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  1. Looking into the symptoms of IGS, it seems unlikely. He is neither runty nor does he have poor energy levels, in general (other than the two acute instances of lethargy). Moreover, websites stated the the dog would "display a number of abnormalities on physical exams including low red blood cell counts and abnormally slow heart rate." All of his exams and blood work have been normal. Is there any reason I should be concerned about IGS if he is not showing these typical signs?
  2. I am going to order the IGS test kit. I'm also trying to find the paperwork from the breeder, because she said she has tested for some things. His itching was definitely beyond the norm and was very much bothering him. It has reduced significantly on the elimination diet - now he gets itchy what I would say is a normal amount. The 3 doses of Revolution were to treat for possible mange, which our vet has seen spread by fox in our area. They wanted to rule out other possibilities before moving to an elimination diet. The itchiness continued for 6 months with no apparent cause before the vet recommended an elimination diet. Our last dog also had food allergies which ultimately turned into an auto-immune issue that compromised his liver, so we do take addressing food allergies seriously. He has had a sensitive stomach since we got him as a puppy. He started out eating Purina Pro Plan Sport Chicken & Rice, which is what the breeder said she fed the puppies. When he had ongoing stomach issues, we tried mixing in other flavors of the Purina Pro Plan and other dog foods (both dry kibble and moist) plus a scoop of pumpkin in each meal, and he was happy with that and his stomach issues mostly abated (but the itching did not). On the elimination diet, he eats Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein kibble, moist food and treats. We feed moist food (1/4 to 1/3 of a can) mixed with kibble (around 1/3 to 1/2 cup) twice a day, and in between he gets copious amounts of kibble and/or treats (broken into small pieces) as I always have them in my pocket for training. His weight is healthy and stable. He has been doing well on that food for 7 weeks now. I don't think it's his favorite taste-wise, but he generally eats it well. The chewing and eating things outdoors might be normal, but the vet wants us to avoid it right now so as not to introduce any irritants to his GI tract. The recent bouts of vomiting followed by food refusal and lethargy were definitely concerning, although all of the tests and X-rays came back as normal.
  3. Thank you for the advice about the B12 test! I had not heard about that, but I will ask our vet about having him tested. Diane, the vet put him on Cerenia and Famotidine for this week.
  4. Hi everyone! I am not sure what advice to even ask for here, but I am feeling overwhelmed and thought maybe people would have some suggestions. Our 8-month-old is currently on a 12-week elimination diet due to suspected food allergies. He has been itchy since we got him at 8 weeks, and his food also seemed to upset his stomach. We added pumpkin to his food, which helped, and also mixed multiple types of food to try to mitigate the issue. The original itchiness was in his ears. Vet took skin scrapings and didn't find anything, and gave him 3 treatments of Revolution in case it was mange, with no result. We also started adding olive oil to his food and to gave him an egg a day, which seemed to reduce the itchiness. Then he started getting itchy around his back end / tail. Since the itchiness was ongoing for months with no resolution, the vet put him on an elimination diet for food allergies - we're about 6 weeks in. Now he only eats Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein moist food and kibble and treats, and he was (until today) chewing on antlers. The elimination diet has helped with the itchiness. Last week and this week he had an incident of vomiting followed by lethargy and refusing to eat. Last weekend we had him at the emergency vet, today at our vet. All tests and X-rays have come back normal. Our vet gave us medicine to give him for a week, and said to take away the antlers. He also likes to dig in the back yard (which we were working on discouraging) and will grab mouthfuls of dirt, turf, roots and rabbit/deer droppings either in the yard or when he's out for walks to the park. The vomiting often followed these types of incidents. The vet said dogs eat these kinds of things when they have an upset stomach, to encourage vomiting, but that we need to stop him from doing so because it will continue to irritate his GI tract. I am frustrated and at a loss and feel so bad for the pup. Now for walks we'll have to keep him on roads and hard paths, and I don't know how we'll get his energy out without being able to run and play in our back yard, and he won't get the release of being able to chew on his antlers. Any advice, creative ideas, or just sympathy are welcome! Thanks!
  5. Hi everyone! I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for trainers who are knowledgable about border collies and who would work with me over Zoom? My family met with a trainer local to us over Zoom, but she concerned me with some of the things she recommended (basically, exercise the puppy until he's too exhausted to get into trouble). Normally, I would develop a list of things I want to work on, do my research and develop a training plan. But life is a bit overwhelming here at the minute, so I could use someone else's help with this. Thanks!
  6. Yes, I forgot to add antlers to the list (our nylabone alternative)! Those have been incredibly helpful with teething, too, over the last 2 months! Also, I remembered this morning - vacuuming! He loves to play with the vacuum and after a short vacuuming session, I get at least a semi-vacuumed floor, at least a semi-tired puppy, and a workout for me (thanks to Monte) all in one! (Just adding that here in case it's helpful for anyone else.) Also, I am curious for those of you who have more than one dog - do they keep each other occupied? Or do they get into double the trouble? (Or both? )
  7. Hi everyone! Our puppy, Monte, is 6 months old now. He is our third BC and he is the smartest, and most challenging, yet! He has developed into a routine where he often naps in the afternoons, but in the mornings he is awake and wants attention while we need to work. As is typical, if we don't keep him busy, he finds his own trouble. We often tug and throw toys for him, and take brief breaks for either a quick training session or a quick play session in the yard, but sometimes we need him to occupy himself. Some strategies we have used: * Feed him his breakfast in a Kong, to slow him down eating and keep him busy for a little while * Tuck kibble into a snuffle ball. This works especially well if I'm in a Zoom meeting, because the snuffle ball is silent. * Other treat-dispensing balls/toys and puzzle toys, although if you have a favorite type I'd love to hear about it! Any other suggestions? Thank you!
  8. Thank you for the replies, everyone! I appreciate the suggestions and am glad to hear that we're on the right track! Obligatory puppy photos!
  9. Hi everyone! Our family's newest member is a 4-1/2 month old border collie named Monty. He is our third BC, second puppy. I am hoping for some tips about teaching him to settle at bedtime in his crate. If we put him in his crate at bedtime and close the door, he will not settle in the crate. He will just get himself worked up. On the other hand, if we let him settle outside of the crate, once he's settled we can move him to his crate and he'll go right inside, lay down and sleep through the night without a peep. This has been working fine for the last few weeks because I've had a bugger of a cold and have been sleeping semi-upright on my sofa. Our downstairs is puppy-proofed and he can settle down in his own time (usually takes around 10-15 minutes after lights out) and then I put him in the crate for the night. I'd like to go back to my bedroom now, though, which is not puppy proofed. It also shares an adjoining wall with our neighbors, so we are unwilling to have any barking or carrying on disturbing them. So, one short-term option is to puppy-proof the bedroom and try our same current routine up there - let him settle outside of the crate and then move him into it. But in the long term, I'd like to get him to the point where we can put him in his crate and he'll settle himself in there. He's fine with his crate during the day. He will sometimes go in and nap in there on his own. When he needs to be put in there for a time out, we are working on the Quiet command and he's learning to lay down and be quiet. A couple of times he has even fallen asleep in there after being asked to be Quiet. So perhaps we just need to keep working on the Quiet command, doing more crate training asking him to go into his crate on command when he's not being put in a time out, and sometimes closing the door briefly behind him, and gradually increasing the time we ask him to stay in the crate in Quiet. Then once he can go in and settle himself quietly in the crate, moving those commands to the bedroom. Anyway, those are my current ideas. I wanted to see what people thought, and if anyone had any additional suggestions. Thank you!
  10. Has anyone tried having a designated spot where digging is allowed, essentially a doggie sand box? I was wondering if that is a good or bad idea.
  11. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules about how long it will take a puppy to adjust. It will certainly vary based upon exactly what issues the puppy has, the level of skill and experience of the handler, the techniques that are being used, as well as other factors in the environment. For example, it's possible that on your outings he is getting quickly pushed beyond his threshold, which is causing him to shut down and not allowing him to make progress. Or, sometimes it's hard to recognize small but incremental progress - either because we've forgotten what the behavior truly was like several weeks ago, or because we're impatient for faster results. Also, progress does not always come in a linear fashion; it is often one step forward and one or two steps back. Without seeing what is happening in person, and without many more details (including, but not limited to, the questions raised by the last three posters), it's impossible to offer advice. To work successfully with a timid puppy, you have to be very in tune with and observant of his signals. I get the impression from your posts that you do not have experience doing this; it is possible to learn, but you must be motivated to do so and willing to work at it. I think the best bet for you at this point is to either work with a trainer in person (ideally one who is experienced with border collies and how to work with timid dogs using positive techniques), or to return the pup to the breeder. ETA: FYI, I'm the same songsparrow who replied before! Long story short - I had signed up for the song.sparrow username before I remembered that I already had the songsparrow username here (I had been away from the boards for a while). I planned to just not use the 2nd username, but I was apparently logged into the wrong one today - oops!
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