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A week at the vet's(9 Posts)
My dog has to spend 7-10 days at a specialist dermatology centre to treat a persistent ear infection. He's friendly but can be a bit nervous and a little bit lead reactive which is something we've been working hard on and making good progress.
I am concerned that a stay in a new environment is going to be really rubbish and scary for him. That being around so many people and other dogs is going to be stressful and that it might set our training back.
In some ways it's made harder by the fact that he is alert and active, so it's not like he's going to be dopey and recovering from surgery etc.
Has anyone had to send their dogs off in a similar circumstance? How did they cope and did they see a difference in behaviour as a reuslt?
My dog had to stay at the vets for several days when he was sick.
He underwent lots of tests during that time and unfortunately it did affect his behaviour as he went in a confident young dog and came out being nervous of strangers and had some separation anxiety. He also started to associate things like the groomers table with the examination table at the vets.
However, he is much better now but it was many months before his confidence came back.
Bugger, thanks BiteyShark.
He's a biggish dog so not likely to be on a vet table for anything - so we can probably rule that bit out. The rest is just what I am worried about, though.
It's so hard because from a medical point of view, staying in the hospital is clearly the right thing to do. But from a behavioural point of view, he would be better at home I think.
Mine has IBD and has spent two week long stretches in hospital following surgery and still needs to go for 24 stays for check ups.
I would suggest you get him an Adaptil collar and a piece of clothing with your smell. Are you allowed to/are you able to visit? I spent time with my dog in hospital just sitting with him in kennels reading a book. If he is allowed to go on walks that could also be a nice thing to do with him.
If you are at all concerned he might become reactive and bite, maybe train him to accept a muzzle (use a clicker and rewards).
Sorry just to say my dog is fine after his visits, but he is an extraordinarily well adjusted dog (not thanks to my superior training abilities! Just naturally perfect. He's the most well adjusted dog I have ever come across and he's a rescue from unknown background).
He is already "muzzle ready". His own vet has preferred to muzzle him while examining him because he is nervous, though his default behaviour is to avoid and hide rather than use aggression. I wanted to make sure the muzzle wasn't something that was also contributing to his fear so we use it for training games at home and he's good with it.
The vet won't accept anything with him for hygiene reasons - though may well use adaptil in the kennels themselves. Visits are limited but I would worry it would upset him more to see me? It's also 2 hours away from where I live and whilst I would happily drive that and back, just to sit and read with him, I work full time and my employer has already been so good about me taking time out for so many vet appointments that I don't want to take the P.
I appreciate your post, though. I hope he handles it half as well as yours did.
On the first occasion we didn't visit him as we thought it might upset him by leaving him again.
Our dog has had a few subsequent admissions and on another we did visit but it was after a major operation and he was so shutdown he didn't even acknowledge me and looked so depressed it really upset me.
Based on that I don't know if I would visit or not if he was admitted again.
It's so hard as you wish you could tell them that it's only for a short time.
The positives though are whilst BiteyDog was clearly traumatised from the actual admissions when he goes to see the vets and vet nurses he is all wiggly and pleased to see them. It's only when the gloves get put on and he's being examined does he then look and act scared. After they have done he reverts back to being happy and does the spaniel happy wiggle.
he was so shutdown he didn't even acknowledge me and looked so depressed it really upset me
That must have been so upsetting
I already recognise the gloves thing. It was at that point at our last appointment that ddog shot under the chairs beneath me, to hide. Not for the first time, I wish I could talk to him and explain...
They learn very quickly don't they.
I used to have a needle phobic horse and the vet had to prepare the vaccine from his car up the road, anywhere closer and the horse realized what was about to happen and we were never able to get anywhere near him!
Hope it goes well.