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Big Change In Behavior


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Hi everyone! About a week ago, we took Rudy to the groomers to have his nails trimmed. He was whining while the groomer was trimming his nails, but I didn't think much of it. However since then, he has been a COMPLETELY different dog. Instead of being in the living room with us, he insists on staying in his bed in our bedroom. He refuses to go outside and tries to drag us back inside when we get him out (he used to love going for walks). He also used to greet us at the door very excited, and now doesn't even lift his head and stays in bed all day. He's barely eating his food and actually growled at me when I tried to sit next to him! All around he just seems very depressed, and I'm not sure what to do. I can't tell if it's the whole groomer experience that set him off, but he's had his nails trimmed before with no problems. It's almost as if he's mad at us.

 

I'm not sure how to approach this problem and I'm very concerned about him. It's making me really sad... I miss my old dog :( We've tried showering him with praise and affection, ignoring him, etc. and none of it seems to have an effect. Any advice would be appreciated!

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Did the groomer trim the nails while he was on the floor or was he placed up on a table? If he was on a table perhaps he hurt his back when being lifted down.

 

If this happened a week ago I don't know if I'd associate it was a behavior issue.

 

How old is Rudy? Maybe it's time for the vet to check him over. :dunno

 

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I agree with the above! It sounds like pain. I've seen that behavior change in Echo before on one of her painful days.

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Guest 4dogscrazy

I agree, remember that dogs live in the present. He is not mad at you for something that happened a week ago. If it were the nail trimming, he might remember the event with a trigger, like seeing the groomer or going back to the business, etc, and then react. He's not still thinking about it. I think he is probably in a lot of pain. I also agree it might have been something that happened that day. Did you have trouble getting him into the car? Did he jump down from the car at a good height? Jump down off the table?

Edited by 4dogscrazy
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Thanks for the responses! He did have his nails clipped on a table, but we lifted him on and off (so he didn't jump). He was sliding all over when she was clipping his nails, so maybe that's when he injured himself? She also nicked the vein and there was a little bit of blood (she put some sort of powder on it to stop the bleeding), but it looked so minor that I'm not sure something so small would cause him to be this upset. Maybe I'm wrong, though!

 

We also went jogging last night and he seemed fine - it's initially getting him out the door thats tough, but once he's outside he seems OK. I'm wondering if he's fearful that we're going to put him in the car and bring him back. The only other explanation I can come up with is that we live in Boston and the weather is getting a bit colder. Maybe he doesn't like the cold?

 

To answer your question Macoduck, he's 4 years old. We adopted him this past June. The only behavioral issue we've seen so far is he had some SA issues when we moved into our new condo but adjusted in about a week's time and has been great ever since. Usually when he's nervous (when we take a trip, or other big changes, etc.), his stool becomes very loose. Everything is fine in the poo department, which is the most baffling part!

 

I realized that I mistakenly said it happened a week ago, but it was on this past Saturday (so 4 days). I'm going to give it another day or so and see if he improves and if not, we'll take him to the vet.

 

Thanks for all of the help and please send any other suggestions you may have. It gets overwhelming sometimes for us new greyhound owners, so I really appreciate the input!

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Just from the description, it's certainly possible he hurt himself sliding around a slick table. A muscle pull would be my first thought. Second thought - check over his feet very carefully for cuts and infections. It's not a usual occurence (I've quicked my dogs and stopped the bleeding with stiptic powder many times with no residual problems), but it *could* happen.

 

One way or another, if he's not markedly better by the weekend I would get him to a vet. In the meantime, let him be a bit and don't fuss at him. He's probably picking up on your anxiety and that will make him unsettled too.

 

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Guest 4dogscrazy

The whole experience may have just spooked him, it's happened here before. I have a hound who refused to go outside for a week day or night. No one ever figured out what it was. All the other three dogs were fine. For a week she had to be coaxed outside, sometimes I had to put a leash on her. I just kept at it and she was okay in the end. Oddly it was my SA hound that did that, and not my spook.

 

The nail thing is unfortunate, we've all done it at least once. Lately I've been nipping the ends with my clippers and using a regular metal nail file to file them down. I'm trying to get them used to vibrations on their nails so I can get a dremmel eventually. Since I have four, it's not possible to take them to the groomer :)

 

The powder is to stop the bleeding, not for pain, so I'm sure it hurt him. You can also use flour if it happens at home. I would check the nail good too, it should be healed by now. Off to the vet if it looks infected or funny in any way.

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The pain theory makes sense, but other than the behavior change he doesn't act like he's in physical pain. Once outside, he walks/jogs as if everything's fine (no limping or whining). I also checked his nails (pressed on them to see if I could ellicit a response), and he had no reaction. He's still very withdrawn and spends his time in his bed in our bedroom (which is as far away from the front door as possible). When he is in the living room and sees signs of taking a walk (us grabbing the leash), he runs to back to our bedroom.

 

Frustrated, *sigh*

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Guest LindsaySF

Is he a nervous or anxious dog in general? He might just be really spooked about the groomer experience (especially since she quicked him), so he's nervous with you getting close (afraid you'll trim his nails again). Don't coddle him, just act like everything is normal, do your normal activities, he'll eventually come around. :) I would have the groomer avoid putting him on the table in the future though, that tends to really freak them out.

 

My dog Cody is a bit of a spazz. He hates to have his nails trimmed, to go to the vet, or to be handled really. He's got serious fear issues. We used to give him his hormone medicine as eye drops (he has Diabetes Insipidus), but after a while he wouldn't even let us near him to pet him anymore, he was so traumatized about the drops. rolleyes.gif We switched to pills (way more expensive) and hide them in his food, never looked back. He also has severe thunderphobia, after a storm he won't go outside on his own for over a week. He trails a leash almost 24/7 during the summer time, so I can get him to go out. Once I force him to go outside, and he realizes there is no thunder or rain, I unclip the leash and he goes into the fenced yard like there is no problem at all. Yeah, he's weird.

 

He's better at the groomer for nail trims (he tries to kill me if I do it), but at the groomer he freezes in place and recovers pretty well once we leave the building. But sometimes he'll get nervous if I try to put his leash on him at home after we've been to the groomer, he thinks every time we leave the house we are going to the groomer (or vet) again. I solved this by desensitizing him, making him realizes that leashes (or cars) don't always equal groomer or vet visits. I'll leash him up, drive down the street, feed him some treats, and go for a short walk. He eventually "forgets" about the last groomer or vet visit. Until the next time anyway. He's gotten better over time, the more times we do this. I'm sure the same will be said for your pup. Good luck!

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Guest MyBoys

Maybe the whole nail trimming experience at the groomers is a bit to much for him, I can believe that he was slipping all over the table, their legs are so long and it is probably scarry for him standing up on a slippery table. But like the others said if his behavior continues I would see your vet. Isn't there any way they can do his nails with him standing on the floor, IMO, that might make the experience a lot less stressful for him, my vet actually sits on the floor with my boys to examine them because she knows they are not comfortable on the table, she also sits on the floor to do their nails.

Edited by MyBoys
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all! Just wanted to give an update on Rudy. About a week after his encounter at the groomers, he came around. He started greeting us at the door again, eating his food, etc... yay! He occasionally gets nervous going out, but it's gotten much better.

 

Any tips on what I should do in the future for his nail trimmings? Should I try doing it myself? Try another groomer? I think we're going to bathe him at home next time in the tub. For those who do it at home, are there certain types of trimmers that work better than others? I'm sligtly terrified to do it myself but will if that'll be better for him.

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Guest zombrie

Hi all! Just wanted to give an update on Rudy. About a week after his encounter at the groomers, he came around. He started greeting us at the door again, eating his food, etc... yay! He occasionally gets nervous going out, but it's gotten much better.

 

Any tips on what I should do in the future for his nail trimmings? Should I try doing it myself? Try another groomer? I think we're going to bathe him at home next time in the tub. For those who do it at home, are there certain types of trimmers that work better than others? I'm sligtly terrified to do it myself but will if that'll be better for him.

 

I do it myself, no point in bringing on the stress in going somewhere to get his nails done if you are willing to do it at home. It is quite easy to do once you get up the nerve to do it yourself for the first time! It would be easier too if he has white nails, you can actually see the vein. If not, just take the very tip off the end, just enough so the nails aren't touching the ground.

 

ETA if you have a muzzle, I would put it on just in case he gets nervous about you touching his feet or if you knick the quick. If you are really nervous about doing it yourself, then take him to the groomers or vet to have someone who is comfortable with it do it. If you do take him somewhere to get it done, I definitely would ask them not to put him on the table. That alone might have scared him.

Edited by zombrie
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My Henry does not care for nail trimming so I have gotten him use to me using a dremmel, one thing I found that really helps is to do the trimming when they are good and tired, I usually do his right after he is done running laps in the yard, he is so tired he lays there like a slug and could care less.

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