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Old 03-31-2014, 08:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
speaking of separation anxiety. today we left the girls at home (spring break) while DH and I ran some errands and had lunch out. When we got back the girls told us Lucy shook the entire time by the door to the garage. She is 12 years old and we have had her about 8 years. She has another little dog, Toby, to keep her company and it makes me sad to think she is miserable the entire time they are left alone. And she even had two loving little girls to keep her company.

Now I have to admit we do have some suitcases out for a trip DH and the girls will be taking soon. Maybe she is anxious about that. But dogs don't always outgrow separation anxiety. She is a Bichon and they are notorious velcro dogs so I'm thinking the suitcases are making her very nervous.
My best friend has a coonhound that has SEVERE separation anxiety. It has been three years of constant work to get her to the point where she is ok with my friend leaving the house without a total meltdown ensuing. My friend is a vet with a keen interest in behavioral science, so she has a certain amount of understanding of how to deal with the situation, but she had to be incredibly diligent with this dog, in addition to excruciatingly tolerant of setbacks and miniature disasters.

Personally, I wouldn't have had the patience. And I'm more than a little in awe of my friend.

It is just so hard to fix the problem!
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:22 PM
 
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Thank you for all the responses and suggestions.
Bentley has his travel crate (sturdy) but he had been fine in a mesh crate in his former home, where he was very bonded to the woman. He went into the crate just fine, got his treat, and remember, I work third shift, so it's night time and the other dogs are all going to sleep.
I have changed his food back to the lower-quality stuff he was used to, and he seems to like it much better. I am looking into gluten-free food to start tapering him to. He never had the pooping at his former house and anyway, he shouldn't be having mush poops, in the house or out.
I am starting a 7-night stretch and will see how it goes. He stopped destroying anything or clearing the tables, and the other night when I worked, simply left a mushy poop pile in the corner (no pee).
Unfortunately, I'm boarding him and the gang for 13 days in May for a vacation. I wouldn't have taken a new dog before a vacation but it was an emergency situation, so I think he'll have a tough time no matter what.
He is a very loving and lovable dog. I'm glad to have him.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:37 AM
 
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For the person who suggested his travel crate- is it too small for overnight? The vet said it might be a good idea to have a larger crate (mesh) because of his seizure history.
I came home today to two huge poop piles and a large puddle. I'm told he never messed in his crate in his former house, and he was in it if no one was home and did fine.
Bentley, what are we gonna do?
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:55 PM
 
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Like the OP, I also have a new (rescue) dog. I got him March 15, so it's been 3 weeks. He's a very good dog: well-behaved, docile, sweet. But he has separation anxiety.

I don't know his origin story. He was picked up by animal control in GA and placed in a shelter. The rescue organization pulled him out in early January, and had him until I adopted him mid-March. He is not AFRAID of the crate, but he refused to stay in one. I have a plastic vari-kennel. He knows how to bite down on the wiring in the door/gate just the right way to cause the locking mechanism to turn in the opposite direction and open. (Last Sunday night, I left him in the kennel before going to the movies. When I got home 4 hours later, he greeted me from the foyer.) He has indentations on the back-side of his canines (top and bottom), which the vet said are from chewing on his crate.

This past week was his first week alone during the day while I'm at work. (I have a petsitter coming in mid-day; she gets there around 11:30. The first two weeks that I had Ryder, my mom was in town visiting and so Ryder had 24/7 company.) I came home just about every day to SOME kind of issue: poop, puddles of stress-drool, piles of paint scrapings from where he has clawed the paint off the inside of the door. He counter-surfed one day and pulled some muffins off the counter and ate what he could, then tried to bury the rest in the house -- which he couldn't do, but the trying of it caused rug burns on his nose and I had blood on the baseboards and carpets in a couple places.

I've tried some of the desensitization techniques...leaving for a few minutes, then coming back in. My vet has also given me a script for Xanax.

Here's the big complication in all of this: He's heartworm positive and he's supposed to start his Immiticide treatment on 4/15. Post injection, he's supposed to stay CALM. No excitement, no activity. And instead, he works himself into a frenzy of panic. My mom is coming back into town to help, but she's only going to be able to be with him for the first 8 or so days after the injection.

Today I went to the movies again. Left him alone for 4 hours. When I got back, it seemed to me that the house was UNLOCKED. There was definitely some mayhem in the house -- things knocked off the counter, even the bar-height counter. But the biggest mystery is that he had something orange all over his snout. I smelled it and it smelled like chili powder or taco seasoning. But there was no evidence of taco seasoning or chili powder anywhere in the house. I have some, but it's in the cupboard up high or in the pantry. There's no way he got into it. So my concern -- as crazy as it sounds -- is that someone came into my apartment and rubbed it all over his face. I know that sounds insane. There was no evidence that anyone was in the apartment. Nothing was stolen. But there is just no explanation for the orange face.

I'm frustrated for myself and worried sick for him.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:22 PM
 
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Today I tried the Xanax. Absolutely HORRIFIC experience!! In reading about Xanax in dogs online, the verbiage all says that in some dogs, Xanax has the opposite intended effect and causes excitability and exacerbates aggressive behaviors. Ding-ding-ding! That's Ryder.

I woke up at 5:30 with him. We went out to walk. Came in and I fixed him breakfast and gave him 1 mg (doctor's dosage; Ryder weighs about 53 pounds) around 5:50 a.m. He became incredibly discombobulated mentally and physically -- I compared it to how Bandit would be during the post-ictal phase, right after he came out of the seizure -- and then Ryder became anxious, energized, restless, pacing, whiny. He started doing zoomies around the house -- which he is NOT supposed to be doing because of his heartworms -- and started countersurfing. He got aggressive with me at one point and started growling like he meant business and even put his teeth around my lower leg when I went to stand up. (No pressure behind his teeth, but I'll be honest -- it scared me a little.)

He wanted to go out...and stay out. And of course it was POURING rain and in the low 40s. Miserable day!! Every time we came in, he just wanted to go out again. But he would't pee or poop. He just wanted to move. I kept coming in and drying him off and then stripping off my clothes and throwing them with the pet towels into the dryer to get dry for the next go. Miserable morning.

He FINALLY conked out around 11:30 but stayed down only for a couple hours. Then he woke up around 1:30 and once again was restless, whining, pacing, wanting to go out. That settled down again around 4:00, and shortly after that he crashed for good.

I crashed, too! I worked from home today and logged off at 6:00 p.m., and I was in bed next to Ryder and sound asleep by 6:30. He just woke up for a potty/poop break, and he's already gone back to bed.

So... Xanax was NOT a solution for us. It was the anti-solution.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:51 PM
 
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I tried Bentley in his travel crate. The first night he peed in it, the second night peed and broke out of it and managed not to hurt himself, but I decided to end the crate experiment. I worked seven nights in a row this week. He did try to push past me to get to the car, but would come back in. In the mornings, there were no pee accidents (yay) and a reasonable poop pile in the corner. Not mush, but solid, since I changed him to grain-free kibble. I think he could regress when I board him for 13 days end of April when I go on vacation, but will pick up where we left off when I return. It would be great to have to poop pile (and I tried changing the time of his second meal) but it's not too bad. He is very attentive to me (glued to me?) and that's OK. I think he'll be fine. Also, I decided I've given up on the hardwood floor- too much dog accident to worry about it since the house was built in 2001. Someday I'll replace it, that's all. Bentley is a lovely dog and his coming here made a lot of people around him and in his rescue very happy, which is a major reason I enjoy adopting.
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