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Is this serious?

 
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Gandyfam
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Joined: 26 Dec 2003
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Location: Olathe, Kansas

PostPosted: 12/26/03, 12:47 am    Post subject: Is this serious? Reply with quote

Hi...this is my first post - and our first GWP. After years of schnauzers and cocker spaniels, we decided to get a GWP. My sons are 19 and 20, avid campers and will be living at home thru next fall. After researching a number of breeds, we decided on the GWP.

First, let me say that yes, we did so many things wrong here I can't even go into all of them - but the biggest was getting a 12 week old pup 5 days before Christmas. We thought that having a month before the next semester of college started and someone being home 24/7 would be advantageous and so decided to purchase now.

Though a little shy (but not timid) "DUKE" seemed to fit in well. He especially took to my oldest son. After his visit to the vet Tuesday, he had a reaction to his shots and we had to take him back Wednesday for a steroid shot and antibiotics to counter the terrific itching he was suffering and the raw spot on his skin at the injection site. By this morning (Xmas) he seemed calm and happy. Because we had to travel about an hour to our family Xmas gathering and our dog-sitter fell thru, we took him with us. He dealt with 2 other dogs and a houseful of people better than we expected. But it was a circus.

So tonite at home...settled in on the sofa next to my oldest son...about 20 minutes in he starts growling and then attacked my son (especially one hand). My son was slightly bitten. We thought he'd responded to a weird sound or voice on the TV and discounted it. 5 minutes later, same thing. So now, my son thoroughly washes his hands, backs off and stays away. Hour later, he lets the dog approach him. Wagging tail, happy smiles. Back up on a different chair, snuggled in, seems asleep. Another "attack". So we all back off - turn off TV, reduce stimuli, and let him sleep. Unlike before (when he would whimper/whine when he was alone in room) he fell asleep with no attempt at needing a human around.

So we've all backed off. My son is very bummed out. This is the dog who was sleeping in his room for the last 4 days and now - out of the blue, Duke is attacking the one he seems to have bonded with from the very beginning.

The question (after this horribly long explanation) did we have a seriously over stressed dog who just got nasty? (but he'd ridden all the way home in the car right next to my son). Or do we have a dog with a serious aggression problem that is just starting to show up? We have an agreement with the breeder that he'll take him back within 30 days and give us a refund. Should we be patient and chalk this up to overwhelming events or bail now before we get even more attached to him and someone gets hurt? We have (extended) family members with young children and the neighborhood has lots of kids. We can't afford to have this happen with children.

Any thoughts? And, again, sorry for the length of the post. Oh, and no, my son didn't move, cough, roll over on, catch a tail or foot ... there was no obvious provocation.

Your input would really be appreciated! Thanks!
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 12/26/03, 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first question is whether you have seen the parents and grand parents for any lenghth of time sufficient to assess their temperament. Remember, although pups do reflect Mom, they often have more of the innate traits from the Grand parents.
My first advise, before jumping to conclusion would be to phone your breeder and request the list of other purchasers of puppies from the same litter. For a matter of privacy, the breeder may prefer to give you e-mail addresses rather than phone numbers. Contact these people and check whether any one else is dealing with the same problem. If there is even one, then you know you are dealing withna temperament flaw, and it is then for you to decide whether you want to keep the pup or not. But please, do realize that this is not something that will go away on its own, and that specialized training will be needed.
If no one has the same problem, this stil does not mean that your pup does not have a temperament flaw, simply, it is less likely.

Now, I am of course assuming that we are talking here about an aggressive growls and a bite, not a grab. You mentioned that puppy has been sleeping in your son's bedroom. Are you sure that it is aggression? Sometimes, especially at this age, puppies will have a problem realising that his playing and caring human companion is not a littermate, and will play the way they would with another pup, which is growling, grabbing hands, biting...
Should this be the case, the solution is easy and simple: As soon as the dog grabs or bite, you can either spray his nose with a solution of 1 tbsp of vinaigre in the full spraybottle of water and say: "NO", or you may slap the end of his nose sharply and say:"NO". In either case, as soon as you said "NO", the game is over. Your son must get up, ignore the pup and leave the room. Pups are fast at enderstanding that if he wants to play, he has to play nice.
You may also discourage puppy from playing with arms, legs or clothing. This is easily done by simply using toys, such as ropes for exemple.
Finally, you mentioned that puppy is a little shy. He may just be a little confused by leaving Mom only a few days ago, or he may be an anxious puppy. The cure must be immediate, and is found in socialization. Take your pup every where with you, talk to him, carry him if you must, ignore his fearful reaction and reward him energetically for his daring ones. Do not force him to face his "monsters" by pulling on the leash or insisting on people to pet him or feed him.
You should also consider that sometimes around 4 months, puppies do reach a "shy stage". It is part of their normal developpment just like the 9 months old human baby. Your pup could be a little early...
Now I have to agree with you: Christmas is definitely not a good time to take on a young pup. Too much confusion, too many people outside the family member, too much noise and not enough calm time and routine. This is over with now, and he should be able to find a more relaxed life in your home.

Just a few of my thought on the subjects...

Good luck and let us know what happens.
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K2K
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Joined: 22 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: 12/26/03, 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!

There are alot of coincidences in your scenerio, and no clear cut reason for the dog's actions (i.e. not being jostled awake, etc). That makes it so much harder to figure out.

Cheerio gave great advice. For sure I'd look at the parents and littermates.

You might also want to look into the possibility of the use of steriods, aggression can be a side-effect. Just a thought......

Best,

Karen
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Illona
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 12/27/03, 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What vaccines did your pup receive? To me this TOTALLY sounds like a reaction to the rabies vaccine.

As someone who lost a young dog to vaccine-reaction, I've become very cautious of vaccines and go to great lengths to educate myself on them. I've heard of these kinds of reactions in dogs after having received rabies vaccines.

Illona
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ENL
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PostPosted: 12/29/03, 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Illona wrote:
What vaccines did your pup receive? To me this TOTALLY sounds like a reaction to the rabies vaccine.

As someone who lost a young dog to vaccine-reaction, I've become very cautious of vaccines and go to great lengths to educate myself on them. I've heard of these kinds of reactions in dogs after having received rabies vaccines.

Illona


Illona:

I'm curious about this. Was it a one-in-ten-thousand thing? One-in-a-million? How are you cautious?
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Illona
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PostPosted: 12/29/03, 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, ENL, I don't have numbers. I've asked a couple of my other 'groups' for links, but here's a bit to get you started:

I HIGHLY recommend EVERY dog owner purchase the book Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats by C. Diodati. A small, inexpensive book, it presents an unbiased, objective look at the various diseases presenting dangers to our dogs, what the diseases are about, how they're treated, the way different vaccines are developed and how they work, as well as case studies and literally thousands of notes linked to research around the world. It is absolutely worth every cent ($14 US) and educates you on the diseases and risks of vaccinating or not vaccinating so that you can make an educated choice.

Some quotes re. rabies vaccines (please excuse typos):

"An interesting phenomena has been observed after rabies vaccination: animals tend to become more aggressive. Although the virus may not be present, the symptoms of the disease will appear either temporarily or permanently. This rabies miasm can appear either after exposure to the pathogen or following vaccination."

Pitcairn (DVM): "The most common disturbances following rabies vaccination are aggressivenes, suspicion, unfriendly behavior, hysteria, destructiveness (of blankets, towels), fear of being alone and howling or barking at imaginary objects."

"Although adverse effects can arise when only one vaccine is given, thety appear more frequently when several vaccines are given simultaneously. Therefore, it is wise to administer the rabies vaccine separately, with a 4-6 week interval between administering others." (again, Pitcairn)

Another dog owner on one of the groups I'm on suggested: "Page 255 of "Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs, Small Doses for Small Animals", by Don Hamilton, DVM writes about this problem and what to do about it. It can be treated." I don't own this book, otherwise I'd offer a little more.

Here are only a couple links. I don't have time this morning to search for more right now, and these don't necessarily discuss the rabies vaccine in particular, but it's a start. I can post more when I have a chance if you'd like.

http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/vaccination.html

http://www.angelfire.com/bc/k9korner/vaccinations.html

http://www.caberfeidh.com/Revax.htm

http://www.tailsawagginonline.com/vaccines.phtml

http://renegadecanaandogs.com/diet/vaccinations.asp

http://dogs-cats-and-more.com/Vets_Rethink_Need_for_Annual_Pet_Vaccinations.html

Really, though, I suggest that if one is concerned about vaccines (and in my opinion, if you love your dog, you should be VERY concerned!) I suggest self-educating, starting with Diodati's book.

My GWP has been titered for Distemper, Parvo, and Corona at age 1 1/2 yr; her antibodies were up and a vaccine was not required. Rabies is a legal issue, but 3-yr vaccines are becoming the norm. Demand them.
Lepto is a concern of mine, as my GWP is in some pretty 'infested' areas. She did not get the lepto vaccine this year because based on my extensive readings, its an extremely ineffective vaccine -- good for only a few months (because it is a bacterial disease not a viral), and rarely targeted to the particular strain (out of MANY strains) that may be prevalent in your area ("for many dogs the vaccine will be utterly useless, addressing serovars that will not pose a threat while neglecting local serovars." Diodati) Also, it is known to cause the most reactions of the vaccines.

Just my own experience,
Illona
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 12/29/03, 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although vaccines can lead to allergic reactions in dogs as they do in humans, and although I agree that there are some very serious issues in vaccinations, mostly in their schedules, one should be very cautious about much of the claims being made. With freedom of expression, anyone can now publish a theory. This is good, as long as we do take it for what it is: a theory, which remains unproven.
Here are some proven facts however:
Today's vaccines CANNOT give the disease to your dog. And this is the reason why: All vaccines are either dead viruses or, most often, modified live viruses. A dead virus cannot become active once given to the dog. This is simple enough.
When it comes to modified viruses, they are genetically made up viruses that resemble the real virus but do not offer the component of the real disease. Simply put, it cannot attach to the cell in the way the virus would and therefore cannot cause the disease. Any live virus you administer to an host can only cause the very disease you gave to that host. Therefore, if it is true that some dogs may react to a modified live virus, it can only react to what he has received and cannot contract another disease, be it the one the modified live virus it aim at mimicing.

Having said that, there are no doubt that vaccines are a great cause of concerns. And again, here are well documented facts.
1- Rabies vaccine is known to give rise to reactions. Many vets now prefers to give the rabies vaccine as a subcutaneous injection rather than intramuscular, due to the fact of the many infections and rashes it caused in the past. Furthermore, it does indeed on occasion changes the comportement of the dog. This however is never permanent and is in fact short lived (up to 3 days is what was supported evidence). Although no specific research has ever been done conclusively on the subject, it has been explained by the fact that it makes some dogs very incomfortable and being dogs, they react with impatience and aggressive behaviour. This is not necessarily caused by the vaccine, but rather by the reaction to the vaccine on a dog which, when feeling threatened reacts as dogs do. It has been found on many occasion that dogs who follow this pattern usually tend to be short tempered and impatiente.
2- Some dogs will react in the combinaison of Distemper and Parvovirus vaccines, usually when given at an early age. The solution is simple, simply give them a week apart in the first vaccinations
3- Leptospirosis is known to cause more than 70% of post-vaccination reactions. And since it does not present the protection it should, it is now treated as an optional vaccine. A new vaccine is being developped.
4- Finally and most importantly, over vaccination is now believed to be at the source of many auto-immune diseases. Although Veterinary colleges all teach their students that following the first sets of vaccines a puppy receives, re-vaccinations should be done every 3 to 4 years and should end when the dog reaches 7 to 9 years of age, Vets continue to send reminder cards to their clients yearly. People don't get vaccinated every year, and neither should animals. Even the department of agriculture of most countries recognises this fact when they require you to vaccinate your dogs against rabies every 3 years. By constantly activating the immune system of our dogs, their cells learn to react against much of their own normal systems, inflicting various autoimmune diseases such as lupus, immune-mediated arthritis, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia and much more... If your dog suffer from any autoimmune disease, it is recommanded that he does not receive anymore vaccines with the exception of Rabies which is mendatory every 3 years (2 in some high risk area).

Although not all unproven theories should be disgarded, one should excercise caution and good judgment before addhering blindly to all what is being said.
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Gandyfam
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PostPosted: 12/29/03, 3:09 pm    Post subject: Duke seems ok Reply with quote

Hi - I'm the one who started this link...and good grief, I had no idea about the vaccine situation.

First, let me say that, with the exception of the evening I mentioned, Duke is fine. No more aggression, continuing to progress in learning, affectionate, playful. A great dog.

Re: Cheerio's first response, we saw the sire and a sister from another litter, but not the mother or grandparents. He was the last of the litter by the time we got there, but bought him because of his calm demeanor and friendly, social attitude. I do indeed wish we had seen the littermates, but timing was the issue. All the other pups went to hunters and one to a search & rescue person. At any rate, because we've had no additional problems, we are chalking it up to a new home, crazy day and perhaps the vaccine scenario.

Duke has not yet had the rabies vaccine. He had a distemper, parvo, etc. combination plus corona plus bordetella AND flea med AND worming pills on the first vet visit. After his allergic reaction (to one of the above) he was give a steroid injection to relieve that. Basically he had just about everything but rabies! And it will likely be impossible to sort out what was the cause.

We will continue to be cautious and try to get him back on track now that the houseguests are gone. We are working on re-introducing a collar (which rubbed the vaccination site) and leash. We try to socialize him as much as possible and are working on one or two commands. Of course, there are two college age young men in this who can barely discipline themselves!!! Wish us luck.

Thank you, thank you to all who have responded and may continue to do so...I can see that this site will be a terrific sounding board and resource.

Happy New Year to all from Olathe, Kansas!!
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