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Jellyblush

Please Help Me Save My Dog

889 posts in this topic

Sorry, that reply was to Sheridan, not to you.

As I said before, good luck, I sincerely hope the change of medication or one of the other suggestions works for you, I apologise for being so forthright, it was bad judgement on my behalf to post what I was thinking, and yes, it wasn't any help.

Sorry if I misunderstood, thank you for your response.

Thanks everyone else who has commented too. I have decided to take two weeks of work to ensure that Roo is not under any stress while I have a proper think about the situation. I have been in contact with the herbal hounds people too - thank you for that idea.

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Good luck Jelly, I hope you can find something that works well. I honestly believe that separation anxiety is very hard to cope with and most people would not have done all that you have.

Whatever happens, you have my admiration for your fortitude and dedication to your dog and sincere best wishes.

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BC Crazy   

While I haven't read all of this thread, what I have read, I have nothing but admiration for your total devotion, tenacity & selflessness for your poor Roo.

100 % agree with Dogmad, very few would have exhausted so many avenues in the hope of getting your Roo some relief from her severe seperation issues.

I have a girl with pretty severe anxiety issues. She was bordering on self harm so compared to you mines a walk in the park but I do understand how tiring & frustrating it can be, although she is more settled atm after tweaking with her medication. Hopefully am on the right track, only time will tell.

I wish only the very best for both of you, whatever you decide to do.... I hope you can find some relief for the severity of your situation very soon :)

Edited by BC Crazy

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mita   

As I said before, good luck, I sincerely hope the change of medication or one of the other suggestions works for you, I apologise for being so forthright, it was bad judgement on my behalf to post what I was thinking, and yes, it wasn't any help.

A gracious apology, Caz.

I've had 2 dogs with separation anxiety myself and it's such a hard problem as you watch much-loved pets go through distress.

One dog that I thought would be a hopeless case, soon showed progress when we followed a vet behaviourist's guidelines. And was soon fine... with the problem never to return again. But she was young, didn't harm herself & just destroyed the soft furnishings. No medication was prescribed in that case.

The other dog was very elderly. She literally 'cried' non-stop for hours as if her heart was breaking. It came on after her younger 'sister' died (from a veterinary error). Became chronic & constant & nothing would shift her distress, unless she literally was being held. Even tho' every medication & behavioral technique was tried. Finally, a gentle help to heaven.

Both dogs were equally loved & their mental well-being fought for. Two different outcomes.

Edited by mita

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BJean   

Sorry if it has been discussed before, and I cannot open the first page link.

Roo is on her own, almost every day and is annexed from your day to day life. For an animal that has a strong need to belong and be part of the daily interactions of another, your situation is an impossible point to treat a dog with separation anxiety.

I know you can not change your working hours and I know you have done all you can, but I dont know how effective meds and therapies etc can be, when the basic contact needs of Roo can not be met.

Roo lives an isolated life. I believe she deserves the chance to rehome in an environment where she will live and integrate and enjoy security of pack dynamics, and know the sense of belonging without always being alone. Or feeling separated. Roo has been diagnosed with the human label of separation anxiety but at the same time Roo has been asked to live a human life not a dog's life. :flower:

Monday to Friday, empty sterile, boring, lonely, dead quiet home 8am - 6pm is the house and timetable of a human. I can see it would be unbearable for a high energy dog with a strong instinct to interact and belong.

Op, what shines through in your posts is all of Roo's good points; I think Roo must have the heart the size of your patience and love for her :)

But because of Roo's needs and your human obligations, I dont think you and Roo could ever have been suited.

Yes Roo is a problem dog to rehome. But if the home know what they are potentially in for, and you think the home can give Roo all the dynamism and contact that your schedule could not, then I would give Roo the chance to live in a different environment.

All the best :grouphug:

Edited by lilli

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In response to Lilli: there are very few people who can offer a dog 24/7 company. Even people who are retired or work from home will occasionally need to go shopping, go out with friends, go on holidays etc.

I get where Lilli is coming from though- we do have very high/different expectations of dogs today but plenty of dogs are expected to and do cope very well with being left for 8 hours a day. The OP has tried having other dogs around but apparently that hasn't helped.

A dog showing a high level of separation anxiety will panic if left for even just an hour or so. It is questionable whether it is ethical to rehome such a dog, unless the new owner is experienced and prepared to pretty much revolve their life around the dog. People that are capable of looking after this type of dog are few and far between.

I think the idea of leaving Roo with someone else for the day could work, if such a person can be found.

Perhaps try putting signs up in local vets or just letting your local vets in the area know that you're looking for someone to dog sit Roo during weekdays.

I know where I work there are quite a few suitable people that would probably be interested in babysitting during weekdays, providing your dog gets along well with other dogs. Unfortunately I am in NSW, but hopefully the vet clinics in your area could help.

Doggy daycare could also work. If she's going to be there 5 days a week, most daycare centers will offer discounted/reduced rates. Perhaps you could try explaining your situation to them and offering to pay as much as you are able.

I hope you can find a solution, it is obvious how much you care for Roo and that she means the world to you.

Good luck

Edited by aussielover

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Purdie   

Roo looks such a sweetheart.As you say she was in a situation where her owner was working from home and she had company most of the time.So what are your options.

1. Doggy.Day care.Or someone minding her while your working or going out.

2..Rehome to a multi person home where someone is home most of the time and also have another relaxed dog for company.

3..Have another dog as a companion-if she bonds to and enjoys the company of another dog.

4..The hardest option..

I hope you find a solution all the best to you.

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Thanks for your replies. I know what you are saying Lilli, but I do not think rehoming is an ethical answer, for reasons pointed out elsewhere in this thread. I have been in touch with rescue organisations who have said that it will be virtually impossible to rehome here. Also, anxiety is cumulative, and the stress of a new home after 3 years with me (already her second home) will make her issues worth.

i have been committed and devoted to her, I have spent easily $20,000 on her including damage to property, I don't go out outside of work and I constantly look for solutions - I think the chance of finding another owner with this level of commitment to her and her issues is low and the organisations I've spoken to agree. It would not be fair to put her through the stress just for the new owner to put to sleep when they go to a movie one day and she destroys their home.

I think the daytime minding is the only solutions that will work, and possibly I could capitalalise on the reduced anxiety this would bring with revised meds and a new training program.

I have approached my only local dog daycare with Roo's story. They are unable to compromise on rate, but I'll book her in for a trial day this week anyway.

I am also trialling minding tomorrow, by a group of uni students who share a house, so someone is always there. I'm nervous as they're young and I hope can cope if Roo frets.

Then Wednesday it is back to the behaviourist to view the video footage of Roo. I will ask her if she thinks it is time to pts. If she does, then I will.

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Jelly, I suggest you have the students and daycare ring you immediately if something happens.

Of course, that is a given.

I did check out the students yard and we have done a couple of short visits to ease her in. Roo should not be able to escape - but I'm going to have a chat to them about how closely they'll need to watch her the first day

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Hmm, now I'm worried.

What if she COULD escape because they weren't careful enough?

Do you all think it would be better not to try the student household, and just go with the dog daycare who will have more stringent measures in place?

The idea behind the students in that I canot afford the $160 per week the daycare would cost on a long term basis, so was offerring them $100.....

Very grateful for your views.

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trifecta   

Jelly, I think you mentioned you were having a couple of weeks off?

Have you been in touch with sas? Just thinking in these two weeks maybe you could start to implement sas' strategy & the Chinese herbs & get a guage on whether they might work?

This thread makes me feel quite helpless, we usually do T-Touch & relaxing CDs for anxious Belgians, but I don't think they are high powered enough for your girl :(

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Jelly, I think you mentioned you were having a couple of weeks off?

Have you been in touch with sas? Just thinking in these two weeks maybe you could start to implement sas' strategy & the Chinese herbs & get a guage on whether they might work?

This thread makes me feel quite helpless, we usually do T-Touch & relaxing CDs for anxious Belgians, but I don't think they are high powered enough for your girl :(

Yep, I have some links to read and consider and I have been in touch with Herbal Hounds re the herbs.

The two weeks off start next week, next Monday, and what I do with them will be largely dependant on the vet behaviourist visit though. If the recommendation is pts, the two weeks will not be spent trying more things, but going to the beach, on hikes, feeding her her favourite foods and saying goodbye

If she says, as I hope, that this is worth another final shot then I'll use those approaches for sure

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pebbles   

Would it be possible during your time off to try Roo with either the students or daycare. You could stay around for a while to watch her then if she settles a bit perhaps leave for a short time, come back, check her again and leave for another short spell. If she is going ok then increase the time you stay away, maybe start with 10 mins. Might take a day but you would have a fair idea if she is going to cope. Good luck.

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mita   

The two weeks off start next week, next Monday, and what I do with them will be largely dependant on the vet behaviourist visit though. If the recommendation is pts, the two weeks will not be spent trying more things, but going to the beach, on hikes, feeding her her favourite foods and saying goodbye

If she says, as I hope, that this is worth another final shot then I'll use those approaches for sure

The very elderly dog (15 yrs) I posted about, where the decision was made PTS, may well have been complicated by an age-related onset of canine dementia. Certainly, even the most powerful meds were water off a duck's back in having any effect on her.

She'd had a period of separation anxiety when she was 3 1/2 years old & it was then successfully treated with behavioral strategies (from vet behaviourist) with some low dose valium to hose down the anxiety so she could learn.

It emerged again at age 15 yrs following the sudden loss of her younger 'sister' dog she was devoted to.

So her case is a bit more complex in the age component & also the sudden trauma of loss.

The other dog I posted about was much younger, with a bright outgoing nature. Around 3 yrs, like your Roo.

Because she was so consistent in ripping soft furnishings to pieces when left alone, I honestly thought she was a hopeless case.

But the vet behaviorist pointed out she was still young so capable of relearning & should show progress. I didn't share her optimism. But I followed the guidelines to the letter.... & they weren't even complicated to do.

To my amazement, this dog (a female Sheltie) did start to show improvement. Soon the problem faded away.

During that 'fading' time, we happened to adopt another Sheltie, a rescue boy (because he was in great need). So that might also have helped her. But she definitely improved hugely, first on behavioral strategies alone (no medication & no second dog).

By the time this boy joined her, she was really over her problem. She lived until she was 15 years (the boy pre-deceased her by a few years) & never showed the problem again.

Edited by mita

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What a terribly difficult situation for you and Roo :( .

Did Roo's issues get worse after your ex partner left? Are you on ok terms with your ex? Given that you got Roo when you were together, would he be interested in taking her on if he knew that you were considering putting Roo to sleep?

Have you tried contacting the rescue place where Roo came from?

Does increasing her exercise to really tire her out before you leave the house help Roo at all?

It would be really interesting to see how she would respond to a different environment...do you think she would be a good companion for somebody like a tradie? A person who she could go to work with during the day? Obviously it would be really challenging to find a suitable home, but if finding a different living situation could help Roo, it would obviously be worth considering.

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Thanks very much :) That is kind.

Did Roo's issues get worse after your ex partner left? Are you on ok terms with your ex? Given that you got Roo when you were together, would he be interested in taking her on if he knew that you were considering putting Roo to sleep?

Yes, they sure did. Unfortunately, he moved to the UK when we split up.

Have you tried contacting the rescue place where Roo came from?

Yes. They recommend pts. I plan to ask them tomorrow if I can foster a very young puppy, with a view to keeping if it works out though.

Does increasing her exercise to really tire her out before you leave the house help Roo at all?

it did for a while, then it's effect disappeared. WE do a half hour run before I leave, another one plus a dog park visit when I get home. 90 minutes a day - it's the most I can manage for her.

It would be really interesting to see how she would respond to a different environment...do you think she would be a good companion for somebody like a tradie? A person who she could go to work with during the day? Obviously it would be really challenging to find a suitable home, but if finding a different living situation could help Roo, it would obviously be worth considering.

I agree. But how to find them? I hoped someone might know someone if I posted here, and I've tried the rescue, trainers, the vets and other forums as well

Edited by Jellyblush

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Erny   

Jellybush - could be a long shot (or not), but have you specifically tested your dog for hypothyroidism? If not, and if you want to enquire further, contact Dr Jean Dodds in the USA. Email me if you are unable to find her email address. Not many Vets out here give credence to the thyroid affecting behaviour in any or much extreme, especially if other typical clinical symptoms are absent. But I think it is at least worthwhile discussing with Dr Jean and then making your decision from there. Testing via Dr Jean Dodds in the USA (more thorough testing regime and more things taken into account when being analysed) isn't as expensive as you might think it could be.

ETA: Are there any (other) medical tests that have been suggested and/or done via your behaviourist?

Edited by Erny

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Thanks very much :) That is kind.

Did Roo's issues get worse after your ex partner left? Are you on ok terms with your ex? Given that you got Roo when you were together, would he be interested in taking her on if he knew that you were considering putting Roo to sleep?

Yes, they sure did. Unfortunately, he moved to the UK when we split up.

Have you tried contacting the rescue place where Roo came from?

Yes. They recommend pts. I plan to ask them tomorrow if I can foster a very young puppy, with a view to keeping if it works out though.

Does increasing her exercise to really tire her out before you leave the house help Roo at all?

it did for a while, then it's effect disappeared. WE do a half hour run before I leave, another one plus a dog park visit when I get home. 90 minutes a day - it's the most I can manage for her.

It would be really interesting to see how she would respond to a different environment...do you think she would be a good companion for somebody like a tradie? A person who she could go to work with during the day? Obviously it would be really challenging to find a suitable home, but if finding a different living situation could help Roo, it would obviously be worth considering.

I agree. But how to find them? I hoped someone might know someone if I posted here, and I've tried the rescue, trainers, the vets and other forums as well

That's a shame that your ex moved to the UK :( .

90 minutes of exercise a day is great. Could you try give her a longer run in the morning and then a shorter run in the evening? (Eg. 60 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening)? How do you exercise her? Walking on the lead? Does she play fetch? Could you teach her to walk her on a treadmill too?

I don't know how you'd go about finding another home for Roo...but to me she looks like the kind of dog that a man would love to own (that might sound stupid and superficial). Does Roo prefer men or women or does she show no preference?

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