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Odd Behavior/Passing Illness?

March 11th, 2004, 12:30 PM
At Christmas, we took in a ABPT because a coworker was getting a new Sharpei puppy and didn't want to have three dogs. Since I've owned several ABPTs over the years, she knew my home would be a very safe one for the dog. She is almost a year old, very active and loving, with boundless energy, and gets along superbly with our two boys. She is currently an indoor dog for the most part, although we are repairing the chain link fencing so that she can roam more freely than a leash allows. We had her spayed last month to avoid any hard-to-place puppies in the future. The vet gave her a clean bill of health (we even had bloodwork done to look for any abnormalities that weren't obvious).

However, last night, I was in the garage (where she sleeps at night, in case of any potty accidents), cleaning the washing machine after a bubble gum "incident". I had the door open to ventilate, and the cleaner I used is more of a degreaser than anything terribly "fumey".

Tee was on her chain leash (she chewed the braided one up two days ago, while looped on a fence post outside while hubby worked on fence repair). She was fine during the first part of my cleaning, peeking around the back of the riding lawnmower and watching me quite curiously. Then she lay down.

When hubby came out to move the washing machine back into place, he noticed she was "breathing funny". Huffing a bit, mostly through her mouth, and lying on her side. I sat down with her and petted her, but she barely responded. She was completely limp and wouldn't get up. I even offered a doggie snack and she refused, which is highly unusual for her. Her belly was not bloated, swollen or hard, and she wagged her tail when I sounded distressed as I tried to figure out what was wrong.

I had to go inside and get the boys ready for bed, promising that if she was still like this, I'd roust the vet for an emergency visit.

When I came back into the garage 30 minutes later, I thought at first she'd vomited. On closer inspection, it was a very HUGE pile of poop. I grew up on a farm (we vaccinated our dogs ourselves back then), so I inspected the poop (my hubby thought this was horribly gross of me, but still)... nothing out of place for a visual inspection. No blood, no parasites large enough to see with the naked eye...

She thought this inspection was something facinated, then hopped up, bounded over to her water dish and took a few laps. Then she hunted into my pocket for the previously offered snack and took it over to "guard" by her water dish.

Since she does like to chew things (we've bought her all sorts of toys to deter her from chewing on things she shouldn't), is it possible she ate something that gave her a belly ache? Would that explain the odd behavior?

She was perfectly fine after the pooping incident. No more funny breathing, happy, playful, had to be sternly lectured a bit this morning to keep from roughhousing me when I refilled her water dish and tried to take her for a walk before work. She's had no irregularities with her bowel movements or bladder that we've noticed. We haven't changed her food or snacks, and we don't let her have people food at all.

Lucky Rescue
March 11th, 2004, 01:51 PM
First of all, congrats on adopting a second hand pit bull!:D I have one too, and she is the BEST dog!

Secondly, got a picture of her? What's her name? How nice that her owners are dumping her to make room for a new puppy.:mad:

I have no idea what happened to your dog, but it sounds like some kind of poisoning.

The fact that she went completely limp is very alarming to me! Garages are often filled with things that are toxic or can make dogs very sick. Are you absolutely positive there is nothing like antifreeze containers she could chew on? Antifreeze ingestion is lethal if not treated right away.

Is the degreaser you are talking about called "Mean Green"? If so, it's toxic if ingested.

Is she not housetrained? If she's left in the garage at night, and has accidents, housetraining will be harder. I would keep her in the house at night, maybe gated in a bathroom or laundry room, or on her own bed next to yours.

There are often just too many dangers in garages - ones that we may not even think of until it's too late.

March 11th, 2004, 02:19 PM
Her name is Temper, and she is a gorgeous Brindle pit bull. We often nickname her (Tee Girl, Tempermental, or just plain "Brat" when she's being ornery). She'll be a year old on April 15th and is pure bred. I thought I had a couple of pictures saved, but it seems hubby has purged his website, the brat! I'll find copies at home and post them another time. She is the 5th pit bull I've owned, and all of them were second hand in some fashion or another (two via prior owner death, one as a gift, one was dumped in our yard b/c we owned dobies).

Her former owners didn't have much time for her, and she had never been trained in any simple commands such as "down" or "sit". We're still working on that "down" one! She weighs 50 pounds, so she can really bowl you over if she is allowed to bounce. She bowled over a neighbor boy two days ago in her joy to have even MORE boys to play with. Slobbered all over the poor kid, who laughed himself silly. Thankfully, his grandparents, two doors up, have a huge pitbull/boxer mix, so he likes large dogs.

Bath times are interesting, to say the least. I'm allergic to most pet shampoos because of the sulfides in them, so hubby was bathing her at first... they'd both come out drenched. I tested the shampoo we were using, and it seemed fine. So now we've switched to me in the tub with her, while hubby sits in the floor, keeping her focused on him while I bathe her. No mess and a clean and relatively happy dog afterwards.

Poison was what came to my mind too. The area we live in has these HUGE wood roaches (palmetto bugs, I think is an alternative name for them). We have poison traps in the house (but do not treat the garage) so I was wondering if maybe she caught and ate a poisoned roach. I remember a terrier/chihuahua mix I had as a girl once ate a mouse that had eaten poison pellets and he was rather ill for a few days. My grandmother gave him something to induce vomiting and he recovered.

Everything in our garage that is chemical or dangerous is kept at shoulder height or higher (our boys are 7 and 9 and mischievious at times). Even so, I think the only things out there are motor oil, hand cleaner, and two bottles of cleaner he uses if she has an accident out there (a very mild bleach mixture and Febreeze). The cleaners are on the top shelf, motor oil on the second. I think the bottom shelves (3 of them) are just tools in tool boxes.

We can't let her have free run of the house due to the stupidity of previous tenants putting a high gloss _furniture_ finish on three of the floors (we're still negotiating with the landlord to get it stripped up, an expensive process that has to wait til warm weather for ventilation). Her nails do serious damage to it and hubby got tired of refinishing areas she'd skidded through playing with the boys.

I have wondered though, if it would return her to housebroken better if we got a crate in the dining room (the central room to the rest of the house). It would put her central to everyone and a crate would keep her out of the trash (a big tempation for her).

She was an outside dog in her previous home. When we first got her, she never had any accidents, but we made her bed in the garage just to be on the safe side. She did very well for a month or so, but then started having accidents. I told hubby it is probably a bid for attention, as I have had previous large female dogs who would deliberately pee or poop inside if they felt they were being snubbed. To be honest, I am nervous of leaving her outside when we aren't home because I have had two pit bulls stolen over the years (we recovered one, two years later, in another state, after she'd been fighting in dog pits for all that time, poor sweet baby).

Hubby and boys are home all day (we homeschool) so she gets plenty of attention during the day. But if she is put into the garage, even if she's been outside for pottying, she will at minimum pee on the floor now. Am I right that this is more of an "attitude" issue than a lack of housebreaking? She has only had one accident while in the house (we limit her to the non varnished rooms, plenty of space without them), and that was on her second day with us.

On her chewing habits: we were using a nylon leash for training... she chewed it up two days ago outside after hubby looped it on a fence post. Perhaps she ingested some of the leash? We won't use one of those again!

March 11th, 2004, 02:21 PM
Oops - forgot the cleaner name. It's "Greased Lightning", and after I cleaned the washer with it (exterior obviously), I scrubbed it down with sponge and water, just in case she might lick it to see what I was doing to the silly appliance.

I called home and checked on her. Hubby says she went outside to play for quite some time this morning and still seems to be showing no ill effects or lethargy.

I think we may have dodged tragedy here, thank god.

Lucky Rescue
March 11th, 2004, 05:25 PM
I seriously doubt she is having accidents out of spite. Spite is strictly a human motivator.

If the accidents started after she was spayed, it could possibly be "spay incontinence". I would have her vet checked for that. If this is the case, there are meds to help it.

You say she never had any accidents when you got her, so something is causing them now!

March 11th, 2004, 05:35 PM
No, they were pre-spay. And when she first started (about a month after she came to live with us), we scrubbed the area thoroughly with first stuff the pet store recommended, and later with bleach/Febreeze. It's a concrete floor, so she may just have fixated on that end of the garage as her potty place when she's indoors. If she is outside, she will always go to the part of the yard that was formerly a pen for a smaller sized dog (prior tenant's).

I'm still a tad convinced my dad's female dobie knew exactly what she was doing when she climbed on his bed and peed on his pillow about once a month. He had to buy more pillows than anyone I've ever known.... Seemed like she always knew if he went out on a date as opposed to just out with the guys. Maybe it was the pre-date preparations? :) She was a good dog, very much house trained and traveled frequently during the day with him on his landscaping business. Perhaps it's less "spite" and more "stress" in those sort of cases.

I called and checked on her again... seems she's feeling quite chipper, playing happily in the backyard and working on the "stay" command rather well beforehand.