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Dr Jekyll and Mr Dog

(51 Posts)
Empusa Fri 29-Jul-11 22:39:44

Archie's behaviour is getting more erratic.

So far today he's spent half an hour sitting over the other side of the room, while DH and I have our backs to him, growling at us.

He's also been snarling if we go near him.

Or if he's not doing that, then he's cowering away. Tail between legs and ears back. I can honestly say we have never hurt him! And the fear is random.

This morning he was following us around, pawing our legs, attempting to lick us, and being playful. Then he suddenly switched.

He's also spent some of today just sitting there whining, again, we've been ignoring it. He's also jumped up and ran after something that wasn't there.

He's like a totally different dog to just 2 months ago.

Today he's even turned down treats!

The painkiller he is on seems to have helped his movement (arthritis), but that doesn't seem to have improved his mood.

We had to put his muzzle on earlier as he was being so aggressive. sad He tried to bite me twice last week.

It's getting so hard to deal with. I hate seeing him like this.

MotherJack Fri 29-Jul-11 22:44:03

I'm sorry to hear this Empusa.

I really do think you need to call in a good dog behaviourist. Is there one associated with the rescue that you got him from who you can call on?

I'm surprised Minimu hasn't seen this yet.

Empusa Fri 29-Jul-11 23:04:07

We're seeing the rescue on Wednesday to get their advice. They're also going to get him checked over by their vet.

Scuttlebutter Fri 29-Jul-11 23:06:52

So sorry to hear this.

Is there anything going on in your neighbourhood at the moment? Dogs can hear a lot of things we can't or that we can but dont' notice. A builder doing some garden renovation with noisy hammers, mixers etc might be enough to upset him if he's sensitive to noise? I'd also think about looking at what time you gave him the painkillers and seeing how that looks when comparing the funny behaviour. I'd look at either the effect of the painkillers wearing off or possibly even a severe reaction to the painkillers themselves - once had a colleague whose dog had that problem.

As it's quite erratic, try to keep a diary of events noting times of food, pills etc and what time he has these episodes. If you've got a video it might also be helpful to shoot a few minutes of film - these could be handy for the vet or behaviourist - most phones will let you film for a while.

MotherJack Fri 29-Jul-11 23:09:58

Well, I hope something gets sorted for you all then. Unless the rescue bring in a decent behaviourist though, if you can afford it I would advise you to research and get one yourselves tbh.

minimu11 Sat 30-Jul-11 15:01:53

I've not seen the history on this but it does sound very worrying.

It sounds like you have been to the vet - what painkillers and what are they for?

I would want to go back to the vet and get a really through check this sounds more medical to me than behavioural if it is new behaviour.

Has it just started happening?

MotherJack Sat 30-Jul-11 15:31:17

[[http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_doghouse/1266726-Urgent-behaviour-advice-needed here's the original thread, Minimu]

MotherJack Sat 30-Jul-11 15:31:59

grrr!!! grin

HERE is the original thread, Minimu

minimu11 Sat 30-Jul-11 17:48:42

Thanks MotherJack having read the other thread I still think that this is medical rather than behavioural and would want a really through vet check again.

MotherJack Sat 30-Jul-11 18:58:10

(ps.. Minimu is your decent behaviourist, Empusa smile)

alice15 Sat 30-Jul-11 19:06:37

I'm a vet, and I also think this sounds medical more than behavioural - he's old enough that all sorts of medical problems could be developing. Has he had a full blood profile done? I'd be thinking about that as a next step, if nothing shows up on a full clinical examination, including palpating his limbs and looking for obvious neurological problems. I would be very careful, especially if you have any children around, as he really may not be fully aware of what he's doing all the time, by the sound of it.

MotherJack Sat 30-Jul-11 19:12:59

I have just had a proper <slap self on head> moment. Your dog is overweight? Old? Has been treated in the past for arthritis using corticosteroids? Lost weight since you got him (possibly as a side effect of no longer having corticosteroids - I'm guessing this one) Has a "skin condition"... does he have fur missing as part of this? And is now showing aggression?

It sounds very much like Cushing's Disease... which can be brought on as a side effect of corticosteroids. The only reason I know so much about it is I am waiting for Cushings test results on my OldLady. (She doesn't fit much of the profile.. it's a bit of a mystery what is up with her).

Please, either get him back to your vet on Monday or ask the rescue vet on Wednesday about Cushings. It is treatable.

Empusa Sat 30-Jul-11 21:30:11

Just looked that up, sounds plausible, out of the list of symptoms I just found, he has

• increased/excessive water consumption (polydipsia)
• increased/excessive urination (polyuria)
• sagging, bloated, pot-bellied appearance
• weight gain or its appearance, due to fat redistribution
• exercise intolerance, lethargy, general or hind-leg weakness
• new reluctance to jump on furniture or people
• excess panting, seeking cool surfaces to rest on
• symmetrically thinning hair or baldness (alopecia) on torso
• hard, calcified lumps in the skin (calcinosis cutis) (^possibly, he has got a lot of lumps^)
• susceptibility to infections (especially skin and urinary)

chickchickchicken Sat 30-Jul-11 22:53:53

empusa - sorry cant offer any advice or suggestions (the other posters are more knowledgeable) but didnt want to not say anything. good luck with the vet on wed

MotherJack Sun 31-Jul-11 12:05:35

That list on that site is missing the aggression symptom. I have read before that it can cause aggression so have copied and pasted this for you from another site:

Health Related Aggression

The health of a dog can be a big factor a dog’s behavior (see aggression related to seizures, pain, old age, and medications below). Always talk to your vet first about your dog’s aggression. See medical issues of aggression for greater detail.
Some diseases causing aggression could be Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease), hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, brain tumors, cognitive dysfunction. Increased aggression around food and an increased appetite could be related to hormonal diseases.

This is the site it is copied from for your info

Empusa Wed 03-Aug-11 12:53:12

Off to the vets at the rescue in a minute.

He's had 4 more lumps come up since I last posted, one on his eyelid sad Poor thing.

Empusa Wed 03-Aug-11 15:18:46

Just got back. They are pretty certain he has laryngial paralysis (sp?) on top of his heart murmur. They also suspect there may be something more, possibly tumours on his heart/lungs.

They are going to see if they can do an echo and urine analysis for us, though our agreement was only that they'd test his lumps. I really hope they can, as that would be a weight off, but obviously they are tight for money too.

It's looking more likely that he is going to get worse, and it might possibly time to say goodbye soon. sad

Spamspamspam Wed 03-Aug-11 22:16:28

sad sad Empusa so sorry to hear about Archie sad I hope you get some positive answers from the vets soon XX

Scuttlebutter Wed 03-Aug-11 22:54:27

Oh, Empusa, I am so, so sorry to hear this. At least you will know that Archie has spent his time with you getting the care he deserves and all the love in the world.

Thinking of you. sad

Empusa Thu 04-Aug-11 11:14:51

We're lavishing him with treats and affection at the moment. Though right now he's being growly, so we're giving him space.

Absolutely gutting, we only brought him home this April sad

chickchickchicken Thu 04-Aug-11 19:57:34

so sorry for you all sad must be terribly upsetting for you but try to think of the wonderful home he has. not many people would adopt an elderly dog and he is so lucky to be spending whatever time he has left in a caring home and not in kennels. i think you have done a truly wonderful thing adopting him

Empusa Thu 04-Aug-11 20:19:21

He's had another lump come up overnight. He's been in loads of pain all day.

We're thinking that we might be best forgoing the test and letting him rest. sad

He's been very sweet though, and cheerful. Does make it hard to decide.

MotherJack Thu 04-Aug-11 21:21:36

sad Empusa. Bless him. He doesn't sound well at all. Whatever it is certainly seems to be accelerating.

He is so lucky to have found such a loving home for the latter part of his life. You have that to hold on to.

Empusa Thu 04-Aug-11 21:23:15

Just wish it could have been more than 4 months.

So angry at his previous owner for letting his tumour get so huge sad Sounds like by the time we got him the cancer had advanced too far.

His tumour was fist sized! I mean FFS why would you not get it removed?!

Empusa Fri 05-Aug-11 21:25:06

He's getting even worse. Having to be coerced into eating. Didn't even look at us when we woke up and went into the living room this morning.

Looking at calling the vets tomorrow, to set him free.

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