My dog bit me, I'm so shocked

(28 Posts)
Snowedundersnowedin Tue 23-Apr-13 23:00:34

He's nearly 5 and we've had him since he was a puppy. He's never bitten anyone ever, although he gets very anxious and stressed at the vet and has to be sedated for them to ever do anything...but at home, and out and about, he's the friendliest, most sociable dog around.
I'm wondering if he's not feeling well, as he came in from the garden earlier with crap all round his bum, stuck in his fur, just yuk, and I had to bath him to get him cleaned up.
I'm going to phone the vet in the morning to get some advice, but I'm actually in tears here - not because it hurt (it did), but because I'm so shocked sad

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 23-Apr-13 23:03:08

Sounds like he might be unwell, what were the circumstances that led to the bite?

How did he seem after he bit you? Was he cowering?
Yes he does sound poorly.

Oh and am so sorry for you. Our dog snaps at toddlers so we keep him away plus he's snapped at ds2 and his friend. We found it's when he was on the sofa with them so he's kept off furniture now and I keep an eye on him. He's a rescue dog so no idea of his past?

Must be awful to be actually bitten though sad

imour Tue 23-Apr-13 23:10:46

sounds like hes not well , mine did that when i touched his ear by accident turns out he had an ear infection , he was so sorry after , wouldnt tell the vet about the bite tbh though ,.

He does sound poorly.

Snowedundersnowedin Tue 23-Apr-13 23:20:09

He'd been cuddled in beside me on the sofa, and I got up to switch off lamps and get ready to go to bed - sofa is in kitchen and dogs sleep in there - and I went back over to sofa to say goodnight and give him a wee pet, when I leant into him he snarled then bit my nose. I let out a yell, and went to grab some kitchen roll because I could feel that it was bleeding...he jumped off the sofa and followed me round, wagging his tail like nothing had happened.
At that point ds came into kitchen, he is asd, and since I didn't want to upset him, I pretended nothing was wrong and shooed him off to bed. Then I put off the lights and came upstairs. I didn't really know what else to do sad

Snowedundersnowedin Tue 23-Apr-13 23:22:09

imour why not tell vet about bite? What would they do?

The vet won't do anything?

You really need to keep him off the sofa. He thinks you're on a par with him. Plus you need to warn ds too or he'll be next.

Snowedundersnowedin Tue 23-Apr-13 23:27:28

The sofa is the one in the kitchen, the dogs have always been allowed on it - they don't get into the living room. I understand what you're saying, but this is so out of character, and has never happened in the five years he's been part of our family.

saintmerryweather Tue 23-Apr-13 23:31:07

The dog doesnt equate being allowed on the sofa as you being on par with him. He could be in pain somewhere, or just telling you to back off if he doesnt want you in his face. it might be worth taking him to the vet for a checkup if this is so out of character

pickledginger Tue 23-Apr-13 23:36:07

He needs to see the vet. Infections and some other illnesses can cause this kind of out of character aggression.

Snowedundersnowedin Tue 23-Apr-13 23:37:47

Thanks saintmerryweather that's what I'm going to do in the morning. I'm wondering if he's got a bug or something, since the mess he was in earlier - while not unheard of - was pretty out of the ordinary too, thank goodness!
I still can't get over that he did it...he usually loves being cuddled and petted, and it was so out of the blue and quick, no warning growl, or ears going back, or anything.

Bugsylugs Tue 23-Apr-13 23:39:48

Sorry this has happened to you. As he has drawn blood please phone GP in the morning as we would treat with antibiotics also check you have had a tetanus booster in the last 10yrs. Am hoping you are in the uk and not been abroad with said dog

Bugsylugs Tue 23-Apr-13 23:40:40

Sounds like he is suffering

Snowedundersnowedin Tue 23-Apr-13 23:52:02

Bugsylugs that was first thing dp said when he got back - after expression of disbelief, that is. We are in the uk and we've never taken our dog abroad, but will phone gp straight after vet in the morning.

Snowedundersnowedin Tue 23-Apr-13 23:54:07

I hope he's not suffering, but I just don't understand what's going on. He let me bath him without a murmur, and he lets us dry him with hair dryer after - good as gold. If he'd bitten me then, I would've been horrified, but not as taken aback, iykwim?

RedwingWinter Tue 23-Apr-13 23:55:04

It's awful when dogs bite, what a shocking thing to happen. Do you normally go to pet him on the sofa like that and he's normally okay with it? It sounds like it is a good idea to not do it again for the time being.

I would take him to the vet and get him checked out. Sometimes dogs behave out of character when they are in pain, and from what you say it sounds like he's not well at the moment. However, and especially since it drew blood, I would also take some precautions for now, especially with your ds and any other children that visit the house. Make sure the dog always has somewhere quiet to go, shut him in a different room or behind a pet gate if there are children around, and don't go to pet him, especially if he's laying down - instead call him over to you.

Incidentally, for young children, approaching a dog that is stationary and petting it is a far-too-common scenario that results in a bite.

Once you've seen the vet, and assuming everything is okay, I would suggest seeking advice from a behaviourist. If you have insurance it's worth checking your policy in case it is covered. It's important to find a behaviourist that uses positive reinforcement (i.e. no punishment, in terms of the ordinary use of the word), because harsh methods carry the risk of making aggression worse. They will also be able to help you with the dog's nervousness that you mentioned.

There is a lot you can do to make trips to the vet less stressful. Again a behaviourist can help you with this if you want. For example, you could take a trip to the vet, sit in the waiting room briefly and give the dog lots of treats, then leave again. If you mention it to your vet they will probably be very happy for you to do this. Also you can train the dog in advance to get used to being felt in the way that the vet does and so on. But that's something for the future; in the meantime, best of luck at the vet and ensuring this doesn't happen again. A behaviourist will be able to help and depending where you are in the country people on here might have suggestions.

Snowedundersnowedin Wed 24-Apr-13 00:09:50

Thank you Redwingwinter Yes, I normally pet him exactly like that every night...just as a way of saying good night before I leave the room to go upstairs, but obviously won't be doing it again for a bit!
My 2 ds's are teens, not little kids, so they are quite responsible around our dogs. I just didn't want ds1 to see I was upset and bleeding a little because he would have got very uptight about it. I'm going to talk to both boys in the morning and explain that dog might not be feeling great and to give him a bit of space, and be a bit careful round him.
We and our vet have tried already with your suggestions about just popping into waiting room etc, to no avail. Although they have introduced a vet to pet service, so last time they came to our house and dog was absolutely fine with it - fingers crossed they have one of those appointments still available tomorrow.

RedwingWinter Wed 24-Apr-13 00:43:04

It sounds like your ds's are already very sensible about the dog, but it is a good idea to give him a big more space for now. A vet to pet service is a fantastic idea! I wish mine did that.

I had to take one of my dogs many times to sit in the waiting room and leave again. We also had to get him used to wearing a muzzle. He is pretty good at the vet now. If you did want to work on it, a behaviourist might help you make faster progress - they will be tuned in to signs of stress that are so easy to miss, and used to the very high rate of treat-feeding that is needed at the beginning! Or you could just persist with what you were doing - it will work in the end, even if it takes time. If the vet comes to you, you can start by asking the vet to feed some of his favourite treats (like pepperoni or something).

I think your dog is very lucky to have such a dedicated owner smile. Not everyone would react so calmly (and indeed many DH threads on such subjects degenerate badly). Fingers crossed for your appointment and I hope your lovely dog is back to normal soon.

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Wed 24-Apr-13 00:49:23

is it possible your dog was sleeping and was taken a bit by surprise when you stroked him? i always tell my dcs to call our dogs name before approaching him to stroke so he knows they're there.

i hope he's ok and nothing serious wrong with him. sorry this happened but you're doing all teh right things. smile

Snowedundersnowedin Wed 24-Apr-13 00:50:19

The vet to pet thing is a really good idea, isn't it? The charge isn't too ridiculous either.
My nose is going to look lovely in the morning shock

imour Wed 24-Apr-13 07:24:20

sorry if i worried you saying i wouldnt mention the bite to the vet , they wont do anything about it , but they do treat your dog different , mine was like yours so soft and it was out of character for him to snap ,it was only because i hurt his ear he did it ,when i told the vet they started trying to muzzle him everytime i took him , and that stressed him out , they put on his notes he needed a muzzle , thats the only reason i said it , so now i have to argue the he doesnt need a muzzle every time .

lougle Wed 24-Apr-13 07:33:15

Poor you. I'm not sure I'd take drawing blood as a sign of how 'bad' the bite was. Noses are thin and pointy so they do tend to bleed more easily. It sounds like, if it had been your arm, say, it may not have even drawn blood?

Great idea to take him to the vet, he sounds under the weather.

I wonder if he has a problem with his eyes? You might have suddenly loomed out of nowhere iyswim and frightened him. Seems odd as it's so out of character and he was all waggy with you straight after. Let us know how you get on at the vets smile

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