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Shep and the vet

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Howdy- I haven't posted in a long long time. Hello out there!!


Over the years I've gotten tremendous help and support from this board for my aggressive Aussie Shep and also with our BCX Curly, but Shep sort of took over.


Until Monday he hadn't been to the vets in 2 years. Among the list of awful, traumatic visits, our last one was unbelievably bad...thus the 2 year gap. In that 2 year period, I tried, as I do, contacting every Dr, board, group, association I could find, looking for a vet who knew how to care for a real reactive one like mine.


Prior visits were sedatives, 2 leashes one fed thru a fence, pulling him against the fence and trickery, the heaviest doses of shot sedatives possible and overall major stress but in the end he'd get shots and blood draw. Also with each visit it was reinforced, 'this ain't gonna be good'. Our last visit 2 years ago was assisted by someone we hired who said they'd help us. In desparation I agreed. She wouldn't use a muzzle, she wouldn't use sedatives but opted for a prong collar and brut strength hanging him off the ground multiple times, and he bit her multiple times too. The vet called with a crackly voice saying she should have stopped it b.c it was inhumane.


Ok in the past 8 months I have been working with a real positive trainer. I live in the land of punishment training so I gave up on finding a trainer. She's so smart, she's great with dog and foremost she understands the complicated aspects aggressive behaviour. She began by finding the subtle signs of stress in Shep and teaching new 'tricks' like putting the side of his head in my hand b/c he has head issues b/c he was hit on the side of the head all the time.


Our focus was to get him vetted. First I had to teach him to love his muzzle. Now he puts his nose in the muzzle instead of me nervously wrangling it on him. This trainer also found a vet who actually had a protocol for handling aggressive dogs. I was shocked! It involved kind of a simple solution involving a towel over the head. The trainer, Shep and I worked on this protocol in the parking lot at the vets and at home.


To me after many failures and frankly coming to realize no one knows how to deal with dogs like mine, b.c dogs like mine don't get too far, we had a PLAN and not one but 2 willing, competent awesome professionals.


The big day went like this:

-happy muzzy (muzzle)

-throw a towel over his head---he can stand still under it for about 20 seconds

-then the vet quietly comes out and gives him a Telazol shot ---a drug no other vet had ever mentioned--- it was perfect and not ACE.

-5 minutes later he was a ragdoll, they carried him in back to a room

-I was so nervous that something would go terribly wrong as it always had, the Dr recommended I go have lunch and a cocktail while we waited, which we did. ( a Painkiller at Pussers Landing in Annapolis MD if you're ever in the area)

-4 hours later, he had all his shots, he was put under anesthesia and got a dental-his teeth were green b.c he'd never had a dental (he's 6) and now they are white, his blood was drawn too b/c he's hypothyroid

-when we went to pick him up, my husband got him out of the kennel and he was a little wobbly but a lamb...a flippin' lamb.


I can't express how relieved I am. I can't express to my trainer and the vet and staff how much I love them b/c it would scare them!!


I decided to post b/c maybe someone out there has this problem and maybe the Dr's protocol would work for them too.

I also decided to post b/c finally I am not logging in distraught hysteria and seeking help. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

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That's such great news Kim!! If only this most recent experience of Shep's with the vet and trainer were more the rule than the exception-- for everyone facing similar issues with their behaviorally challenged dogs. It just seems like so many people and dogs experience the worst of what is out there before they can find a truly skilled and knowledgeable professional.


I ended up leaving my vet's office of nearly 20 years when the new vet that joined was clearly clueless on the proper way to address a dog with anxiety and fear issues. So far, my new vet has been great. That peace of mind is something that just can't be taken for granted.

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I remember all the trials you've been through with your boy and so am doubly happy for you. I'm soooo glad to know you've finally found a winning combination. I'll keep your protocol in mind for any of my clients with dogs with major vet issues - thank you for posting it!

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Awesome, totally awesome. I'm so glad to hear this!


This is the way the world should work, where people can find competent professionals who actually help them solve difficult problems. We're getting closer....

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Only get in here occasionally lately, but Kim, I'm so very glad to pop in today and read this. I know how hard you've worked on behalf of Shep, and it's just wonderful for both of you that you have been able to have this positive experience. Let's hope it's just the first of many. Much kudos to you, your trainer and your vet.

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Pan (my fear/aggressive fem 1 yr 3 mo BC) is ok with the vet for now, but this is so very good to know, thanks for posting! Glad you found something that worked for you. I know how you must've felt before!

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