Too scared to go outside :-(

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by Jes72, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    I've had some good progress with Willow and bangs over the last few weeks, but today it's windy and she's really unhappy again. She keeps hiding and refuses to come upstairs. Poor girl.
     
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Sounds like definite progress made! Your firework displays must be quite something...here in Canada we have July 1st (Canada Day) with one big firework display in our town, and sometimes New Year's Eve, and the occasional back yard bang here and there in the summer but that's it! I guess we are lucky. Simba doesn't bother too much at the July 1st celebration, it's far enough away that although we can hear it, and he will bark at the first one or two, he quickly settles down.
     
  3. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Phew, both hubby and hound are fast asleep! Hoping for a peaceful night.
     
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  4. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Good news! Sleep well. :)
     
  5. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    An update...
    Homer has now come off the drug Pexion and is on 20mg Selgian. He's been in Selgian for a month now.

    There's been some signs of improvement but I'm not yet 100% sure yet. He hasn't ripped up any carpets lately which is a good sign.

    He has had a few moments when he's wanted to scratch at the carpet next to my bed but is more easily distracted and if I move his bed to that spot he will settle down there.

    He still will start to pase around the living room if there is a noce outside, especially delivery vans. I have managed to distract him with a Kong filled with treats and got him to lie down with it in the kitchen, as long as I stay there with him. This appears to break the anxiety and he will be more settled afterwards, apart from needing to bark at the birds and the planes.

    He made great progress yesterday and walked along the main road to the vet. I met a friend on the common then we went together along the road from there, at first he was a bit reluctant but then he decided he'd follow us. So I clipped his lead on his harness and he came along willingly, not necessarily happily but willing especially when he saw the vet! He loves the vet! All good and lots of treats and a packed of Selgian and lots of money and happily went home past the pizza shop on the corner. I was so proud of him he got even more treats, and got to play ball in the kitchen with my friend, anyone else to play with is a treat.

    So just need to brace ourselves and get through New Year fireworks and festivities tonight. Lots of treats for both the humans and the dog!

    Hope the New Year brings peace to us all!
     
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  6. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Great news, well done both of you.
     
  7. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Sounds good progress. Hope midnight is quiet near you!
     
  8. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Good boy Homer you are doing so well, keep going xx :)
     
  9. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Well New Years Eve didn't go quite so well
    I went out shopping and got a call at 5pm to come home quickly as there had been a few bangs and Homer had started scratching. I gave him 3 Xanax tablets which took the edge off his anxiety but he was still pasing and went to scratch now and then. I was able to distract him from time to time with treats and a Kong and tummy rubs. Hubby and I managed to watch most of a movie on TV. By 10 pm the effect of the Xanax had worn off and scratching started up again, so at 11:30, six hours after his first dose we gave him some more Xanax. I stayed with him rubbing his tummy and ears until 12:30. He spent mist of the night pasing up and down.

    We went on a long walk in the morning and he's been quite sleepy and quiet all day. Slep through from 10 pm to 8:30 on our bed- spoilt puppy.
     
  10. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    But you love him
     
  11. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Agh! No sleep!

    Last night, Friday night there were a few firework bangs at about 9pm. Only two or three, not much at all. Homer oases around a bit then settled down upstairs. All good and no real scratching.

    So all off to bed then at about 11pm some neighbours were coming and going with car doors banging closed, all quite normal for our street. H barked once at the noise and I told him to go back to bed. Then he started scratching, not with any real anxiety as I could send him back to bed only for him to start again at the slightest noise outside. This went on for about 30 minutes.

    Hubby fast asleep, snoring!

    So I woke up hubby and told him to look after HIS dog! Hubby was oblivious and didn't know what I was talking about, told H to go to bed and stay there, H settles down in his bed and doesn't move for the rest of the night!

    Hubbies comment in the morning "I'm quite impressed with how well I sleep"!
     
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  12. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Things have not been quite so good lately. Unfortunately three houses close to us are having building works.

    A few weeks ago the house behind us had scaffolding put up all over it for a loft conversion. The banging and metal on metal thumping was too much for H and he has started digging at the carpet upstairs. The scaffolding went up when we were out and H was alone before his dog sitter came to pick him up. Since then he has been digging at the same spot upstairs every time we leave him at home. The carpet is now completely shredded in two places.

    We put up a stair gate to stop him getting to the carpet as hiss crating appeared to be habit, he went up to scratch even on a quiet morning, I was home but nipped up tho the shop quickly. We are having visitors soon and thought we'd replace the piece of ruined carpet so hoped we could stop the habitual scratching. On day three of the stair gate he managed to push it over to get upstairs to scratch at his spot.

    Then yesterday hubby stayed home with him until his dog sitter came, builders were delivering outside throwing materials off the lorry and H got really anxious again. That afternoon I came home shortly after H had been dropped off by his dog sitter to find even more of the carpet shredded including a large hole.

    A friend from work came home with me and did some Reiki on Homer. I'm not sure how much I buy into things like reiki but it certainly won't do any harm.

    And the carpet shop has a 50% sale so we can get the strip of carpet replaced even if it means it will get scratched up again.

    Homer is still on Selgian and we are due to have another consultation with the behaviour vet soon.
     
  13. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    I'm so sorry to hear this. It must be so distressing to know that Homer is so distressed. I hope the specialist has some more ideas and that you find a solution to give Homer a happy life soon :(
     
  14. MF

    MF Registered Users

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    It must be such a worry for you, I am so sorry.

    Is digging the only thing that Homer does to indicate distress, or are there other signs (I think I remember your saying he wouldn't walk past a building site?).

    I ask cos Snowie also digs and yet he is a confident, happy-go-lucky boy, unfazed by most things. But he has dug a hole in our bedroom sofa, which we had reupholstered at great expense... only to have another hole dug! (It remains as is with a piece of fabric glued over the hole!!) We think Snowie digs when he's hot cos he'll dig at night when we're all sleeping in the same bedroom so he's not alone, we can't see that he would be distressed for any reason. He also digs if he's very tired, say, after a walk and swim, then he digs up his blankie into a ball and flops down to sleep - altho the digging can be quite hectic and he seems to be in a trance. And he also digs in our lounge sofas - well, more like ploughing under the cushions and then digs underneath them - thankfully that damage is easily hidden. We think he does that as attention-seeking behavior when we're ignoring him and he wants an outing, or late at night and he wants to go to bed and we're still downstairs faffing around - and when we tell him to get off the sofa, there's great jollity on his behalf, tail wagging, mischievous expression, saunters off the sofa as if to say "it wasn't me". It's interesting that the digging is similar behavior to Homer's and yet I am sure Snowie's is not anxiety-related. Maybe I'm wrong... If we go out and don't barricade the entrances to the rooms with sofas, we'll come home to evidence of digging and then I do wonder if Snowie is self-pacifying. But he shows no signs of separation anxiety otherwise, or anxiety in general.
     
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  15. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    So sorry about Homer. Hope the behaviour vet will be able to help him. :(
     
  16. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Homer has always 'loved' digging in his water bowl or the tub of water outside. He'll splash away after an exciting walk as soon as we get in as a puppy he'd tip is water bowl over with loud clattering and chase after it. I would say he does thus when over excited, over stimulated. He also likes to make a nest on the spare bed with my mums hand made quilt or will dig his blanket up into a ball in his bed. But that's not anxious at all, just getting settled.

    Then we have the carpet digging which he does with his tail tucked right under, panting and obviously over anxious. This only really started about a year ago and is linked to noises he doesn't like and has now become more frequent especially when we're out.

    £460 to replace the upstairs carpet with cheapest sale price. I haven't done my 'how much does your dog cost' reply yet but, boy oh boy, it does add up.

    I'm sure there's a whole book for Pippa to write about digging behaviours.
     
  17. MF

    MF Registered Users

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    So sorry. It must be so difficult trying to help Homer not be so anxious and worrying that there are things that make him so. If noises trouble him, have you had his ears checked (I'm sure you have!). I once listened to a radio interview of people who had hypersensitive hearing that made life untenable. One woman could hear her eyelashes moving when she blinked. If an ambulance drove past with the siren blaring she might as well have had a knife stab her it was that painful.
     
  18. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    It's nearly a year since I started this thread. Not much progress if anything it feels like we are going backwards.

    homer is getting more and more anxious when left alone at home. We guess this is a reaction to him hearing noises from local house renovations while we've been out. This has now caused increased scratching at the carpet, we've had the carpet upstairs replaced with the cheapest on sale but still £100's of pounds. We tacked down some pieces of off cuts in the areas by the doors that he scratches at the most but these are already fraying at the edges, back to square one there.

    We try as best as possible for one of us to leave for work as late as possible or to work from home but with our jobs it is not always possible to wait till 9:30 for the dog sitter to pick him up.

    One morning recently Hubby was home when a skip delivery dropped the skip, only about a foot but with a loud clatter, he climbed up on top of his cage to scratch there! Now any delivery lorry and the dustbin lorry which strangely wasn't a problem before gets a scratching under the telly reaction.

    Over the last two weeks his been happy to be left in the kitchen. This is where he was left before but started to refuse to be left there about 2 1/2 years ago. But this morning he was hessitant to be left there and started showing mild anxiousness. There is evidence of a lot of scratching, the cover of his cage rumpled from the top, paw prints up on the work surfaces and, the most worrying, the gas stove shifted 4 inches over. I've sniffed and sniffed and there's no smell of gas.

    He is still on 20mg Selgian. Last we heard from the behaviour vet is that it may take a while to start having an effect but that was over a month ago now and he's been on Selgian since Christmas. His dog sitter thinks we should take him off the Selgian. But we are still waiting for a reply from the vet.
     
  19. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Here's a pic of him on top of the crate.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  20. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    And one of him being a happy content normal dog like the one lying next to me now.

    image.jpeg
     

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