Thundershirt, which doesn’t have any effect sadly although I had heard great thing.

I have tried rescue remedy, but not Chinese herbs, so thanks for the tip.

I am scared to consider rehoming as another family may not go to the lengths I have for her and may put her to sleep anyway, and she wouldn’t even be with me . Also, because anxiety is cumulative, it might make her much, much worse.

I do know that noone can be home all the time, but my idea is to reduce the anxiety level but getting rid of the bulk of the time she’s alone, to the point where training might become effective. At the moment it has no chance because of the amount of time she’s alone.

Thank you for all your responses, much appreciated.

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:( so sad .

Do you really think rehoming would help her ? After 3 years , she is very strongly bonded , and a dog with ongoing anxiety problems may not settle in a whole new environment ..the transition would need to be slow, supervised and orchestrated ... with a real chance of her being very stressed . :(

Leaving her with someone else during work hours is risky, IMO . What happens if she does stress /try & go home? Would her stress levels then begin to show in the car , as she knows she will be then separated from you ?

She's a beautiful girl, and you are doing everything you know to help.

PTS sounds awful, I know ... however there is her health and yours, suffering , there is the thought that she is not enjoying a great chunk of her life ....and , being in VIC with BSL ... if she did escape or cause harm in a panic .. her looks may go against her , unfortunately :(

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Rebanne   

you know sometimes you have to consider the dog above all other things. How can this poor girl be happy? She is under tremendous stress day in, day out. You've done everything you can to help her, maybe now you need to do the hardest thing of all and release her from the pressure of her life. :hug:

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Guest Ams   
Guest Ams

I've had dogs with similar levels of anxiety come through rescue and I have pts. If you can't keep the dog safe, and lord knows you seem to have tried just about everything, then putting the dog through the stress of rehoming and someone else through the stress you've been through trying to "fix" her is really not fair on her or a new family. Its a hard decision, a bloody rough decision but IMO the only one that will give her peace.

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sas   

Ive sent you a link to our seperation training program that has not yet failed and also a suggstion to double dose on PetArk calm. In uderstand you're not home all the time but you can start the program Friday night and by Monday if you've given it 100% you should start to see some improvments - not cured...but some improvements. The program typically takes on average 2 weeks to have a nice settled dog again.

I'm not sure who you're using as Behaviorists and Trainers but I'd take a good look at where you're spending your money, I don't mean to be offensive but some behaviourists and trainers aren't qualified not suitably experienced.

If she cannot come good then I personaly would euthanise, I would not rehome.

Edited by sas

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Sorry to hear about your girl, I was reading her story on the link you posted, can I ask why your behaviourist visit is $600? :dropjaw: (and this is a follow up visit obviously?)

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mita   

I think sas has offered a possible option... but also a realistic & humane worse case scenario.

Another suggestion for you. There's a Behaviour Helpline at RSPCA Qld. Even tho' it's Q'ld & you're in Victoria, I once asked them if they'd mind a Victorian person I knew, speaking to them about a problem with their pet. They said they'd be happy to do so.

These people are well informed about dog behaviour... very experienced in the severe problems... non-judgmental, compassionate & realistic.

Just in case you'd like to run the essentials of the problem past them, I'll PM you the phone no.

BTW, we had a sheltie with appalling separation anxiety. She didn't hurt herself, tho', but ripped the soft furnishings to pieces when left alone. The room would look like a blizzard had hit.... followed by a cyclone.

We were given guidelines by a behaviorist vet at the UQ vet clinic. To be honest, I thought she was hopeless, but I followed the routines and sequences prescribed. Didn't believe they'd work, tho'. To my amazement, she soon started to show improvement & finally was fine.

But each dog is different & I'd imagine so would the extent to which the problem is embedded.

I think you're doing everything possible with your doggie. I know from experience it's such a hard problem.

Edited by mita

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Snook   

I don't think the OP is looking to rehome her dog, just have someone who can offer a kind of day care for her while the OP is at work.

I have had some experience with caring for a dog with severe separation anxiety and while the dog was probably better with me than he would have been on its own, the anxiety still resulted in a huge host of behavioural problems while the owner was absent. You need to be aware that if your dog's separation anxiety is about you leaving rather than just not wanting to be alone, you may face similar problems.

I hope you can find a solution for her but if not I agree PTS may be the only kind option. :hug:

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