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Odd Behavior

October 26th, 2006, 08:32 AM
Hello friends,
This probably isn't a big deal, but it's heavy on my mind so I thought I'd seek some opinions from my friends here. Yesterday Nicky was fine when we left him in the morning. When I came home from work at lunch time, Nicky was laying close to the baby gate in the kitchen which is odd because he always stays in his crate. I walked closer to his crate and noticed that he had thrown up inside of it so that's obviously why he wasn't laying in it. I took him outside and he did his busines as usual. I left for work but I was concerned because my little boy must've had an upset tummy or something. I don't know what caused him to throw up. So, partner and I come home from work in the evening and Nicky was in the exact same spot that I left him in at lunch time. He wasn't excited to see us like usual and he was acting very strange. When we would get close to pet him, he would cower like he was afraid he was about to be hit. I mean, this lasted all night long. He refused to make eye contact with us, he stayed away from both of us, he was clearly tired but was fighting to hold his eyes open so we could see his eyes rolled back into his head while he was sitting on his little bed. It just looked creepy.
We went to get something to eat and decided to take Nicky with us. He LOVES to go for a ride in the truck and stick his head out the window. Instead, he laid in the back seat and never one time looked out the window. This is TOTALLY unlike Nicky.
When we got home from our outing, Nicky would sit in one spot of the bedroom and every now and then he would get up, turn 360 degrees, and lay back down in the same spot. It was so strange and I was worried sick about him all night. Nicky literally acted like someone had come into the apartment, beat him, scared the crap out of him, and then left us to deal with the aftermath. I know that sounds ridiculous and most likely didn't happen, but that's how he behaved. He seemed terrified of us like he used to when I first brought him home. He also never ate one morsel of food yesterday or lastnight and drank no water. If this continues, I'm obviously going to take him to the vet, but I'm just perplexed. It seems that something happened to him yesterday but we have no clue what it could be. :confused:

October 26th, 2006, 08:37 AM
Omg (grouphug) yes i would say something is really bothering him. How sad, your description was so "descriptive" ( wow, go Erika, how creative of you) I could just see him all sad like.

I dont have any suggestions or anything like that but give him a big hug from ev1 here.
Poor guy

October 26th, 2006, 09:20 AM
Thanks Erykah...I appreciate that :(

October 26th, 2006, 09:22 AM
Is Nicky feeling any better today?

October 26th, 2006, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by: Papillonmama
Is Nicky feeling any better today?

Thanks for asking mama, but Nicky is still acting strange. He usually greets me every morning beside the bed. He never came today and when I went to greet him, he wouldn't come out from under the kitchen table. This is just not like him. I have no idea what's going on, but it's very worrisome.:confused:

October 26th, 2006, 10:56 AM
I'm so sorry he's not well, I hope you're getting him into the vet as soon as you can - just doesn't sound like him at all from any of your other posts :/

Good luck and let us know how the lil guy fares :grouphug:

October 26th, 2006, 11:09 AM
Poor little guy.

I agree with Jawert, I would bring him to the vet, just to make sure he's okay.

Maybe something frightened him from outside like a loud noise or something. Seems like he's upset about something.

Hope he's better later.:fingerscr

Donna S
October 26th, 2006, 11:10 AM
I would suggest you get Nicky to the vet asap.. he might be unwell. It might be something internal. But the thing that worries me the most is Nicky is not eating or drinking anything. He could get dehydrated. I feel really bad for the lil guy.. I hope he feels better soon. :fingerscr :fingerscr

October 26th, 2006, 11:31 AM
I would suggest you get Nicky to the vet asap.. he might be unwell. It might be something internal. But the thing that worries me the most is Nicky is not eating or drinking anything. He could get dehydrated. I feel really bad for the lil guy.. I hope he feels better soon. :fingerscr :fingerscr

I agree! He may have eaten something that is obstructing his bowel--some of those symptoms are similar... The faster he gets to the vet, the better!:fingerscr :pray:

October 26th, 2006, 11:36 AM
Yep,sounds like an upset stomach. Hope he recovers soon :fingerscr

October 26th, 2006, 12:09 PM
Awe, thanks for all the suggestions and well-wishes everyone, I really appreciate that.:grouphug:
I just went home at lunch and it took a little more coaxing than usual to get Nicky out of his crate, but he finally came to me. I gave him a good rub down and he perked right up! I got him all pumped up about going outside and he finally showed some excitement. He has been pooping and peeing as normal so I'm relieved about that. When he came back inside I put his food bowl down and he ate everything! I gave him some more lovin' and was off back to work. So, things are much improved from lastnight. Eating and going potty is back to normal so I'm relieved. I'm still taking him to the vet though, just in case. I just want my lil man back :(
Sometimes I wish he could talk, just so I know what's going on in that lil head of his, yanno?
Anyway, thanks for taking time to respond.

October 26th, 2006, 12:15 PM
Jemma and Boo get like that sometimes.. I wonder if it's just a vivid dream from the past or something. Glad he's better, but if he reverts back, I think you should head to the vet.

October 26th, 2006, 12:23 PM
glad he's feeling better :thumbs up

October 26th, 2006, 01:04 PM
Originally Posted by: Prin
I wonder if it's just a vivid dream from the past or something

So Prin, what do you do to snap them back into the "here and now"? Because he's acting like he was abused while we were at work or as if he's backsliding into some other old behavior from his past. I just don't have an explanation for it. I don't know if the throwing up has any connection with the strange behavior but it seems like the behavior followed the sickness.

Meb - Thanks!

October 26th, 2006, 01:12 PM
I just reassure them and talk to them... Say things like "This is Jemma/Boo's house. You're mommy's Jemma/Boo. You're ok.." Things like that.:shrug: Boo used to puke because of anxiety attacks... Could be similar for Nicky, maybe.:shrug:

October 26th, 2006, 01:13 PM
I'm glad your pooch is getting back to normal! perhaps he feared the worst when he got sick in his crate...we'd like our animals to KNOW we'd NEVER harm them, but for an animal that had been abused in the past, this could be hard to understand and overcome. Have you ever read about or considered Bach remedies? Rescue Remedy is recommended on this board often for things such as SA, but there are MANY more remedies to choose from - to help heal emotional traumas.

one resource that may be of interest:
Bach Flower Remedies for Animals by Stefan Ball and Judy Howard - this illustrated book draws on insights from animal behaviourists and vets to produce the most authoritative guide to using the remedies for animals yet produced. Includes many real-life case studies.

October 26th, 2006, 01:15 PM
Thanks Jessi...I'll look it up!

October 26th, 2006, 10:48 PM
One of my poms has a very sensitive nature and if she is feeling poorly (even from a loose bowel movement or a vomiting incident) or she has scraped one of her paws, or any tiny miniscule injury, she would hide, shake and give me these pittiful little looks and make a very big deal out of feeling poorly. The more I'd cater to and baby her (hand feeding, wraping her in her blanket, etc.) the longer she extended these sessions and after having spent $$$ at the vets because I was sure she was dying, she would perk up at his office and be all kissey or suddenly forget the seriousness of her hurt and run off to chase a frog when put out to pee. On one occasion she had a burr stuck near her vulva but wouldn't come out from under the bed so I could remove it. Quite the actress (Diva). Now I just check the her all over, give a tiny treat and tell her she's fine, which seems to work.

October 27th, 2006, 06:53 AM
T.Pettet - Wow, I wonder if that's what Nicky is doing? Maybe he's just being a little drama king? Ha! :frustrated:

Nicky seems to have gone back to normal, (ie., head out the window again, excited about going outside, eating, drinking) except he is still acting funny around me. I laid on the floor yesterday, a foot in front of him, and called him to me but he wouldn't come. He also refuses to make eye contact with me. When I look at him and talk sweet to him, he looks away as if he's giving me the silent treatment, instead of wagging his tail and getting excited. I don't know what the hell has gotten into him. It's like we're starting all over from scratch again with his "I've been abused" behavior. Strange.
I'm going to continue to act normally around him, as if nothing has happened, just in case he's just trying to be a baby :rolleyes: Beyond that, he needs an animal behaviorist to help him work out whatever he went through in the past.

Thanks for the advice and comments everyone!

October 27th, 2006, 09:06 AM
It's like we're starting all over from scratch again with his "I've been abused" behavior. Strange.
I'm going to continue to act normally around him, as if nothing has happened, just in case he's just trying to be a baby :rolleyes: Beyond that, he needs an animal behaviorist to help him work out whatever he went through in the past.

Thanks for the advice and comments everyone!

So you're saying that Nicky had been abused before you got him? Do you live in an apartment where Nicky might be able to hear the neighbors during the time you're gone?

October 27th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Hello Hazel!

We don't have proof that Nicky was abused in the past, as he was dumped on the side of the road and we have no idea where he came from or what he's been through. However, it seems obvious to us that he has suffered some sort of abuse through his actions and behavior, especially in the beginning (Dec 2005). I've worked long and hard to break him of several things, including low self-esteem and what I was saying was that he seems to be regressing back into that abuse victim type of behavior that I thought I freed him of.
Lastnight, we got Nicky to come up on the bed with us. We usually never have to ask him twice, but lastnight he was reluctant. He stayed up there for a few hours but fought the sleep once again. His little head bobbed and weaved for hours until he finally put it down. He seemed to be more back to normal this morning and when I went home at lunch time he was in his usual spot in his crate. It still took a little coaxing to get him out, but not as long as it did the first day this behavior started. I sat on the living room floor, called him over for some "Mommy and me" time (me brushing him), and he laid down for a good brushing. He was a little protective of his bum and pee pee area for some reason. I investigated but saw nothing. We have had a diaper on him for two weeks and he acts like it's not even there, so I don't think that's the problem. The diaper was bought because Nicky has NO problem soiling his den and laying in it for hours so we're trying to break him of that with the implementation of a diaper. It's not working. He still soils.
Anyway, after I brushed him, gave him love and he licked me in appreciation, he then began following me everywhere I went. He seemed real clingy. This is in total contradiction to his behavior the past 2 days where he has refused to make eye contact with me or come to me when called. So, I don't know what's going on but he seems to be coming back to normal, little by little.
We do live in an apartment and maintenance men do come in but they haven't been inside lately but I'm sure he hears noises all day long. I have no idea why he threw up or why he's been acting so strange. I just hope it gets better.:pray:
Thanks for the concern everyone,
This is what Nicky does when I make eye contact with him. He looks away like he's giving me the silent treatment. That's exactly what he was doing in this picture. He does this when I bring out the camera and when I try to make eye contact.

October 27th, 2006, 06:45 PM
While he may be reliving some scary thoughts and feelings from his past and working through feelings of abandonment it may also be worthwhile to boobytrap your apartment for a little while to make sure that in fact there is no one coming in while you aren't there. Unfortunately not all LL's/ Supers and contract maintenance workers are completely scrupulous. As such it would be worth your while to put in place some simple no-cost tests for a few weeks just to eliminate it from the list of possibilities.

October 27th, 2006, 06:48 PM
Hey,he looks like a miniature golden ! I'm glad he's coming around. So he never makes eye contact? I think you're right,he was either abused or he's a very submissive dog.

October 27th, 2006, 08:04 PM
He sure looks like a little sweetie. :cloud9: Y'know, I think I'd ditch the diaper idea if it were me and take a urine sample into the vet to make sure he hasn't contracted a bladder infection. I can't really picture how a dog diaper would look, but maybe (since he didn't let the diaper deter his messing) he contracted a bladder infection from wearing the diaper? It might explain his protective behavior when you were checking him over. And if he's feeling ill, that could explain the whole episode.

I hope you figure out what's going on. At least he sounds like he's coming out of it--and he's such a cutie! Best of luck with him! Hope he's 100% soon!

jesse's mommy
October 27th, 2006, 09:02 PM
I just have to say I love seeing pictures of Nicky. He's such a little cutie and I can't get enough of him. :D

October 28th, 2006, 01:04 AM
The poms I've known were so weird that way. Like my mom's was a total survivor. He walked 60kms and got hit by a car. He was paralyzed on one side and blind in one eye. But after years with my mom, he just didn't get over his fear. She just let him be him and come out when he wanted to, and they got along, but he never really opened up as much as I've seen other dogs open up. I don't know if it's all poms or that I've just known one type of Pom by accident... :shrug:

Either way, they look so sweet and cute to have around.:) :cloud9:

October 28th, 2006, 08:34 PM
I think in my dog's case it goes back to genetics. She was a puppy-mill survivor and had hip degeneration (replaced) which is unheard of in poms, but the others are out-going and you can always predict and comprehend their behaviours. She's also quite obcessive-compulsive but since I obtained her at the age of 4months and she's 4 yrs. now and has been treated exactly as the others I'd have to say its her parentage. She could even be a product of siblings! We all know the horrors of puppy-mills. In the pic of Nicky when you were trying to take his picture, he seems to shy away from direct eye contact and looks very uneasy and intimidated. Makes you wonder if in his earlier life he was reprimanded in all the wrong ways - having his nose stuck in his mistakes as a form of house training, man-handled and treated aggressively in the critical early stages. If he was only shown physical abuse instead of patience when being taught critical life lessons then perhaps he associates with being looked at as a pre-lude to punishment. He certainly has trust issues, poor little guy.:sad:

October 30th, 2006, 07:25 AM
Originally Posted by: Hazelrunpack
Y'know, I think I'd ditch the diaper idea if it were me

Well, when we came home last Thursday evening Nicky had pooped everywhere! Hard and wasn't pleasant. I had to throw the diaper AWAY. The "diaper" looks just like a belly band only instead of it just being one strip of material, it goes all the way around like the shape of a diaper. He pooped right outside of his crate, on some newspaper and then all through the kitchen, so I guess it's back to restricting him to his crate until he stops soiling. I don't know.

Obviously Nicky doesn't mind laying in his own mess and nothing has worked. I guess I'm just going to have to live with the fact that he soils in the house. I don't know what else to do. I wonder if this is why he was put out of his previous house?

Originally posted by: t.pettet
In the pic of Nicky when you were trying to take his picture, he seems to shy away from direct eye contact and looks very uneasy and intimidated.

He doesn't do this all the time. Only when he feels like it, when the camera comes out, and when he threw up last week. When we pick him up to hold him, he holds his face away from ours and WILL NOT look at us. He almost stiffens up like he's scared to death to be held. I don't know if he was dropped previously or what, but it's very sad. I don't pick him up often because of it, but sometimes I do it just to try and show him that he can be held and still be safe.

Nicky has snapped out of his odd behavior from last week and is back to normal. He looks me in the eye, gives me kisses, and is back to licking me and sitting beside me in the morning. I don't know how to explain it. I guess he just felt like being dramatic over his throwing up incident. Thanks for all the help and concern everyone!

P.S. I'm going to work on boobytrapping the apartment.

October 30th, 2006, 02:55 PM
P.S. Not only is Nicky peeing and pooping in the apartment..he peed on my foot today!!! I had to go stick my whole leg in the bathtub! lol :mad:

October 30th, 2006, 03:00 PM
I don't recall if I ever saw the question asked...but do you think Nicky could be litter trained? Not as neat maybe as having him wait to go outside, but maybe he's just not capable of holding it and would take to having a toilet place inside?

October 30th, 2006, 03:10 PM
I have no idea, Hazel. I hate to go out and buy a litter box and all that if that's not what the problem is. I do notice that he tries to keep in on the newspaper but it ends up all over the kitchen, so I let the paper-trained theory go. I'm just at a loss. :o

October 30th, 2006, 09:03 PM
Tiffy, the puppy mill pom also hates to be picked-up and will stiffen and avoid eye contact as well, yet she's fine having her picture taken. She could have been dropped before she came to me but even after this length of time she won't relax when held. If only they could talk!!!:)