My dog has PTSD

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by kellygirl, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    This is the second dog I have rescued from abuse and I don't know what to do with her sometimes. She is boxer/lab.

    The previous owners use to crate her in a basement 8 - 12 hours a day, withhold water so she wouldn't pee and yell at her if she messed in the house.

    They used pee pads, she was not outside at all.

    I noticed the anxiety when I use the fan above the stove. She trembles for hours, paces and goes outside and won't come back in, we have to carry her in.

    Today, I don't know what set her off, I had boxes in the living room packing the Christmas things away and also cooking without the fan on.

    She paced for hours, went outside and wouldn't come back in, my husband carried her in. We play and try to get her mind off of whatever is upsetting her. I know not to coddle her, I read it's like telling her there is something to be upset about, I try to get her mind off of it.

    Any suggestions to help her? Her name is Lola. Thanks.
  2. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    But animals DO NOT get PTSD.....This is just not possible..... PEOPLE get PTSD, but not animals....I have PTSD, and find your post rather disturbing, stating that your dog has PTSD...

    Your dog most likely has anxiety, and has been abused through neglect, and through screaming at her.... It will take time, patience, and love before she comes around... She may also never fully recover, it just depends on the dog, and how severe the abuse was.....

    When you have the fan on, if she gets upset, make sure that you reassure her, pet her, and try to calm her that way. I suggest that you don't shut it off, to console her. She needs to get used to these things, and if you run it, and comfort her, reassure her, it will be easier for her to adjust to it over time...

  3. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    One of my daughters' and her boyfriend adopted a dog with similar issues as your Lola. The vet my daughter talked to suggested Prozac! I was schocked by this,considering the cost involved. She is trying behavior modification techniques,as suggested by stick2013. I believe there is a program on t.v. called the Dog Whisperer". That could be very helpful. Good luck~~Jeanne
  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Many years ago a neighbor had to put her dog on Prozac. He could not stop twirling and I mean rarely stopping even when he was eating and his health was deteriorating. Poor dog. The Prozac did help him and it kind of makes sense as his behavior was compulsive and at that time Prozac is what they use for people with OCD. They had also tried Behavior Modification through the Vet Med. Program at the university, but it did not work. Most likely was a neurological problem.

    I have a friend who fosters animals who have been abused and traumatized. For one of the cats it took over a year before she would approach her. She had to go at her own pace.

    I don't know if it is PTSD but unfortunately, there are quite a few animals out there who have been abused.

    I am a firm believer of having pets spade or neutered.


    ETA If you got the dog from the animal rescue center they can be very helpful as far as how to care for the dog.[This Message was Edited on 01/08/2010]
  5. sorekitty

    sorekitty New Member

    We have had our rescue dog for 8 years now. He was abused and we had to use clomacalm (sp?) which is like doggy prozac. It isn't a meant to be a long term med but something to help them be calm and open to the behavioral interventions you do.

    Our trainer had us re-name our dog; never call the dog by the name the previous owner used. Also do not use names that make the sound NO! e.g. Cody, Lola. Because most likely the previous owner used that word very harshly with the dog. Also we retrained his commands using different words. Instead of sit we say rest. You do not want to be associated with the abusive owners in any way!

    Skeeter had a real aversion to men so we had to do a whole thing to help him with my husband. Now he absolutely trusts and loves my husband. If you need details on that let me know.

    If you got the dog recently you are still learning what affects him and the dog is learning that this is his real forever home. Our dog had been abandoned and sent to many shelters before the no-kill shelter got him so it took a while before he knew this really was his territory.

    If you can get a behaviorist to evaluate the dog it may help you. We used a local guy on the radio, "Dr Dog" (Dennis Fetco). He may have a website if you put that in google. Maybe it will have tips on there.

    Good luck as you get to know your new doggy. Thank you for opening your home and heart to an abused dog.

  6. ilovepink4

    ilovepink4 Member

    I am sorry that I don't have any great suggestions. I just wanted to give my support to Lola. Poor girl. Our yellowlab/golden retreiver was never abused but his previous owner was big into hunting and paid lots of money to have the dog trained. Turns out the dog is gun shy. He is terrified of loud sounds like gun shots, thunder, and fireworks.

    He is 90 lbs of quivering, slobbering baby....trembling and panting....poor guy! and I don't think this can be trained out of him. He gets 1/2 a tablet of some type of xanax medicine if we can tell a storm is coming or it is the 4th of July....We he gets like this, and nothing will calm him, I just put him in his crate (where he sleeps each night) and cover most of the crate with a blanket....we keep a blanket over the top and sides anyways but i will pull it up so that more of it is covered and he feels safe. At least, it is the only think I can husband will order him to lay down and then keep his hand on his back and he calms a little that way...he is my hubby's dog....just being around my hubby helps when there is a storm and I am home with the dog, i just put him downstairs in his kennel....

    i hope that lola will get her PTSD smoothed out....poor thing....
  7. victoria

    victoria New Member

    No real advice except to advise gentle handling, and maybe RX if necessary. I have seen Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer) actually desensitize dogs to things like thunder - he had a special trailer with all the special effects, but he works with them of course prior to that. As hard as I've tried (and I am very calm/patient), I haven't been able to equal Cesar (my hero).

    We have 4 rescues, 3 of them are neurotic like those described above... they all have their 'things' that they are scared about.

    The worst is now 9, and still has a lot of little fears tho better in most ways; he'd been on his own basically the first 3-4 months of his life. He's extremely scared of loud noises like thunder, and while generally it was controllable and not totally crazy, last year at Christmas when our landlady was taking care of him (and our others, while we were moving our stuff to MX), he became very extreme because of the cherry bombs going off erratically for several weeks, & did about $500 worth of damage! He (and I think got one of the others going who is bigger/stronger) actually clawed thru a wood floor and plywood subflooring!

    After that/since, even heavy rain upsets him. I have him in my room at night for that reason. He will start to whimper, I have to turn on the light for him so he 'knows' I'm paying attention, and then tell him to lie down 5X and he finally does... sort of. TG for audio books to pass the time, he thinks if I close my eyes I'm not paying attention.

    So even tho gentle handling worked well enough with most problems, I think all the noise was just too much. Instead of desensitizing, he just got worse.

    One of our others will suddenly become neurotic over almost anything. For some reason he didn't like the ticking of the toaster-oven one day (no idea why, no reason for it) - then on a TV show I regularly watched, they would "ding" when they would "tick off" a list with the exact same sound. He would actually leave the room!

    And I've found it's true that one neurotic dog can transmit their neuroses to the others, no matter how calm WE are or how calm the other(s) are/were, sigh.

    anyway, good luck, I admire you for taking on rescue dogs. We love them so much.

    all the best,

  8. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    for all the replies. Our previous dog had abuse issues and with a lot of love, she became so lovable. She would bite if she met a stranger that put their hand out to pet her instead of letting her get to know them first, and she wasn't good with children. But, I miss her so much, we had her 15 years and she was an adult when we rescued her. A border collie.

    This one is a challenge. I will continue trying everything with her.

    I believe if we could have had her earlier instead of her having to endure months of neglect and abuse, it would be totally different.

    If she was a small pup, I could handle it better, but she hurts when she charges at me and bites too hard with her razor-sharp teeth.

  9. springwater

    springwater Active Member

    Im saddened hearing of some of the stories here.

    Poor poor little things. And them unable to say whats bothering them. I dont have suggestions but the ones given are great ones, I would say a lot of love and nurturing would go a long way
    in calming her fears. Observing what sets her off and avoiding those. A lot of talking to and soothing words.

    And thanks for fostering her, people like you and the others who have fostered rescue dogs keep this world sane.

    god bless
  10. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    I will try some of these natural calm-aids. It's hard today, I have the grand-baby, who is 7 months old, Lola and the grand-dog who is old and attacks Lola. I told my one sister not even to attempt to come over, she is not use to this chaos, she has a neat house with a neat cat. LOL