Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Morning, I am truly in need of Maltese help from people who love and live with them. Last July 15th my 8-year-old Maltese male (intact) was injured by a local veterinarian who put something in his eyes that caused an emergency. The vet had taken him to his back room to clean the tiny seasonal allergy crusts in the corners of his eyes, and came back out 20 minutes later with my dog's eyes locked shut, oozing and the skin around them bright red. I won't go into the details of what happened with this vet, except to say that the State Board in Florida has him now under investigation for this incident. I am told that they almost NEVER investigate, so in a sense this is a victory. After that terrible day, my dog kept his eyes tightly shut and he lay on his side for a month in pain. We of course rushed him immediately after the incident to a vet eye specialist, who turned out to be in collusion with the first vet (another story I won't go into). My baby has had to have eye medicine administered up to 7 times a day for the last 6 months. and faces an uncertain future with regard to his sight The corneas were highly irritated by whatever that vet did, but there are no ulcers, no injury, but my baby now has KCS. We now have a wonderful vet who is as angry as we are about what happened. He put our baby on a transdermal antidepressant to help his mood (depression). Well, 2 days ago I was preparing to put the drops in his eyes (he has been a complete Angel about this without a problem since the injury) but as I reached with the bottle, he bit me very badly. He grabbed my hand, sunk his teeth into it and shook it. I have 4 puncture wounds, there was not much blood, but it sure hurt and is badly bruised. I immediately called my husband into the room and he took my baby outside to calm down in his yard. I thought perhaps for some reason he just snapped and it was a singular incident, but yesterday I had my husband hold him while I trimmed some hair from his back paws. When I reached for his front paws, he lunged at me ready to bite. I feel certain that he has just had it with all the meds in his eyes, and he snapped. This dog has been the center of my heart, and yes, he is terribly spoiled and thinks he rules the roost. My husband is total putty with him and of no help in setting boundaries. So, please, I need some help in how to proceed. Do I act my usual super lovey dovey self with him, or do I just cool my interactions with him for a while? Is our trust in each other broken for good, or is there hope that we can be friends again? My heart is broken, I have been crying constantly over this, and I am so angry and sorry about what that vet did to my baby that has led to this. I don't know what to do, and I am terrified my baby will never be back to his old self. Please, please, any advice would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

· Administrator
Walter & Casper with Lucky (forever in my heart).
Joined
·
10,279 Posts
I understand your pain, but don't have much advise. My guess is one of the treatment really hurt him. You could try distracting him with a treat while administering the medication.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply, and for taking the time to read my long post. Your suggestion about using a treat is exactly what my new vet said to do. Frankly, I am afraid of my little guy right now because the bite was deep and painful, but I don't want him to pick up on that. We will just take it day by day. Thanks again.
 

· Registered
Kathy & Pipper
Joined
·
6,198 Posts
I'm of no help but just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for all you little guy has been through and can understand how fed up he must be. I'm so sorry that he's taking it out on you and can imagine how this is breaking your heart.
 

· Registered
Kathy & Pipper
Joined
·
6,198 Posts
Just another thought......perhaps his eyesight is damaged and when you reached for the bottle and reached for his front paws, he didn't realize it was your hand he was seeing.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
2,479 Posts
I'm so sorry!

I wonder if the antidepressant had something to do with it. Sometimes a drug will lower the dog's inhibition level and they will act out.

I believe it was Xanax which my vet prescribed my Malt after knee surgery that made him obsessively try to get something, maybe imaginary, outside his crate. He kept everybody up all night. And a drug given to a much larger foster may have contributed to his attacking my Malt. He was muzzled, but sure tried to hurt him. Like, kill him. I have forgotten what it was. Maybe Valium?

One of my dogs even acted intoxicated on a very low dose of Benadryl!

What is he given? Maybe ask your vet about it. If it is long lasting, maybe be careful for a while even if you discontinue it.
 

· Premium Member
Sandi-- w/Kitzel (Kitzi) & Lisel (Lisi)
Joined
·
18,335 Posts
Can you take your pup to a hospital/clinic associated w/a university for an evaluation? Even if you have to go to another state I would consider it. And no, your relationship is not broken---he is simply out of his mind w/pain & fear. That can do terrible things to a dog. I would want a total evaluation if I were in your shoes. Let us know what you decide.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Coster

· Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
So sad to hear this. Definitely pain and fright. Some eye drops sting when you put the drops in the eye and can bother them. One of my drops Cody was one stung and he kept turning his head side to side. Body language definitely. Don’t stop your lovey dovey because they need you and depend on you. Your pup is scared and can’t blame him. Please be patient and I know it’s frustrating at times to put drops in their eyes continuously. I suggest put your baby in a shoulder carrier the one you put over your shoulder and walk around with him - something different not the same routine when putting drops in. Praise him and hold the carrier when he looks up. Drop the eye drops in. I feel for your baby. If you notice even the nail trim is traumatic. If you show fear they are super smart and pick up on everything. Be strong - your bond is not broken. He needs love . He probably didn’t mean to bite just telling you. Bring him to the vet to trim the nails. Praise praise and treats. Your baby needs you. So sorry he acted out. But those drops can burn and sting. Also bring with you a stuffed toy in case he nips he bites - or give the toy first to him. Out of experience if you were trying to cut the dogs front paw nails- lots of doggies don’t like their front paws touched. My molly hates when I fuss with her front paws but let’s me do the back and she at times gives me her upper lip but I just tell her to stop. I remember when you first posted and you were very upset. Keep up the good work! Poor baby!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
Definitely! What pippers mom said is SO True! I forgot to mention Cody is blind and when I was putting drops i think they can’t see what’s coming at them and they won’t stand still. If your baby has lost sight he may just see shadows and they get scared not knowing what’s coming at them. That can definitely get him scared that’s why I think to change your routine. I feel for both of you.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm of no help but just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for all you little guy has been through and can understand how fed up he must be. I'm so sorry that he's taking it out on you and can imagine how this is breaking your heart.
Thank you, I appreciate your support. I am so afraid that vet has ruined my dog. My baby has had the most loving, perfect temperament of any Maltese I've ever had over the last 20 years. I can't bear to think he now is so emotionally upset that he has turned on me.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
I am sorry you feel that way. I am sure he didn’t mean it. I don’t think it’s you.. I think he’s telling you something that’s bothering him. Remember that. It’s sad that they can’t talk. It’s hard and stressful to love and care but you’re doing a great job.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Definitely! What pippers mom said is SO True! I forgot to mention Cody is blind and when I was putting drops i think they can’t see what’s coming at them and they won’t stand still. If your baby has lost sight he may just see shadows and they get scared not knowing what’s coming at them. That can definitely get him scared that’s why I think to change your routine. I feel for both of you.
Thank you so much for the tips. Yes, we are changing our whole method so he does not feel afraid in any way. Our whole previous routine was so gentle, so slow and he NEVER fussed about it, in fact, he cooperated fully. But just this time I think he reached his limit.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am sorry you feel that way. I am sure he didn’t mean it. I don’t think it’s you.. I think he’s telling you something that’s bothering him. Remember that. It’s sad that they can’t talk. It’s hard and stressful to love and care but you’re doing a great job.
Thank you. He and I have had an incredible bond since he was born. he knows I love him more than life itself. That might sound extreme, but I believe dogs are a higher life form and we have so much to learn from them. My prayer is that he regains his equilibrium.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
2,479 Posts
I hate to hammer on my suggestion, but I really hope you will ask your vet if your dog may be having what they call a "paradoxical reaction" to the antidepressant.

I found support for my dogs' experience with Xanax and Valium on various internet sites. One says all drugs in the benzodiazepine class may have such paradoxical reactions.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What a brilliant point you are making!!!! The antidepressant my vet has us using is a topical, transdermal animal version of Mirtazapine. He is using it "off-label" because it typically is used on cats and is applied to their ears. My baby has all but lost his appetite since the injury and the vet says Mirtazapine not only elevates the mood but stimulates the appetite, and my baby is eating better. This vet is a very intuitive, intelligent man who shares my outrage and anger about what the last vet did to my baby. He calls me every week to ask how things are going and has really gone out of his way to be available for appointments, no matter the time of day. But you are absolutely right! We have to look at every possible reason my little guy snapped. Thank you so much for pointing out this issue of a possible paradoxical reaction. I will email my vet right now.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
2,479 Posts
Oops, sorry, I meant to post this link. Mirtazapine: MedlinePlus Drug Information

Especially this part of the 2nd paragraph and what I underlined.

"You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied abnormal excitement. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own."
 

· Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oops, sorry, I meant to post this link. Mirtazapine: MedlinePlus Drug Information

Especially this part of the 2nd paragraph and what I underlined.

"You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied abnormal excitement. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own."
Oh.My.God...the aggressive behavior thing nails it! The reason he was put on it was because he was completely lethargic, looked really depressed about a month out after the injury and just would not eat. So the vet thought mirtazapine was a double whammy, treating both problems. Within a day of applying it to his tummy, he ate like a little horse and he seemed a little more lively and perked up. But then, after about a week, his appetite slacked off again and he wasn't so peppy. We all thought that maybe it would take time for the drug to really work. But your point about aggression makes perfect sense. This has NEVER EVER been a part of my baby's character. I mean for 2 straight months he was in the eye specialist's office weekly where they were poking and pulling at his eyes for testing, like sticking strips of paper under the eyelid and pressing the eyeball with a metal rod to take a reading. It was pure torture, and he never showed a moment's aggression as all these people did this to him. But now, after being on the mirtazapine for 2 months, he takes a serious bite out of ME? His caretaker and mommy? For no other reason than I was reaching to put his eyedrops in? I think you have really found an issue. Most antidepressants have to be tapered off of, but from what I am reading mirtazapine does not, so I am not putting anymore on him. I will talk to my vet Monday and I am sure he will agree. Thank you so much. You are truly an angel sent from Heaven to take the time to help me. Bless you.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
2,479 Posts
I hope your vet agrees. 🙂 And there may be other appetite stimulants, or maybe a change in diet? Maybe a thorough exam to make sure all systems are good?

In the meantime, courage!

(My 18 year old Chi is always muzzled for toenail trims and other "procedures," and he still loves people at other times.)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am sure my vet will agree, and in the odd event he doesn't, I am still going to stop the drug. Also, this little guy has been checked stem to stern and the only thing we can come up with for his poor appetite at this point is the fact that he is REALLY spoiled and now insists on eating only the finest. He eats a variety of premium organic freeze-dried products in rotation with poached skinless chicken breast, tender steak, poached salmon, vegetables and fruits. He is so spoiled that if any of these fresh prepared foods are not cooked on the spot, he won't eat them the next day! Yes, call me an idiot and yes, I know I am doing him no favors by indulging this behavior, but we have felt so devastated by what he went through that we are willing to do anything it takes to make him happy. I am relieved to hear that your Chi gets a little restraint (lol) for certain occasions- I won't feel so awful putting a muzzle on my little guy during such events. Again, thank you for all your help. You make this world a better place!! Blessings.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top