Complete change of personality

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Momto2ShihTzus
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:11 pm
Location: Alabama USA, soon to move to South Carolina USA

Complete change of personality

Post by Momto2ShihTzus » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:49 pm

I sure hope the good folks on this board can help me because I'm running out of ideas. My sweet Sammy, a 2 & 1/2 year old Shih Tzu, has recently undergone a complete personality change. He has gone from a happy go lucky, outgoing, loving to be in the middle of everything sweet little dog to one that has become withdrawn, depressed, hiding under the bed most of the day, trembling mess! I am recently divorced, about 2 months, and have moved to a different house in a different State. The first month or so we were here everything was great! He had a new backyard he could actually play in (our house before had both a pool and pond so I was reluctant to let him out much; ponds especially in the South = snakes), used to love to go down to the yard from the deck and chase the squirrels, birds, and sniff around for hours. LOL I used to have to pry him out of the backyard, by using some of Victoria's methods to recall a stubborn dog. He's got all his toys and used to love playing with them, bringing them back to me to be thrown again and again. Then about maybe 3-4 weeks ago everything changed. All of a sudden he didn't want to go outside in the morning, this has progressed to the point that he even doesn't enjoy going out on the deck. Even though the backyard is fenced, I've never left him alone out there unsupervised, so I can not think of anything that might have scared him out there. He even enjoyed "chasing" the cars from inside the fence, but no more. Now he hides under my bed for most of the day, coming out only if I call him several times. He seems to have stopped paying attention to me, ignoring my commands to come, or do simple tricks for his "cookies", and when he does he jumps up on the couch to sit next to me, trembles something fierce, tail between the legs, and demands attention. He was groomed about 2 weeks ago and was obviously allergic to whatever shampoo they used (this has happened before with different groomers), as he chewed on himself almost the entire evening and the next day after grooming. I took him back to the vet and he had gotten himself so matted from where his "waist" would be towards the back that they had to shave him to get the mats off. Now this was only in a 24 hour period. Like I said he's 2 and 1/2 and has always been on a bi-weekly grooming schedule. He shows no interest in playing with his toys, or if he does, like I throw a toy for him, he goes and gets it and takes it back under the bed. I've been taking him on walks and all of a sudden he is trying to walk between my legs rather than by my side. He does perk up whenever I ask him if he wants to go for a walk, or a ride, but that's about it. He's not eating well, mainly stuff that I hand feed him, usually baked skinless boneless chicken tenders, but he's always had those with his morning dry food. To I guess best explain the difference in his personality, I was seriously considering taking him for a Canine Good Citizen test, so that he could go to hospitals and nursing homes, because he had that kind of personality, but now he's a neurotic mess. My vet has assured me that other than a current ear infection, and itchy skin from the matting, both of which he is on medication for, he is entirely healthy. It seems to me that he almost has been traumatized somehow or someway. I know I said I'm recently divorced, but my ex and I remain on an amicable basis and yes, while I am depressed myself over my ex just blowing a 28 year marriage away because he "didn't want to be married to anyone anymore" it's not like I'm sitting here crying all day and night. I don't know if I'm helping or, most likely, abetting his current problems by trying to show him extra attention, or if I should just ignore it, without ignoring him. I have checked the local phone book and there is a business in town that advertises themselves as "dog behaviorists" and I might give them a call tomorrow, Monday, morning. There is also a doggie daycare not too far from me and I'm wondering if he might benefit from attending daycare for a couple of days a week. He does have a companion, Harley, LOL but Harley, bless his heart, has his own problems and quite probably some of them are neurological. Harley's always been that way. We refer to him as a "special child" in the dog world. But lord, Harley seems normal compared to Sammy lately. Like so many of the folks here on this board, my dogs are my children and have always been. Any help or insight anyone could shed on this problem would be most appreciate by me and by Sammy. Thanks and have a good night.
A puppy is the only love that money can buy
Trixie Koontz

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Mattie
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:21 am

Re: Complete change of personality

Post by Mattie » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:04 am

A full vet check including bloods, a sudden change in behaviour is often a health problem. Don't be put off by your vet trying to make light of it, dogs don't change quickly like that.
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Momto2ShihTzus
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:11 pm
Location: Alabama USA, soon to move to South Carolina USA

Re: Complete change of personality

Post by Momto2ShihTzus » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:52 pm

Thanks Mattie. He is due back at the vet for a check of his ears and skin this week. I will ask that they do a complete work up on him.
A puppy is the only love that money can buy
Trixie Koontz

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Nettle
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Re: Complete change of personality

Post by Nettle » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:28 am

make sure the vet does a prostate check as well - they often won't unless asked
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Momto2ShihTzus
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:11 pm
Location: Alabama USA, soon to move to South Carolina USA

Re: Complete change of personality

Post by Momto2ShihTzus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:51 pm

She has done a prostrate exam, since he is an intact male. She did indicate that his prostrate glad was mildly enlarged and/or swollen, but she did not think it was anything to worry about. I'm taking him back this week for a check up and will ask for another prostrate exam, together with a complete blood work up. Thanks!
A puppy is the only love that money can buy
Trixie Koontz

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Nettle
Posts: 10753
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Complete change of personality

Post by Nettle » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:50 am

She/you/anyone may be surprised to learn that neutered males get as many prostate issues than intact ones. Slightly enlarged is not a problem, though - might be normal for him.

Hope you find out what the problem is, and it's something easy to treat. It normally is. :D Keep us posted.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

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