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NEED HELP PLEASE! HOW CAN I TAKE MY VERY AGGRESSIVE GUARD DOG TO THE VET?


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Hello everyone, 

I am in desperate need of advice! I am a live-in caretaker at a rural property that includes guard dogs. The male Rotweiller(TYSON) is a beautiful dog but he is also very protective and very aggressive. Tyson has not seen a vet since he was a puppy. Tyson was kicked by a horse when he was young and by way of force had to be muzzled to be treated, he is a lot bigger and stronger now weighing approximately 52 kg. I have tried to take him to the vet but am unable to muzzle him, he is fine with me putting my hands around his mouth and face but if I have anything in my hand he automatically gets aggressive and will bite me if I'm not quick enough to get out of his way. (so far he has only got me once). So muzzling isn't an option. We have tried sedating him before vet appointments but still no chance of getting a muzzle on him. I got him as far as into the vet's examination room, he was given the maximum amount of sedatives that was safe for him to have but as soon as the vet came close he would become very aggressive and try to bite me as I am the one holding him. He would then lay back down and snuggle into my lap. Tyson is the most beautiful and loving dog but I need to get him in to a vet as he has some health issues that require treatment. I love this dog and it hurts me so much that I haven't been able to get him to a vet for an examination and treatment! I honestly don't know what to do, PLEASE IF ANYONE CAN GIVE ME SOME ADVICE I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IMMENSELY! THANK YOU IN ADVANCE. DALE (it is breaking my heart)

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Very serious stuff :( 

@Bonesdale this is the section for help using the forum where you won't get much traffic.

So you need to copy/paste a new topic in the training section or general discussion (not both)  

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8 hours ago, Powerlegs said:

Very serious stuff :( 

@Bonesdale this is the section for help using the forum where you won't get much traffic.

So you need to copy/paste a new topic in the training section or general discussion (not both)  

Thank you Powerlegs I will do that. 

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5 hours ago, jemappelle said:

The vet should have some more ideas eg, seeing him in your car and giving a knock out injection first.  

Thank you Jemappelle,  Tyson is even more aggressive/protective in the car, the vet suggested a home visit but home is where Tyson was trained to protect so that is not an option either. Your reply is greatly appreciated, Thank You. Dale.

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Maybe ring the vet for advice and perhaps you could pick up sedatives the day before to give to the dog prior to his appointment.  Explain the situation fully to the vet so he can prescribe the right sedative.  You will need to tell the Vet the dog's weight.   

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19 minutes ago, Deeds said:

Maybe ring the vet for advice and perhaps you could pick up sedatives the day before to give to the dog prior to his appointment.  Explain the situation fully to the vet so he can prescribe the right sedative.  You will need to tell the Vet the dog's weight.   

Hi Deeds, we have tried this process a couple of times with Tyson having the maximum safe dose of sedatives but he still has too much fight in him, and is not safe for the vet to get close. Thank you for your reply. Dale

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Some sedatives can make an aggressive dog worse ie ACE (Acepromazine). This is often the one used too. 

 

What is the medical condition? ie does the vet need to touch Tyson? 

 

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3 minutes ago, JulesP said:

Some sedatives can make an aggressive dog worse ie ACE (Acepromazine). This is often the one used too. 

 

What is the medical condition? ie does the vet need to touch Tyson? 

 


I was also wondering if there was paradoxical reactions going on with the sedatives.

However if the vet hasn't tried ACE, might be worth a go. It's strong and may not have been the vet's first choice. 

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15 minutes ago, Powerlegs said:


I was also wondering if there was paradoxical reactions going on with the sedatives.

However if the vet hasn't tried ACE, might be worth a go. It's strong and may not have been the vet's first choice. 

 

Umm I just said that ACE can make a dog worse. 

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1 minute ago, JulesP said:

 

Umm I just said that ACE can make a dog worse. 


I know sorry I wasn't clear, they all have the potential to make a dog worse/agitated not just ACE. Even Valium and Kalma. 

What I mean was, if they haven't tried it ACE, might be worth a go. This dog needs vet help asap by the sound of it. 

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Have you tried muzzle training rather than just putting the muzzle on the dog by force? Have the muzzle on the floor next to you, you sitting holding his dinner and he gets to eat his dinner next to the muzzle. Meals come when the muzzle comes out and good things happen around it. Slowly move to the dog sniffs muzzle and gets reward, then you touch/hold muzzle not near his face he gets reward etc. Move slowly to getting him to take treats from inside the muzzle without putting it on. Over time you will be able to get him to tolerate and maybe like the muzzle but it will take time. It is worth doing for the future though I concede it will not help you or him right now. Counter conditioning takes time and patience and you must move slowly/at the animal's pace.

 

It may be a combo of sedation, a chunk of peanut butter (something gluey but tasty and entirely digestible) and a stocking as a faux muzzle to keep the jaws together may be the go right now and then they when he gets in the clinic they may have to really sedate him so he's asleep for an exam/tests etc. 

 

Good luck!

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately, these kinds of dogs are heartbreaking for all concerned. Often there is no choice but to use brute strength even when the dog is muzzled. Whoever trained the dog should stop.

 

The only option is a tranquilizer and muzzle. As Deeds very correctly identified above though, if the vet requires a reaction from the dog to more accurately diagnose his condition then there may be a few issues.


Lets face it, Vets who specialise in zoology medicine manage to treat lions and other animals who are aggressive and can kill. Call the vet and discuss it with him. He will be the only one who can really give you the solution.

 

Then once this is over and done with (or before, if the injury/health issue is something that affords some time) - train the dog to accept being muzzled. This may be a lifesaver for the dog in the future.

Edited by ~Anne~
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Posted (edited)

Welcome, Dale. I know dogs who are and have been in this position and it is certainly a tricky spot to be in.

 

It sounds like Tyson would benefit from some very carefully selected (to avoid paradoxical reactions) pre-visit anxiety medication and cooperative care/animal husbandry training (being approached, being handled, wearing a muzzle, getting an injection, etc), to get him to a stage where he can be calmly and safely sedated. They may give the sedation needle in the car or parking area if he is more relaxed there than in the exam room. Then they can take him inside for treatment while he’s knocked out. I’d do the works while he’s under - blood tests, check for pain and do X-rays if needed, dental if deemed appropriate, and whatever he has been brought in for. When dogs are too worked up they fight sedation, needing more and more of it, and it doesn’t take effect like it should.

 

If the owner is on board with it, I would highly recommend getting a consult with Dr Kat Gregory at Creative Animal Solutions. She’s a Behaviour Veterinarian and animal trainer in Victoria who does Telehealth consults and can prescribe medications, liaise with the treating vet on the ground, and help with the training and handling aspect or refer to a colleague in your area for that part. She has a particular interest in cooperative care, even training cheetahs and other wild animals for vet work, so this is right up her alley. Alternatively any Behaviour Vet to get the medication right - it’s a more specialised area and primary care vets might be a little lost with a more complex case. Some of them do vet-to-vet consults which can be cheaper.

https://www.creativeanimalsolutions.com

https://www.anzcvs.org.au/chapters/veterinary+behaviour+chapter

 

Hope this helps and thanks for caring for Tyson and seeking help so he can get the vet care he needs. As sad as it is, a day may come when he needs to be euthanised and we wouldn’t want his last moments to be more stressful than they need to be. Getting things sorted now is definitely the way to go.

 

PS. Ace is purely a chemical straight jacket that scrambles perceptions. Ask yourself: if you have a trauma around medical care and handling, and someone gives you a drug that has those effects (when used in isolation), will you feel better or worse? And how will you be next time you need medical care?

https://www.dvm360.com/view/just-ask-expert-ace-not-so-ace-examining-patients-with-fear-aggression
https://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2009/october/acepromazine-why-im-not-big-fan-when-it-comes-sedation-ace-6937

 

 

Edited by Papillon Kisses
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An awake exam is not always needed to assess for pain - video of the dog walking around can be assessed and X-rays taken under sedation if needed. Our rehab vet does that for aggressive or fearful patients and has the owner do any handling until such time as she can do hands on. It might take a more trained eye though. It’s worthwhile taking video regardless as the adrenaline of being at the vet can mask pain - that’s what is often going on in those ‘funny’ stories of dogs suddenly not limping at the vet.

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Posted (edited)

one of the vets I used, unfortunately he has retired, but he had a cage you could walk them into and then the sides could be moved to keep them still.

 

he had one for cats too as he helped a cat rescue and some of them were feral. where he got the idea for the crate crush for dogs too.

 

wonder if other vets would have the same?

 

although I was watched a zoo one, they darted the lion? it sure went to sleep.

 

but for Tyson you would need to tie him up first so he could not have a go at you when he was darted?  maybe ring a zoo and ask who is their vet and ask their vets advice?

 

worth a try

 

that's if he needs to see a vet before the training suggested is far enough advanced to get him more amenable

 

 

 

Edited by asal
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11 hours ago, JulesP said:

Some sedatives can make an aggressive dog worse ie ACE (Acepromazine). This is often the one used too. 

 

What is the medical condition? ie does the vet need to touch Tyson? 

 

Tyson has something agitating the inside of his ears, he is shaking his head so much and if I touch them he whimpers so must be painful. The vet prescribed Permotic to put in Tyson's ears as well as anti-biotics which worked for a couple of weeks but the irritation has returned. When I do get him into vet eventually, Tyson will be getting a FULL EXAMINATION from head to toe, inside and out and dental. Thanks JulesP

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