Syrah and Ranger now have some four week old fosters friends. Ranger is doing very well, he usually avoids foster pups, not even going in the same room as them but this time he is poking his head in and even came and sat next to me while I was supervising feeding time. I really proud of my boy and he seems to have grown in confidence over the last year. The pups are not allowed to interact with my dogs until they have been here at least 10 days and even then it is only a brief hello possibly in the back yard. I judge each case separately depending on how comfortable the pups are.
My dog Ranger is currently in the animal hospital suffering from Tetanus. I looked around online Saturday night to find some information on it and it was very limited as a result I took him into the emergency vet where he has been since then. For those wanting some info here is his story so far. Also for the record I have no idea where he got it from and the vets said that very few people do know where their dog got it.
Friday morning I noticed Ranges eye’s looked a little funny, funny as in his third eyelids were showing. This was his first symptom. I mentioned it to my husband as I was running out the door to just monitor it and I would see him when I got home. Husband did some research online and whenever third eyelids were showing there wasn’t any good news and his mouth, ears and eyebrows had started to become very stiff and taut. So that night we took him to our local vet. This is a big deal for Ranger considering his anxiety but he coped very well. The vet had never seen it before and called for a second opinion, who suggested tetanus but sent us home to monitor him.
The next night I got home and he was still the same with no improvement, so late Saturday night we took him to the emergency vet in Sydney. After three opinions the vets all concluded that it must be tetanus (because it couldn’t be anything else) however gave me the option of taking him home to monitor him… or I could leave him there to be administered an anti tetanus drug, penicillin and eye lubricant as he couldn’t close them. I chose to leave him there and I’m glad I did. His case was very early on in its progression and the vets are usually only confronted with cases when the whole body is stiff. He has been there for two nights (tonight his third) and hasn’t made much improvement. I will update this blog when his story continues however wanted to post in case anyone else wanted the information.
Tetanus is easy to prevent but difficult to treat. If signs are detected early and the disease is not too severe, treatment can be successful using antitoxin and antibiotics. – NT Govt
Ranger came home today and is on a heap of medication included eye lubricant. He is doing well however no exercise for the next two weeks and we go back in 10 days to evaluate with the vets. This is how he looks today which is a little better however his face is still very tight from the tetanus. His eyes look a little better though.
The black dog in this link is not Ranger but his face looked like this on the first night of symptoms: http://conseilsveterinaire.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Tetanus-face-dog.jpg
Useful blog post: http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/tetanus.html
I take Syrah for a few kilometres walk/run every morning but the possibility of seeing other dogs and sending Ranger over threshold is too great to take him. Besides that he hides under the bed whenever I produce the lead.
I have started a bit of a routine now that seems to be working. I grab the lead (for Syrah) grab the ball thrower (for Ranger) and go out the back yard and throw it for Ranger for a while. I then take the side gate exit with Syrah for her walk, return through the side gate, snap the lead on Ranger, grab his ball and walk 100 metres to the village green.
At first I started just taking him into the front yard and letting him sniff around, the strange smells, tree’s and path just near our house. We have now graduated to the trip around the corner which has the added reinforcement of being able to play some ball. I’m constantly watching for other dogs and so far it is progressing really well, havent seen one. He is getting more confident every day. We do about a minute off lead ball play and then walk home. He is starting to get excited about it which is the best reinforcement for me to keep going. It’s a great little spot surrounded by cars and people far enough away to not bother him.
Training has been a little slow the last few days. We have done some handling training but the rain has kept the doggies inside and a bit bored. When the rain stopped the doggies had a great run around outside chasing the birds. Ranger will still prefer to chase a tennis ball than the birds but everyone is now happy 🙂
It has been so cold and rainy outside but no excuses! Tonight we did some training on our couch bed watching a movie. Ranger is getting really comfortable with me handling his paw and I’m feeling confident to move on to the other one. Syrah didn’t want to be left out so we did some training with her too, handling around her lower back and tail which she is a little hesitant about. I was surprised to see that she is more sensitive about that than Ranger is about his paws… Always something to work on.
Today’s training session was inspired by Dr Sophia Yin’s post about Counter Conditioning for Toenail Trim Aggression. We took a little longer than she did and didn’t make it quite as far but I was really happy with our efforts and Ranger was very brave. Our session actually lasted 3 minutes although the video is only 2min 30sec. I’m happy for any feedback and recommendations as I know there are a lot of mistakes in there.
This is training session 3 with the birds, I can’t believe how well he did. I am rewarding before he has a chance to snap at them or get too stressed and I don’t feel like I’m really pushing him but I also don’t want too. Really aiming to set him up for success.
Here is his session:
Note: A few hours later I had to vacuum the house and even over the vacuum I could hear him trying to have a go at them. I realised that its one thing to train him near the birds when he is not in a stressed state but he uses the birds as displacement behaviour for other things that stress him out.
Interested in any suggestions on how to change displacement behaviour like this???