Simon might have PTSD

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by simon'smom, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. simon'smom

    simon'smom New Member

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    My Hero, Simon, is having major trouble, which is major trouble for me. In Oct of 2011, we in the NE (specifically CT) were hit with a giant winter storm which knocked out power to our area, and home for 12 days. We stayed with a generator...5 little kids mind you- cooking in a fireplace the whole time, too! Since the first night, Simon has changed, as we all have, but he has never returned to the way it was. He has liquid poop all the time, and cannot go for more than 6 hrs without eating and wakes me every night at midnight,. 1a, 2a, 3a etc to go outside to pee, or sometimes poop. During the day, he pees 2x more often that before the storm. I am beyond exhausted and if its not him waking me, its my 1 yr old boy waking me!I dont know what to do. I ctcd the vet, because he does have Lymes, and thought its flaring up again, so we gave him some antibiotics...no change in his behavior. He is very much alert, active, for a St Bernard, but can't seem to return to normal.
    He eats now 4x a day, and I try to keep it on a constant schedule, but this wanting food at 1,2,3 am is getting out of hand. And if he doesnt eat, he throws up. he eats 2 c rice with 1c roasted pork as each meal. I tried to increase his intake, but he still wants to eat at crazy times.
    He is gluten intollerant, and giving him store bought food is very very bad! It makes him more crazy than he is now. Please help me figure this out! I need my doggy back to normal nad NEED sleepl help!
     
  2. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    You might try using Rescue Remedy while you're working on this. It sounds like he's going to need to gradually be coaxed back to normalcy and confidence.

    Oh, and you might look into grain free foods to fill in those weird eating times in the meantime. He might even find it reassuring if there is always a little food in his bowl.

    We've got some great trainers here who will give you good, more in-depth and directed advice :)

    Building confidence takes time, and one excellent way to do it is to go back to basics, things he knows and will do and be successful at -- earning praise, reassurance and rewards.
     
  3. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Depending what his other allergies may be, a lot of the Diamond Naturals and Taste of the Wild line are gluten free. One of mine can't have gluten (I'm celiac too) and when we can't do home cooked he gets TOTW High Prairie or Diamond Beef and Rice. Maybe having some of that available at night so he doesn't throw up from the empty stomach? That won't help the bathroom breaks though.

    Has he been to the vet for this? Some of the symptoms almost sound like a parasite, like giardia or coccidia. Dogs can harbor them in their bodies and then experience a bad flare up when they're under stress. Giardia is really hard to detect with a test because it has to be at a specific stage in their life cycle, and if I remember right Panacur is the best wormer/treatment for it. Check with your vet about that though.

    Loose stools can be caused by over eating. You might cut back on how much regular food he's getting and substitute part of it with canned pumpkin to help get his gut back on track. Probiotics might be a good idea too. One thing I'll give my dogs (and myself) if they have an upset stomach is food grade diatomacious earth (DO NOT use the stuff from pool supply stores). It comes in a white powder which you mix with wet food (don't breath the dust, it's fine eaten wet but will irritate your lungs). The DE absorbs toxins, and is supposed to kill worms. Personally I find it very soothing when my stomach is crampy, as do my kids. It also helps my dogs' stool even out to normal if it's loose.

    The Rescue Remedy for anxiety is a great idea.
    http://www.bachflower.com/Rescue_Remedy.htm

    If you can get it, the Five Flower Formula is the same formula but their's seems to be a bit more potent than the Bach's brand.http://www.fesflowers.com/five_flower_formula.htm

    It's safe for people and pets (one of the few anxiety things pregnant women can take).

    Edit: If he's been on antibiotics recently or regularly for the lymes, that can definitely disrupt things in his gut and let stuff like giardia get a better foothold. Probiotics would definitely be a good supportive thing to put in his system at this point if you don't already do it.
     
  4. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    What tests have your vet run to try to get this stool/bladder control issue under control? Has he been tested for giardia? Bladder infection? parasites? anything?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  5. simon'smom

    simon'smom New Member

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    thanks for the responses. I happen to have bach's rescue remedy here! I will start that, and get some gluten free good dog food for him, We used to do Timberwolf, he loved it, but it was super expensive! I just as well drop the rice all together and feed him straight roasted pork. (we love it, too)
    The vet said that his tummy is just super sensitive. But we need to go back. Prior to the storm, his poop was always super loose on rice and pork. It was a war zone here for a very long time, we are still trying to clean up- and our yard is a disaster. Maybe the state the yard is in is stressing him out.
    I'm going to ring the vet this week and get him in there.
    thanks!
     
  6. simon'smom

    simon'smom New Member

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    oh, and he is super lean...for a big boy- the vet is pleased with his weight, so I can't say he is over eating, to the point of getting fat. I feel like I am not feeding him enough. He's almost 5 yrs and about 175-180lbs.
     
  7. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Wait... wait wait wait.... cooked pork meat (with no bone) with rice is his normal food? or just a once in awhile thing? How long has this been his diet?
     
  8. simon'smom

    simon'smom New Member

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    its a pork shoulder, bone in that we slow roast for about 8-10 hrs. No salt, no seasoning of any kind. We actually started it when there was a recall on timberwolf, now that I remember. He's been on it for ever it seems. The vet knows about it, too. Its never been a problem, he would eat it 3x a day, poop on regular intervals, and sleep all night long.
    This all started after the storm.
     
  9. simon'smom

    simon'smom New Member

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    is it a bad thing? you have me worried now.
    We are looking into the taste of the wild bagged food and slowly introduce it into his diet.
     
  10. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Step 1 is getting your dog back on a balanced diet. It doesn't have to be kibble but his odds are diet has been lacking calcium, fats, and essential nutrients for a long time if this is what he has been eating for months. Even on a raw diet I would expect a dog to be eating bone (not cooked bone), meat, and innards. On a balanced cooked diet I would expect to see meat, calcium, organs, veggies, fish oil, and probiotics. I would also expect to see a whole lot more diet variation. Originally when you posted I thought you were feeding pork/rice as a kind of bland diet which is something that is very short term. Your dog acting starving all the time probably is because of the nutrient issues - he's probably malnourished. It can make a dog do funny things.

    The storm odds are has nothing to do with what you are seeing. PTSD is from a severe stress event. Getting hit by a car is a severe dog stess event, getting lost for some dogs is a severe stress event... being in the house during a power outage probably isn't a severe stress event. I know for the two weeks we lost power a few years ago my dogs were never happier.

    Please, please, please stop this diet.

    P.S. If your vet has known about this diet for months I would also suggest a new vet. Also I would have them check your dog's blood calcium levels to make sure he doesn't have hypoparathyroidism which would account for all the peeing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  11. ~WelshStump~

    ~WelshStump~ New Member

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    Sounds to me like he's literally "Worrying himself sick". If RR doesn't seem to make much of a difference, you could also try the ThunderShirt. He needs to learn to not just settle but relax.

    Something you could try for him, may not make much of a difference, but you could take his food and stuff it in a dispensing you. With wet foods, you can fill a few classic rubber Kong's and place them in the freezer, and replace one of his bowl meals with a frozen Kong game instead.

    And how many times does he get to go out a day/week with the family for a nice relaxing long walk? I'd suggest a later in the day long walk, maybe go to a new place, and get him a little more tired out before bed.

    And last but not least, have you before, and are you now giving him any meds for his stomach problems? Were they an "antacid"? He may want to eat more, because his stomach is to acidic right now, which could be caused by the anxiety he's having. I'd ask the vet about what to try for an antacid, but most usually suggest to start with Tums, Just make sure to read the bottle first and avoid anything with artificial sweeteners! They're becoming very popular in meds these days, and most if not all are toxic to pets.
     
  12. I'm with Kat. A change of diet would probably do the trick. If you don't want to go to dry food, just pm me and I'd be happy to help you put together a balanced meal.
     
  13. simon'smom

    simon'smom New Member

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    we have given him an antacid per vet directions. I am not keen on dry food, just because it can spoil after a while. I always like him to eat fresh fresh food. What if I keep the pork with ground spinach, carrots and bananas? We eat like this- Paleo- and find he likes it too- just bland, but it seems that it isn't working. Maybe like you all said, the diet is the root cause.
    I boil eggs and let him eat the shells, too. But maybe 1x a week.
    Durring the summer, I would make him the meat fruit veggie meals 3x a day but his stool was still NOT solid, like on dry dog food. know what I mean? It wasn't dihharea, but was still somewhat liquid. Maybe because there were no fillers in his meal.
    As far as bones, uncooked is best? He loves to chew, and we have done the nylabone- but I think, if he puts something in his mouth, it should be beneficial, as well as playful. And its so funny, how afraid I am to give him animal bones, for fear he would choke, then I remember he is a Saint Bernard- not a human, and can emaciate a bone in a matter of seconds!
    my head is spinning.
    I mention the storm, because it was terrifying for one night, he, my husband and myself stayed up all night absolutely terrified as trees fell around and on our house. We were ground zero for the storm (Simsbury CT) and he was visably shaken that night, we were as well. Not trying to make excuses, but hoping you can understand just what we all went through, and really are still dealing with. We put him in the kennel for a weekend after the power came back, just to get him out of the environment and see if that would help. It didn't.
    I know the diet needs to be fixed, but I am really concerned about his mental state. He is joyful when we play together, when people come to visit, but at night, when it is quiet, he is just different, not only with the late night peeing, but he sleeps at the bottom of our stairs now, as opposed to his couch in the basement- to be closer to us I guess. I don't know, I just feel in my gut something is different.
    I will start with the diet and see if that changes things. and let you know. Thank you for your info...keep it coming!
     
  14. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I'm not trying to sound condescending but IMO you need to research a home cooked diet to do one correctly. Simply adding some veg isn't going to cut it. He needs calcium to balance his diet daily if not with every single meal - he needs minerals and nutrients his diet has been missing - and IMO until you are ready with research and a game plan I would stop home cooking and go with a prepared diet. It doesn't have to be kibble but it does need to be something else. If you want to do home cooked after that there is no lack of dog diet books on the market with fairly balanced recipes and information to absorb.

    Dehydrated diets are widely available. Just add water.

    Fresh diets are widely available - Cut and serve

    Quality kibbles are widely available. Scoop and serve.

    All of the above would be better than the inbalanced diet he has been eating.

    Your dog probably does need to go to the vet to have a bloodpanel done.

    ETA: The lack of calcium in his diet would explain the mushy poop. It would also explain the urinary issues.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  15. ~WelshStump~

    ~WelshStump~ New Member

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    I'll second the idea of a dehydrated diet! They are fresh and sealed well by the companies, you just add water, let is soak in, and serve. Some companies: The honest kitchen, Sojo's, Stella and Chewey's.

    But I also notice you only mention Pork. Personally, one of the dogs in my house can't even have pork. I'd change to a different protein source, chicken, turkey, or beef. Just give it a try, and give it time to work, it may take a week or so for his system to clear and take to the new diet.

    And I agree, if you're going to keep on the home cooked route, you need more information! I personally recommend to everyone, "Raw and natural nutrition for dogs, by Lew Olson", you can get it on Amazon for a great price, as well they sell subscriptions to "The whole dog journal" for only $20, and with a subscription you have unlimited online access to articles from every back issue of the magazine!

    But if you still feel there's a lot of stress involved, do check out the ThunderShirt! (it doesn't work as well IMO for my dog, but she is an odd "in between size" which seems to have been over-sighted by the company and I've found other people with this problem, it's those dogs between the Med and Large sizes).
     
  16. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I also agree that I bet a lot of these problems will fix themselves with a diet change. I've always heard that pork is not good for dogs, there are very few dog foods on the market with pork in them. I agree that as a treat pork is probably occasionally fine, but definately not as a main diet.

    As for the storm, think of it this way: It's likely he hadn't been feeling great to begin with, because his diet was not right. When we're not feeling well, we don't handle stress well, so the situation was probably a lot worse for him than it would've been if he'd been feeling 100%. Putting him in the kennel after the storm may have even made it worse, being in a new place without his family, AND not feeling well on top of it.

    Anytime there's a sudden behaviorial change with dogs, the first thing we should do is look at their physical health. It's great that you took him to a vet to get checked out, but like someone else said, if the vet didn't recognize that the dog is on an inadequate diet, he missed a key component to the dog's health.

    I'd recommend starting him on a balanced diet; adding a relaxing suppliment such as Rescue Remedy (you can even give chamomile tea before bed); and getting a full vet workup, including a full blood panel, urinalisis, and fecal test.
     
  17. simon'smom

    simon'smom New Member

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    thank you thank you guys for your advice. I am going out right now to the local feed store to get him some decent food until I get some books and research the homecooked meals.
    Any brand suggestions?
    Blue? Diamond naturals, taste of the wild as mentioned before?
    I think I am heading toward petsmart... not sure if they offer the "good" food he needs. We used to order online, but I cannot wait any longer.
    Please let me know. I'll check in while out.

    thank you, and Simon thanks you,too!

    i think i might go to a feed store instead, they offer better variety. adn have Timberwolf. He loved that stuff.
     
  18. ~WelshStump~

    ~WelshStump~ New Member

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    Because he is having problems at the moment, I'd stick to something bland and simple, looking at the ingredients list I'd look for at the most two protein sources, preferable one, and a very simple amount of other ingredients, like just rice, maybe a few fruits veggies. I like California natural because their original (not grain free) formulas are two ingredients, Chicken and rice, Lamb and rice, and Salmon and sweet potato. Wellness also makes a food called "Simple solutions" with is just rice and a meat source, and Natural balance also has a limited ingredient line call "L.I.D.".

    I don't know what all Petsmart carries right now, haven't looked in a while, but I know they have Innova which is good and you could try, a few more ingredients than I'd like to see for a "healing tummy", but it's a good food. And you could try also try Blue, I find it a bit overpriced, well everything really at the big pet stores, but if you just buy one small bag to try and find it's working out you could see if a smaller local store could order it in for you later for a better price.
     
  19. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Petsmart doesn't have a big variety of good foods, your best bet will probably be feed stores or specialty stores.

    When you do change the diet, make sure you do it gradually.... Continue feeding the pork and rice like you have been, but slowly add more and more kibble, and remove some pork and rice, until after 2-4 weeks you've weaned him completely onto the kibble.
     
  20. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    ^^^This.... also probiotics either in powder form or plain whole yogurt like Nancy's - just a tablespoon or two each day will help the transition. Also be prepared for some digestive distress. He's been on a single protein/rice diet for a long time and similar to humans who don't eat spicy food and suddenly do - sometimes the gut takes a bit to recover the proper flora/fauna - so slow is the ticket - make sure you are measuring percentages. A bag of Wellness adult will do the job, as would canidae, prairie, taste of the wild, nature's domain, etc... just needs to be a decent kibble.
     

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