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Now Bowie Is "off" Need Some Insight, Please


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Has anyone had an experience like this..one dog had been very ill and is recovering at home. The other dog, normally bomb-proof happy go lucky just sort of shuts down? Last night Bowie was panting like mad, ears pinned down, but acting like she was hearing something, and dug a hole out in the yard to lay in in the evening. I was afraid she might have had a stomach ache or was starting to bloat, so I have her Gas-x, which caused a couple of burps. I turned off the heater (scared of the heater? ) got her on the couch with me, gave her lots of love and attention and she finally calmed down and went to sleep.

 

This all coincides with 1) Doodles coming home (and me being very stressed to make sure she is ok), 2) I turned the wall heater on fire the first time since Bowie had lived here (it was do damp here from the rain, made it really cold), 3) for some mysterious and maddening reason there were military helicopters flying somewhere directly over my house for an hour last night - low and loud, 4) she can't run around in the yard like usual as I've had to block it so Doodles doesn't go up and down the stairs.

 

She's just off and really not herself. I have to take care of some business today, so my neighbor is going stay with Doodles for a couple of hours and I'm going to take Bowie with me to get her out of here. I'm going to try and tuck a walk in for her, too. Maybe that will "reset" her.

 

Any experience or pearls of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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In these situations resort to using their body language of 'Calming Signals'. If you see licking and yawning from one or the other then just send that signal back. 'Lick, YAWN, and look away then continue what you're doing'.

They fear that the pack situation has become insecure and are worried so you must pay extra attention to keeping up routines as far as possible.

 

After our Great Dane died, my Borzoi wouldn't eat properly for almost a week and got extra-clingy.

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Just took her with me to run errands and go for a walk, she was perfectly fine, her happy self. Got home, no problems until...I turned the evil wall heater on. Ears pinned back, trembling, ate her food, but wouldn't come back to the kitchen to get her cookies. Found her outside working on her hole and looking longingly at the gate and the 6 foot fence. I don't like that at all, even though it has a dead bolt. She has no problems with the a/c which is next to the heater, no problems with the washer or dryer, no problems with the vacuum, but is very afraid of the wall heater.

 

Suggestions, please!

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Don't use the wall heater?

 

Seriously, after hearing several stories about dogs saving their families from fires, I might even get it checked out by an electrician. Or it could just be that she needs to get used to it. Especially if it makes weird clicking/humming/electrical sounds while it's running. See if you can make it OK by using some yummy treats and counter-conditioning.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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It's old makes a lot of noise when it's running and sometimes bangs loudly when the metal expands/contracts. I'm inclined to not use it until after the holidays, too much going on, recovering dog and all.

 

Someone suggested to check for carbon monoxide. Who do you call for that (yeah, yeah, my landlord, but who/what company checks it)?

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Carbon monoxide: You can get a detector at the hardware. Odorless. Could be the sounds but could be she is smelling something -- frying wires? or even just the innocent scents that heaters make when they warm up. Do you have a freestanding heater you could use to warm up the room when you're there, until you can figure it out?

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Yeah, I need to buy a space heater, I've wanted to get one for a while. I guess I have a reason now. It's an old gas wall heater, pretty stinky right now as it's the first I've fired it up since last winter and it's really noisy. She's the first dog who has ever had a problem with it, weird.

 

Fortunately, it's not like it gets terribly cold here, I guess that's a good thing! The coldest it ever really gets outside at my house is probably 42°. Brrrrr!

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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You might also try a natural calming supplement to see if it will take the edge off. I like the Composure chews. Amazon Prime sells them.

 

Then turn the heater on only for a few seconds, feed continuously while its on, turn it off and as soon as its quiet stop feeding. Initially you need to do this as far away as toy can get her from it so she just barely notices it, but isn't afraid. That might even mean being outside. Tedious, but once she starts to get the idea it may go quickly. I'd get the Composure in her for at least a couple of days first though, and otherwise not use the heater.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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  • 3 weeks later...

You might also try a natural calming supplement to see if it will take the edge off. I like the Composure chews. Amazon Prime sells them.

 

Then turn the heater on only for a few seconds, feed continuously while its on, turn it off and as soon as its quiet stop feeding. Initially you need to do this as far away as toy can get her from it so she just barely notices it, but isn't afraid. That might even mean being outside. Tedious, but once she starts to get the idea it may go quickly. I'd get the Composure in her for at least a couple of days first though, and otherwise not use the heater.

 

Thanks for this. I was at the vet's with Doodles for her acupuncture and cold laser treatment. Told the vet what was going on. She only had the Composure liquid, so I got it from her and started Bowie on it today.

 

We didn't sleep much last night. It was her first night at home since I got back from the holiday break and she freaked every time it turned on. I finally put Doodles pajamas on her, threw another blanket on my bed, turned the heater completely off and gave Bowie 20mg of Benadryl for everyone's sake. She's still shut down today, though she has no trouble eating her food or treats.

 

I broke down and went to BB&B with two gift cards and bought a big Vornado heater. It's even more quiet than the Vornado fans I own. I have it turned on so she can get used to the sound, put Composure in her food and am hoping we can get this situation turned around. She's normally a happy bubbly girl, I HATE to see her like this. The problem with the wall heater is that it's very old and it clicks when it turns on, then several minutes pass while it heats up the element, then it BANGS as the metal expands/contracts and when it turns on it sounds like a buzz saw. It doesn't turn off and on easily in terms of sound, so it's going to be a real challenge for her to desensitize to it.

 

On a cute note, Doodles is very very full of her convalescing self and is walking around like the big girl on campus because she's not afraid of no stoopid heeter! She does seem to be walking past Bowie a lot more than usual, looks like she's trying to rub her non-sceerdy-cat-self in Bowie's face. LOL, silly dogs.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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I would try to find other sounds that mimic those of the heater, but at a lower volume and start desensitizing her to those first. So for the clicking, you might start with the clicking of a ballpoint pen or for the banging you might get a thin piece of metal and bang very quietly on it with your hand or first, then gradually over time she gets comfortable with it, you start making it louder and louder. And then again, when you start with the actual heater, she needs to be as far away as you can get her, even if that means being outside with the door open.

 

Another option would be to record the sounds when it's on, at a time when she isn't home and then replay them at a very low volume and gradually increase the volume over time. That might actually be your best option if you have something that can get a decent recording of it. And again, anytime you're doing this, you're feeding the entire time the noise is happening and then stopping when the noise stops. If she won't eat, it's too much/too loud.

 

I don't envy you - it's a tough spot to be in. Hopefully the Vornado heater keeps you warm until you can resolve this.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I would try to find other sounds that mimic those of the heater, but at a lower volume and start desensitizing her to those first. So for the clicking, you might start with the clicking of a ballpoint pen or for the banging you might get a thin piece of metal and bang very quietly on it with your hand or first, then gradually over time she gets comfortable with it, you start making it louder and louder. And then again, when you start with the actual heater, she needs to be as far away as you can get her, even if that means being outside with the door open.

 

Another option would be to record the sounds when it's on, at a time when she isn't home and then replay them at a very low volume and gradually increase the volume over time. That might actually be your best option if you have something that can get a decent recording of it. And again, anytime you're doing this, you're feeding the entire time the noise is happening and then stopping when the noise stops. If she won't eat, it's too much/too loud.

 

I don't envy you - it's a tough spot to be in. Hopefully the Vornado heater keeps you warm until you can resolve this.

 

Great suggestions, thank you. I'll try recording it on my phone. I'm grateful that I live in LA where the coldest it usually gets is in the 40s, though I'm sure there isn't a lick of insulation in this 1923 house.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Great suggestions, thank you. I'll try recording it on my phone. I'm grateful that I live in LA where the coldest it usually gets is in the 40s, though I'm sure there isn't a lick of insulation in this 1923 house.

At least you have a positive outlook! ;)

 

Good luck, let us know how she progresses.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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