Help/advice needed please.

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Chris Kurzfeld
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Help/advice needed please.

Post by Chris Kurzfeld » 25 Jan 2009, 10:55

This is difficult to write but let me start at the beginning.

We have a 7 year old collie bitch called Sage and from around 2 years old she started behaving as if she was frightened of various things - she had been fine up till then. Things got worse till we found she was terrified of things like cameras and velcro - she would even try and dig her way out of the glass windows to get away. Sometimes she seemed not to know us and was scared of us - she has never ever been hit - but, if left alone, was fine after 15 minutes or so. We got advice from our vet and, after various tests for thyroid, diabetis etc.. was referred to a behaviourist. The behaviourist couldn't give us any answers either - especially after Sage freaked when the behaviourist picked up a pen to write on a whiteboard. We have tried giving her carbohydrates in the form of pasta, potatoes between meals, have given her various medication/herbal remedies, vit B complex - all recomended by the behaviourist - and to no avail. We were then reffered to a specilaist in Bristol who did a MRI scan, which was sent to America, and a spinal tap - the only thing that came back was that part of her brain, that should be smooth, was ragged - but still no diagnosis. In the mean time we found out that her litter brother had been put to sleep aged 2 for the same problems , only much worse. We have, over the past couple of years, been able to manage her problems - sometimes quite difficult to do as some things she is fine with one minute and not the next - but recently we have noticed she is not coping around our other dogs in doors, she growls if they go near her. She is fine with dogs on the beach, at the park etc and will even play with them - she is even fine with ours outside - and she is brilliant with children, so she is not an agressive dog. What we have found is that, since Andy retired, she is a different dog when on her own with either him or me and we have reached the, unhappy, conclusion that she would be better off with someone who had no ther dogs. We have tried making her a kennel dog but that makes her unhappy - she wants to be with Andy and/or I. I'm really churned up thinking about this but we have to do what is best for her - she is such a loving dog and i know she has a lot to offer. I don't know where to start - I won't let her go to just anyone, I will have to know she will be loved as much as we love her. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where to start looking?
Chris

love me, love my 4 dogs, 3 cats, over 100 chickens (but don't tell OH) and 7 sheep - oops, almost forgot the 2 tanks of fish!

I live in my own little world but it's ok - they know me here!

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milkmaid
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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by milkmaid » 25 Jan 2009, 11:25

no help i'm afraid looks like you've done everything that you can do ,but there seems to be a lot of collies with this sort of problem pax can be like that ,he doesn't like men with hats on ,he'll be fine with some men bad with others ,he runs away and if yopu ignore him he'll just check you out from a distance ,he doesn't like quilts ,and hates the bathroom ,and doesn't like the other dogs here ,they stay away from him and he grumps around ,i still love him to bits but nonie recons he's one very strange dog ,and calls him nuerotic ,i have no idea where where to start :( ,i'm really sorry it must have been so hard to come to this disission :(
suz
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Elly

Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by Elly » 25 Jan 2009, 13:37

In humans, if part of the frontal lobe is just slightly damaged it can cause terrible problems with moods and/or emotions :( Did they say which part of Sages brain is irregular?
Have you tried getting her a dog cage that she can retreat in to when she needs some own time or is feeling stressed?
Another thing you could try to keep her mind occupied is to put all her feed into 'treat' balls etc.
It sounds as though you really love her and have tried so much to help her. It is hard when you have to make such painful decisions like finding her a new home. We had to do this years back with a dog who was deaf and could not cope when we moved to a smaller house :( Its such a shame as she would have loved where we are now, but at the time we were always moving with hubbys job :(
Good luck and I hope all works out.
Keep smilin
Elly

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Chris Kurzfeld
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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by Chris Kurzfeld » 25 Jan 2009, 19:22

With Sage the problems go much much deeper than a fear of men., hats etc... and no-one seems to be able to predict what and when she will freak - it's pitiful to see her trying to dig her way away from a "scarey" situation and we can do nothing to help her :( . She is fine with the "usual" things - fireworks, thunder etc... doesn't bat an eye when the jets go over! But, open a velcro fastening or get the camera out - we have loads of photos of her in her younger days - and wham, she turns into a quivering wreck! She has her own "den" she can retreat to and she does at times, but not often - we even let her go to the other end of the bungalow where the others aren't allowed but she wants to be with Andy and I. It's difficult to explain her fear - a friend seeing it for the first time was shocked and upset, and she has had dogs all her life (she has 4 recues at the moment).

I'm not sure what part of her brain was ragged but the specialist did think it could be the cause of her problem. He also thought she might have an inherited genetic problem (as her brother was also affected). I know she isn't a danger to anyone - she loves being with my grandchildren and cuddles up to the cats, never chases the sheep or chooks BUT, when she is having "one of her turns" she can appear to be disobedient - she is normally very obedient.

I really would love to be able to make her life stressless all the time, we love her to bits and it's killing us at the moment but, after 5 years of trying and it only getting worse, we know the time has come to let her go to someone who will give her a single dog life and love her - warts and all!
Chris

love me, love my 4 dogs, 3 cats, over 100 chickens (but don't tell OH) and 7 sheep - oops, almost forgot the 2 tanks of fish!

I live in my own little world but it's ok - they know me here!

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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by Dusty » 25 Jan 2009, 23:06

So sorry to hear about your dog. Hope you will find her a loving home.

EGirl

Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by EGirl » 25 Jan 2009, 23:58

What a sad situation for you Chris. I can't imagine having to make the decision you have but admire you for your care and effort with her. I wish I could help.

The only thing I can think of is to let the vet know that you are looking for devoted owners who have maybe lost their dog and want to replace it. If he is familiar with Sage he can judge their suitabilty well, and have her interests at heart.....?

I know you are a dog trainer, is there perhaps a club/school or society within which you could advertise?

Hope you resolve things and Sage can be happy.

ex

Sylvia

Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by Sylvia » 26 Jan 2009, 05:04

So sorry to hear about Sage and understand the turmoil you must be going through.

I do hope you can find a good loving home for Sage where he will be happy.

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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by CP » 26 Jan 2009, 09:37

So sorry to hear this Chris. :cry: Hope everything works out for you. ;)
Happy in Hampshire!

"If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world" - Nikola Tesla

"Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts" - Nikki Giovanni

''The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind.'' - Albert Schweitzer

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." - George Washington

"A nation can survive its fools, but it cannot survive treason from within." - Cicero

humberboi

Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by humberboi » 02 Feb 2009, 21:50

Chris so sorry to hear of your predicament, sorry I can't help but had a slightly similar experience with a weimeraner-although nowhere near so bad. We gave him a home at 4yrs old through a rescue centre. he was truly magnificent. BUT- after the initial honeymoon period things went pearshaped, for no reason at times (no apparent stimulus or pattern) he would appear scared of us and the only way to get near him was to get him into an open space and get him to hunt -away, left and right and then gradually back to us once up close he was fine. you could see this happening but powerless to prevent it. the only place he would rest was the driver's seat of the car. he would pace in the house if there was more than one in the room and on occaisions when i tried anchoring him to a chair he figured of eighted. Telephones started him off. he set about my rottie bitch who became scared of him. would not stay outside not happy inside. fouled in the house at night (would not ask to go out) but good if left alone during the day At times he frightened me with the unpredictable behavour. he was causing problems with our family relationships. we were reluctant for him to go back to the rescue centre but heard of someone who wanted a weimar. she took him for days and returned him to us at night. eventually he went to stay for good. His eratic behaviour continued, we saw him from time to time, he treated us with indifference as he did others he met. sadly he was put to sleep aged 8 with a brain tumour perhaps it was similar to sage's condition.
it is heart breaking you have to do what is in her best interests, some of my best times were spent with my collies. good luck with your quest and keep us posted.
Ed

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Chris Kurzfeld
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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by Chris Kurzfeld » 03 Feb 2009, 10:49

Yes it is heartbreaking humberboi, Sage is having a "quite" time at the moment - this is what makes making any decisions difficult. One day she will completely freak at the sound of the kettle the next she won't bat an eye - same kettle, same noise! The only things that we can predict she will always freak at are velcro and cameras. She loves being with us, she just doesn't like the other dogs near her indoors, and is very loving - she has never ever been agressive towards any human (she isn't really aggressive towards other dogs either - just growls at them when they get near her indoors, outside she is fine) - and when you scratch her ears, she smiles :grin: . But it's when she is having one of her "turns" and she freaks at everything that life becomes difficult. We have decided not to rehome her - to be honest we think having to get used to somewhere else and all the frightening things that maybe be there will be just too much for her. We are also not looking at putting her to sleep - unless we have to :cry: - we will just have to step up our efforts in helping her to relax. It's got to be worth it for as long as she can cope - hasn't it?
Chris

love me, love my 4 dogs, 3 cats, over 100 chickens (but don't tell OH) and 7 sheep - oops, almost forgot the 2 tanks of fish!

I live in my own little world but it's ok - they know me here!

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CP
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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by CP » 03 Feb 2009, 11:40

Have you tried homeopathic remedies for calming her? I'm not an expert but I know these things do help some animals (& humans too!) & worth trying if you haven't already.

I'm glad you have decided to keep her. I was afraid going to a new home would be worrying enough for her in normal circumstances. ;) :-)
Happy in Hampshire!

"If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world" - Nikola Tesla

"Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts" - Nikki Giovanni

''The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind.'' - Albert Schweitzer

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." - George Washington

"A nation can survive its fools, but it cannot survive treason from within." - Cicero

humberboi

Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by humberboi » 03 Feb 2009, 21:19

I think you are wise not to rehome her, it soundsas though she could find it hard to adjust to a new lifestyle and it would take a very special person totake her on. it is the irregularity that throws you. I look at maddie laid here in front of the fire, she hasn't moved for 3 hours, she is not afraid of gun shot unlike some of my collies were, we hoover round her, she does not steal or forage through the bins and if spoken to quietly is fairly obedient (well for a deerhound) it makes me realise how lucky we are.
you know Sage better than any one else ever will and although it will tug at the heart strings (& exasperation at times) give her your support and feel proud that you do all you can to help her. As an after thought, I work in a care home for the elderly with dementia, it is these thoughts that get us through some of the bad days and knowing they do not do these things on purpose.
good luck

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Chris Kurzfeld
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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by Chris Kurzfeld » 04 Feb 2009, 11:29

Thanks humberboi, and for everyone elses good wishes and support.

Yes CP we have tried various herbal and homeopathic remedies ( have seen a homeopathic vet who was stumped!) - we have even tried human and horse stress medicines (with the vets go ahead). We've done massage (TTouch) which sometimes she loves other times she hates - we've even tried a dog whisperer who couldn't help either - couldn't get through to her. We have had her tested for all sorts, diabetis, thyroid etc... I even asked if dogs could be schitzophrenic (sp?) because thats how she seems sometiomes, but was told they can't be - who,s to know? She is outside in the snow right now because she won't come near us - one of her turns - all we can do is wait a while for her to come round, in about 15 minutes she will be back to normal.
Chris

love me, love my 4 dogs, 3 cats, over 100 chickens (but don't tell OH) and 7 sheep - oops, almost forgot the 2 tanks of fish!

I live in my own little world but it's ok - they know me here!

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CP
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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by CP » 04 Feb 2009, 12:47

I thought you'd have tried it already... :(
Happy in Hampshire!

"If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world" - Nikola Tesla

"Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts" - Nikki Giovanni

''The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind.'' - Albert Schweitzer

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." - George Washington

"A nation can survive its fools, but it cannot survive treason from within." - Cicero

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Chris Kurzfeld
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Re: Help/advice needed please.

Post by Chris Kurzfeld » 04 Feb 2009, 18:00

Photo of Sage taken on a telephoto lens so she didn't know it was being taken - she is so beautiful.


Image
Chris

love me, love my 4 dogs, 3 cats, over 100 chickens (but don't tell OH) and 7 sheep - oops, almost forgot the 2 tanks of fish!

I live in my own little world but it's ok - they know me here!

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