Sunday, November 20, 2011

Puppy video and lessons learned

OK I got a few videos so you can see the true cuteness of Zola. Hopefully blogger cooperates and they load ok. The first one is her at dinner time last night. She is currently getting the Honest Kitchen Keen formula so I have to wait for it to hydrate. She didn't want to wait. If you listen close you can also hear Jenny doing her "OMG it's time to eat!" whine.
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This is her being aggressive with the leash. At the time I had no idea why she was having a temper tantrum. I just knew it wasn't normal so I turned on the camera. It turns out dogs with liver shunts can have aggressive episodes when the toxins build up in their system. Thankfully at only 10 lbs it is easy to deal with when it happens.

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And this is from the first day she was here.

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I'm sorry that some of the videos aren't great. I know they are very "Blair Witch Project" at times. It's hard to video something so fast!
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Things I've learned this week: A 10 pound pug who doesn't want to take a pill is stronger than they look. Don't put medication into a dogs food. If they don't eat you you've wasted both the medication AND the meal. You can lead a pug to lunch but you can't make them eat. The goal for a dog with a liver shunt on lactulose is a nice soft stool. (and 3 to 4 small meals a day) Lactulose is very sticky. A boot covered in deer blood is a target for resource guarding.
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I think she is feeling better. Last night and today she even chewed on a bone for a long time like a normal dog. Jenny wasn't as thrilled about that as I was. I'm going to have to increase the amount of bones around for awhile so that doesn't become a problem. Her eye also looks better to me with her on the serum. The only downside to her feeling better is that she is becoming feisty with Jenny. Jenny is not one to back down so I'll need to watch that closely. So far so good though. Fingers still crossed.
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Sidenote: liver shunt dogs need a low protein diet with NO red meat. It is also better if they have a dairy source protein. Keen is turkey but it is working for her for now. She wouldn't eat the Preference but I may try it again later with some cottage cheese. I am still learning so stand by for more info on diet in the future.

4 comments:

Amy Carlson said...

Really, you think she was being aggressive with the leash? Looked like pretty normal tug type play to me.

Marie said...

Amy, Maybe it is hard to see from the video but it was way more intense than normal play. It had a fustration vibe with it as well. Hard to describe. I've seen her do it in other contexts a couple of times too. Thankfully since she is feeling better it has decreased and is rare now. I'm told it is a symptom of the toxin buildup in the body and they call it HE for Hepetitic Encephelitus. (or something like that) It's like a type of seizure. It is very weird.

Amy Carlson said...

Yeah, I hear of those situations with these liver compromised dogs, but I see this type of tugging so much in the agility world and would never have given it a thought. It's just so common place and so rewarded and useful as a stress release. Having toy dogs who are not all that comfortable tugging I have seen a "strange" style that goes along with it when one isn't comfortable and wondered what goes on in their heads. But, once I got them more comfortable with the game they used it more often and it became a wonderful way to deal with their anxieties. Games of tug can be SO useful for dogs with issues. For Roscoe most trainers would tell me to never play tug with him, he's too aggressive and "bossy" and such. Nah, tug is a wonderful way for him to release his anxiety and an awesome relationship builder with me. I have found it totally useful and promote it with him as much as I can. But, he was not at all comfortable about it at first and presented very strange behavior along with it, until it became a rewarding game.
Did you ever check that Small Dog Team's blog? Her Gustavo does some strange things because of his liver issues. It's such a horrible disease, really, and I feel for you trying to learn about it. So tough to know what's right and what's going to help them. I just wonder if the tug thing could be useful and help her or if it is truly not good for her to do? Gustavo has those "seizure" things at time, but it's not so much in the form of aggression, but fear and spacey and lost.
I think of how intense my Spur is with his tugging and while he has no bad liver enzymes he sure looks and acts crazy and frustrated, but it is such a useful tool for me to teach him self control at times. I know that sounds odd, but he shares a fence with my horses and when they are being moved into a new paddock he wants to herd them. He gets so frustrated by the fence that he nearly explodes. By giving him a toy to tug and shake and "kill", it releases his anxiety and gives him something else to do that is, to him, useful. I guess I am trying to be devil's advocate here because I know so many trainers discourage this type of tugging and are uncomfortable with it and I have been told countless times to never let Roscoe do this sort of thing. Over the years I have found they were all wrong and only wish I had promoted it long ago to help him release some of his anxiety. I have a completely different opinion on it now and totally feel that aggressive tugging is one of the greatest things for frustrated and anxious dogs. Of course, I have no experience with liver cases other than some of our rescued MinPins with liver shunts and Gustavo, so certainly I haven't a clue if this could be harmful behavior to her. I am just presenting another possible side to it as it looked so similar to how Roscoe tugged when I first got him. Roscoe doesn't have liver toxins, but he sure has other "toxins" that build up in his brain. :P

Marie said...

I do like tug as a game. I am currently teaching her to play tug but not resource guard the tug toy. I agree it can be a great outlet for dogs! I never bought into the bunk that it should be avoided. I just make sure there are rules that are followed. If they grab you accidently for instance game is instantly over. I use tug as a motivator for fetch games which I think ALL dogs should learn. It is a great way to exercise a dog that might not be able to get out for walks. (I stress this to my clients with mobility issues.) I will go check out that other blog. Thanks!!