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Stichy 10-23-2013 10:25 PM

Help! Dogs aren't acting normal!
My dog Diesel isn't acting normal! Poob isn't either, and I'm starting to worry! These animals are honestly my babies, and it sucks seeing them go through this. So, basically my parents are getting a divorce, lots of drama obviously. Well, dad unfortunately got temporary custody (not going into why I don't want to stay with him, totally off topic) and mom had to leave. She's staying at grandmas, and grandma is our neighbor. Poob has been a wreck lately, poor thing has been a little shaking mess, and Diesel is worse than I thought. At first, I thought just Poob was affected, but now it's becoming obvious that Diesel is. Poob will run down to grandmas any chance she gets and try and bring mom home(and me when I'm down there), which is fine because she's used to it. Sad, but fine. Well, now Diesel won't eat when I'm gone. Sometimes a little, but not a lot. And now dad put me back in public school too, so I don't see him as much. And he will also shoot down to grandmas any chance he gets to bring us home...Which is not so good. For some reason, now he's started killing cats (they're strays, but I still don't like him doing that), or running under the house and barking non-stop! (The under the house door is closed now so he can't go under anymore) He's never acted like this before! He's never attempted to hurt cats, never ran under the house and refused to come out, none of that! And he still doesn't hurt our cats, just the strays. His back legs have been getting worse, and I'm really worried about that too. He basically clings to my legs and whines every time I leave, and I feel horrible! I would do anything for my babies, but I'm not going to limit the time I have with mom. I try to spend as much time with them as possible.
Help! I want my babies to be ok again!

wausuaw 10-23-2013 10:51 PM

I don't know your situation exactly, but from the sound of it your dogs are exhibiting signs of stress (which is obvious, I know) and sounds like is stremming from the recent changes that are taking place.

How old are these dogs? Older dogs have a harder time adjusting.

Dogs can exhibit erradic or neurotic behavior during times of high stress- basically, it sounds like their pack is suddenly in complete upheaval and they don't know what to do. Some dogs will panic, others will try to be leader. Or combination of both.

Given the situation, I cannot give you a clear idea as to what would be best. It sounds like Diesel and Poob are more connected to you or your mom, so they would be better adjusted with you.

(My dog, for instance, is fine day to day, but if I take him in a new environment, he won't eat, becomes "clingy", and can sometimes turn aggressive towards other people and animals if I'm sleeping or if he's left in the different environment without me. My bosses' dog is VERY neurotic and clingy to her owner- if I go to pet watch when they are out of town the dog refuses to eat, go to the bathroom, or move. If I physically try to touch her, she becomes aggressive- snaps, growls, and fairly acts like Im trying to kill her.)

Aside from that, it is more than likely (just like with horses) if your dad becomes a clear leader, handles the situation- they will come out of it and be ok. Just takes time. Everyone (sounds like) is going through a hard time and dogs feel that tension. Best thing... act normal. Don't overly pamper, but don't neglect.

Stichy 10-23-2013 11:28 PM

Diesel is 2, Poob is 8.
Poob is really connected with mom, Diesel does NOT like my dad, at all. He acts nice because he knows he isn't aloud to be "mean" but he acts a lot different around him, more "rude" I suppose.
Does anyone know of anything that will help with his hips? He's an American Bully, and those are prone to dysplasia (though we aren't sure if he has it or not), but he was also ran over before we got him, so I'm not entirely sure which it is thats bothering him. I was thinking of bengay or something like that, but we are giving him treatment for mange, and I don't want to "overload" his skin.

Stichy 10-23-2013 11:29 PM

Woops, Poob isn't 8, she's 6

GreySorrel 10-31-2013 08:14 PM

Ask your vet if there is something to help calm them down that they can take. I would be really concerned if the dogs were loose like they are when they are going from one house to the other, can they stay with your mom and gram while your at school? That may help, to be around people they are more comfortable with.

Saddlebag 11-01-2013 08:05 AM

Are you positive the dog has mange? Read the dog food label and see if it contains soy meal. That has been known to cause mange like symptoms in dogs.

churumbeque 11-01-2013 04:14 PM

Do you not have a leash law? Do you have a way to contain them so they do not kill other animals?Is there a reason the dogs can't go with you when you go to visit your mom?

jannette 11-01-2013 04:32 PM

I would take them with you when u can to your moms for sure and someone already mentioned maybe the should stay with your mom when u are at school..

I have 2 dogs that go every were, but work, with me. if I go out of town I have to take them or the are a mess..they hide, wont eat, ect. So maybe they are missing your mom too :-(..

good luck to you

TessaMay 11-01-2013 06:49 PM

Your dogs are definitely showing signs of stress, but the whole cat killing thing is really not ok. It will escalate and probably become a habit that will not go away even after the stress has lowered. It's easy for a dog to go from killing one animal to killing something bigger to attacking humans. Get it fixed now.

It sounds like they are allowed to be loose on your property, until you get things under control, I would not allow them off leash outside. You will not fix this by babying them and showing that you're worried will make it way worse. Be stern with them and expect them to behave immediately and without question. It sounds harsh, but dogs take comfort in feeling like someone else is in control. Trying to baby or calm them shows that you are not in control in their minds.

alexischristina 11-02-2013 06:17 PM

First and foremost you need to ensure your dogs have a safe place to be where they cannot get off your property. Cat killing is 100% not okay, you can't be 100% sure the cats they're killing are strays and not someone elses cat who has gone wandering (or that your dogs found while they were off of your property). Aside from that, talk to a vet, and talk to your parents and see if the dogs can stay with your mom, considering the stressful situation it sounds like a separation anxiety.

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