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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:57 PM
im_nomad im_nomad is offline
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Bathing: does anyone else go through such an ordeal?


Ok, i'm getting to the point where I may never bathe my dog again. She is having some itchy skin problems so the vet gives her shampoo to use "bathe her as often as you can, daily etc"......... This vet has obviously never met my dog, because the way she acts when I try to bathe her you'd think someone was trying to inflict the worse kind of pain on her. She is not sore or hurting anywhere at this point, and she's acted like this even when she's not had skin problems, but the vet said the bath & shampoo should be soothing (yeah right). Tonight she looked a little scaly, so I decided to give her a "soothing" bath, and now I feel like I need a triple martini and some soothing of my own.

She's always been a little like this with not liking the bath thing so much, but has gotten worse it seems the past year or so. I do not make an ordeal of this, I go up to start the bath, and calmly call her upstairs in that pleasant sing-songy voice. All through the bath I rub her belly, and use soothing "good girl" sounds, plenty of praise etc. I try to make it as short as possible, and avoid her face and ears if they don't need it. The past few baths (not daily btw, too much of an ordeal) have only involved washing from her "waist" down pretty much.

Regardless, throughout the bath, she shakes and shivers and on occasion pees or poops the bath and generally acts as if the world is ending with her antics. When done, I let her jump out and get a quick as all possible rub down with a towel, again lots of "good girl!!". After which she goes completely ape-****, running around the house like she's possessed, rubbing herself all over the furniture, barking, running the stairs and banging into stuff even, and you guessed it, messing all over the floors. Tonight, she decided to get that part over with BEFORE the bath, nice puddle outside the bathroom door on the carpet, but made sure to save a BM for the floor post-bath, which she took with her several places through the house (she had recently done both pre-bath).

Most times I can't even get near her to put her collar back on, the barking and acting like she's been cornered starts.

Can a simple bath really be THAT much torture for a dog ? I'm at the end of my rope.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Winston Winston is offline
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Im so sorry she is that tough to bathe! I dont have much advise to offer on the bath but wondering what type of food you are feeding her? somtimes the bathing is not going to help if your dog has an allergy or issues with food. Jut thought I would put that out there so that maybe you wont have to bath her all the time?

Cindy
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:45 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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A few ideas...are you filling the bathtub with water before putting the dog in the tub? For some dogs, having their feet suddenly submerged like that can be very frightening. Rather than using a tub filled with water, place the dog in a dry tub and use either a shower wand or even just an old jug that you can fill with water and pour on the dog (that's what we do). You may even want to try some "dry-runs" (literally) where you simply put the dog in an empty tub, reward and praise her when she's calm and still, then remove her. It keeps it all very positive and can help her realize that it's not all bad.

What kind of surface is your dog standing on? Bare tub or tile? This kind of substrate is super-slippery, and can cause some dogs to panic. We use a rubber bathmat or even an old bath towel on the bottom of the tub to give our dogs some traction, which is calming to them.

Remember, too, that your dog will be feeding of your emotion. If you go into that bathroom all tense and thinking about what a nightmarish ordeal the bath will be, your dog will pick up on that and will mirror that tension and stress. Stay calm, upbeat, happy and light. Keep your actions and your movements calm and smooth.

Of our three dogs, two will tolerate the bath quietly, but one is a "screamer" (which is odd because she's such a water dog)...as long as we don't make her stand on a slippery floor and we're quick, she isn't too bad.
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Last edited by bendyfoot; July 10th, 2009 at 09:17 AM.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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One other thing...

I would exercise her thoroughly before the bath, really run her, give her a chance to burn off some energy and empty her bladder/bowels.
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Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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is it possible to bathe her outside? and I agree with bendyfoot, a good run/playtime before a bath really helps, I have the opposite problem, a full tub and an open bathroom door is an invitation my dog can't refuse....grrrrrrrrrrrrrr even when its MY bath, and even if I'm IN MY bath and hubs thinks its funny to open the door.....I often take my dog to the river to play and bathe her there, its organic shampoo so it will not hurt the water in any way
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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CearaQC CearaQC is offline
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bendyfoot gave most excellent advice!

Are you giving the dog anything in the diet that will help with the dry skin? Our vet recommended some Omega fatty acid vitamins for my Sandy. It helped a lot! The vet price for the pills averaged out to about $1 a day.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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cpietra16 cpietra16 is offline
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This is just out of curiosity;

What type of dog do you have? I use to have a Sable, a collie..and they are so not a water dog that when she needed grooming and a bath it was like I was committing the worse crime of the century...my neighbours could hear him miles away.
I can;t give you any advise because with Sable, nothing worked because these dogs are just not comfortable with water.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melinda View Post
is it possible to bathe her outside? and I agree with bendyfoot, a good run/playtime before a bath really helps, I have the opposite problem, a full tub and an open bathroom door is an invitation my dog can't refuse....grrrrrrrrrrrrrr even when its MY bath, and even if I'm IN MY bath and hubs thinks its funny to open the door.....I often take my dog to the river to play and bathe her there, its organic shampoo so it will not hurt the water in any way

tBathing outside is a great alternative on a hot, sunny day...that's what we do in the summer for sure...keep the dog on a leash in case it panics and decides to bolt, but we do find that Jaida's less agitated when she's bathed outdoors.
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Owned by:
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
__________
Boo, our Matriarch (August 1 1992 - March 29 2011)
Riley and Molly
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  #9  
Old July 10th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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Winston and CearaQC raised an excellent point about the dietary issue...WHY is the dog's skin so dry? May I ask what type of food your dog eats?
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Owned by:
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
__________
Boo, our Matriarch (August 1 1992 - March 29 2011)
Riley and Molly
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  #10  
Old July 10th, 2009, 12:02 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Excellent pointers given here. I never thought of the towl in the bottom of the tub.

I have a very very small dog and the only way I can bath her is if I am in the tub as well. For larger fosters that hate baths, I take them in the shower with me.....ok a not so good picture here.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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I'm always in the bath with my dogs at bathtime, I use the ol' scissor-grip with the knees around their hips!!!

A bathing suit, or um, little else is pretty much mandatory unless I want a lot of soggy clothing
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Owned by:
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
__________
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Riley and Molly
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:14 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendyfoot View Post
I'm always in the bath with my dogs at bathtime, I use the ol' scissor-grip with the knees around their hips!!!

A bathing suit, or um, little else is pretty much mandatory unless I want a lot of soggy clothing
Ok so I am not the only one! I am normal, I am normal, I am normal... Aren't I??
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:33 PM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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Um...I'm not normal, sooooooo
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Owned by:
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
__________
Boo, our Matriarch (August 1 1992 - March 29 2011)
Riley and Molly
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  #14  
Old July 10th, 2009, 08:12 PM
im_nomad im_nomad is offline
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ok, will try and answer a few Q's. She is a 12.5+ yr old mixed breed, combo of (I think) lhasa apso, poodle, and maybe a little terrier mixed in. She's about 13lbs right now, having gone down a few in recent years. Has a thyroid condition which affected her skin until treated a few years back, and potential for crystals in her urine if not on low protein diet (no problems in this regard in recent years).

she tends to be dry any way, but she got a lot of bad bug bites several weeks back, which got a little infected, as she wouldn't leave them alone. It was her belly first, and then some on her back. Hence the meds, and the medicated bath combo. There's been no changes to her diet.

last time i bathed her, i did not leave the plug in, and used a litle pail to douse her back end anyway. I always go into the bathing with a positive outlook, because I seem to think that THIS time, she'll come around, and that LAST time was just a thing. It's by the end of the bath that it turns into the nightmare.

She's a bit of a nervous pooch anyway, hates the car, etc. I have no means to bathe her outside. And I know this will sound like an excuse, but it's too hot to walk her during normal hours right now, she's older and black, and soaks up the sun and just gets too pooped. She's never really liked baths, but tolerated them. Only in recent years has she launched into the whole "evacuate!! evacuate!!!" mode.

perhaps she's just getting old and crotchety.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:55 PM
Etown_Chick Etown_Chick is offline
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nomad,
we're all entitled to get a little crotchety, esp if our skin is bugging us!Lol
I know you said she's bad in your car, but are there any of those doggy car washes in your area? (OK I just call them that, I know they dont do cars..lol).
We have ones with walk up ramps, the tub is at a good height for the human. Some have the groomer table with noose so you can dry them off without them running around like loonies after the bath.
It might make bath time easier for both of you if you can go to one of those. It's just easier for you to control the dog, and the hand nozzles are very convenient.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:29 PM
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Shaykeija Shaykeija is offline
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i fill my tub with water and plunk them in. I have small dogs also. I hold them under the belly and they swim like mad. You might want to just try this a couple of times and see how she reacts. Poor baby sounds like she is scared of the water. We also do the towel in the bottom. And for the really scaredy ones we use chicken wieners as bribes...
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:46 PM
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With her age, the thyroid condition, being badly bothered by bug bites as well as the "itchies" I would seriously look into an Omega 3 supplement.

Does she have fleas? It sounds like she might have had an allergic reaction to the bug bites & dogs can also be allergic to flea bites.

Several years ago I had a Dal x Lab with Flea Allergy Dermatitis and Seborreah the only thing that calmed the "itchies" was the Omega 3. He was only bathed maybe 2-3 times per year but only in summer outside.

good luck
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  #18  
Old July 19th, 2009, 07:53 PM
im_nomad im_nomad is offline
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no fleas, she's on advantix (sp?). I have recently started her on an Omega oil for dogs.

skin condition appears to have cleared up (knock wood), and she took the last of her meds a few days ago.

She's quite the drama queen in general anyway, but does seem to be getting worse as the years go on. If she was a person, she'd be laying on a settee somewhere with a case of the vapors.
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