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I am at a loss... Dr. Jekyl/Ms. Hyde

sarahbella2
February 8th, 2009, 06:56 PM
I have a 5 month old Redbone/Walker coonhound, Bella. We got her at 5 weeks because the breeders were 'dying' to get rid of her. :sad: She was the first born and the most dominant of the litter. With a lot of love and attention she became a wonderful addition to our family. We have 3 small children and she knows her place and is always a happy dog. She was house trained in 3 weeks, knows her limits when playing, she also knows the basics (sit, laydown, roll over, sit up) She is working on stay :)

Our problem is this... the first time we took her to the vet she was scared but the vet (male) was gentle and got down on the floor and played with her before examining and giving shots... the second time we took her to the same clinic and a new vet (female) put her up on the table, gave her her shot and that was it... the third time the same female vet tried to examine her on the floor (too big for the table now) and Bella growled and snapped and the vet muzzled her and then had a nurse hold Bella down. The vet said that she was concerned that Bella was having that type of reaction at her age and needs better social training.

Bella had the same kind of reaction when we took her to a local groomer to have her nails clipped... however the groomer didnt take anytime to get to know her and I wonder if its the groomer & vet behavior or Bella's? :shrug:

I am trying to find out if our puppy really has a social problem or if she is just acting out of fear. I need advice as we are taking her back to the vet in 2 weeks for her final booster and rabies shot and we are thinking of finding another vet before then.

angeldogs
February 8th, 2009, 08:21 PM
I have a 5 month old Redbone/Walker coonhound, Bella. We got her at 5 weeks because the breeders were 'dying' to get rid of her. :sad: She was the first born and the most dominant of the litter. With a lot of love and attention she became a wonderful addition to our family. We have 3 small children and she knows her place and is always a happy dog. She was house trained in 3 weeks, knows her limits when playing, she also knows the basics (sit, laydown, roll over, sit up) She is working on stay :)

Our problem is this... the first time we took her to the vet she was scared but the vet (male) was gentle and got down on the floor and played with her before examining and giving shots... the second time we took her to the same clinic and a new vet (female) put her up on the table, gave her her shot and that was it... the third time the same female vet tried to examine her on the floor (too big for the table now) and Bella growled and snapped and the vet muzzled her and then had a nurse hold Bella down. The vet said that she was concerned that Bella was having that type of reaction at her age and needs better social training.

Bella had the same kind of reaction when we took her to a local groomer to have her nails clipped... however the groomer didnt take anytime to get to know her and I wonder if its the groomer & vet behavior or Bella's? :shrug:

I am trying to find out if our puppy really has a social problem or if she is just acting out of fear. I need advice as we are taking her back to the vet in 2 weeks for her final booster and rabies shot and we are thinking of finding another vet before then.
It does sound like fear.when dogs are scared some will take flight and some will react with aggression to get who ever is not backing off weither it be human or animal.

You could start taking her to the vet office just for visit and weighings so she gets to become fimiliar with the office and the people that work there,same as with the groomer so she can get to know them.socializing is a big thing.in the beginning thats what i did with the vets office and he would go straight to the scale and sit and wait for a treat and he was fearful the first few times we went there.

MommaKat
February 8th, 2009, 09:33 PM
Hi sarahbella2, welcome to the forum :D

There are folks here who are a lot more knowledgeable about this stuff than I am, but lots of dogs are uncomfortable with being examined and groomed. Most I know hate there nails being clipped. It's not acceptable how she acted but it is understandable, I imagine these situations can be quite scary for a dog. She's still young yet so there is time to desensitize her to this experience .

I have a 13 week shih tzu that I'm trying to get her use to being trimmed,nails clipped, brushed and examined. I periodically Check her ears, teeth and touch her tail . I keep it quick and upbeat. When I'm done I praise the heck out of her and give her a teensy treat. Teaching "Give paw" is also a really great trick to show them to be calm when their paws are being handled . I'm almost to a point where I can lightly touch Sparkies nails with a clipper without her struggling.

Socializing Bella with new people and situations or even putting her in an obedience class could be a great bonding experience for you and her.

Good luck to you and Bella :thumbs up:

pwrca
February 9th, 2009, 08:32 AM
I am far from an expert on this and many dog related issues being a first time puppy owner myself. Before I got my puppy I read a lot both online and in books, my dog being a Daxie, I read Daschunds for Dummies. I learnt that grooming, ear and paw examinations should be a daily expereince, so it is part of our daily routine. Go outdoors for potty, come in play a little, eat, play some more, then some lap time for petting and brushing; while the grooming period I check each paw & handle his nails, take a look in the ears & mouth. Hopefully getting him used to being handled and examined. Of course your dog is bigger, so you can incorpate this bonding & handling time as part of his/her routine while playing and grooming on the floor at his/her level. We have yet to go to the vets his first visit will be tomorrow. Having checked out a few vets already, I've chosen a vet clinic that, is very clean, hospitable, friendly and seems genuinally caring. I realize that for the vet clinic this is a business and they have to operate as such but, they should take time to make the puppy/dog comfortable and at ease; not slam down, do the business and thank you very much, here is your bill. This is my expectation and will not settle for less or I will find an other vet who is both suitable for me and my pet. I hope our vet exeriences will be successfull and not instill fear and anxiety for my puppy. I think your dogs behaviour with the vet is exactly that, fear and anxiety. In your shoes, I would try the daily grooming/examinations/handling and maybe look for an other pet friendly vet.

Just my two cents, albiet with little personal experience, yet. I'll keep you posted on tomorrows vet visit. Let you know how it went for us.

Pete

http://s702.photobucket.com/albums/ww21/pwrca/Mooshie/th_Mooshiesitsm.jpg

chico2
February 9th, 2009, 08:44 AM
It seems to me,that neither the female vet,nor the groomer are very knowledgeable in how to approach a dog.
I know with little Bailey whom I walk every day,if anyone rushes to her to pet her,she'll growl and she is a really good dog.
Hopefully the muzzle and the forceful holding down has not made her permanently frightened.

sarahbella2
February 10th, 2009, 11:36 AM
Thanks for the advice. It's funny that all of you have commented on making grooming a daily thing. We make a game out of looking at her nails, ears, teeth, almost like you would with a baby. She rolls around on the floor and thinks its fun. She has learned to shake with both paws now and that helps her. My husband and I have decided to find a new vet clinic. The vet is next door to the movie rental place we go to and Bella started whining when we parked in front of the vet building. I think she was a little traumatized by the muzzling and forceful examination. I am so glad to be able to get this kind of advice. ;)

We are also going to find a personal groomer and not one of the local stores to do it. I think she will be better with someone who takes the time to get to know her. We are also thinking about a basic puppy socialization class because she doesnt have any other dogs to be around and we think that might help her too.

kandy
February 10th, 2009, 12:24 PM
Exposing the pup to all sorts of different social situations will help with the fear in general because the pup will gain confidence. Obedience classes are always a good idea.

I switched vets when the one I had been seeing for years suddenly developed a very impatient bedside manner. One of my dogs at the time was very timid and nervous anyway, and when she balked at letting him look in her ears, he pinned her to the table and stuck the thing in her ear. She fought him and as soon as he relaxed his hold, she bit him. I yelled at him when he pinned her, and then told him that the bite was his own fault, and I quit going to that vet. I realize that vets are trying to run a business, but if they can't take the time to establish a rapport with their patients, then they aren't the vet for me.

angeldogs
February 10th, 2009, 04:51 PM
I will also help to have other people to handle her other then you or your husband.like family and friends to touch her paws,ears,mouth and teeth.do it slowly and little bits at a time.

We do this with clients dog that are fearful/nervous with new people or situation.we have the clients do the handling exercises first then on the 2nd or 3rd visit we start to do the handling exercises on the dog(but slowly).this way they get used to being handled by different people.

On top of the obeidence class doggie day care is also good for socializing with other dogs and humans to help build confidents.