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Some of you might remember I've asked here for suggestions on how to handle Frosty to be able to groom him. He's old and touchy and hates even brushing now, but when I have to bathe him or trim him it's a really bad day. I asked my vet about sedation and they didn't offer any--I asked if they could groom him there because he has a #4 heart murmur and gets very stressed and sedation would be dangerous without their facility--they don't groom. I use a grooming post and muzzle for when he gets unmanageble, but he fights them so bad it is almost worse. Lately he has gotten so bad about biting that my husband can't pick him up without being bit. He could at any moment when you walk past him lying on the floor lunge at your feet and try to chew them off! I can only pick him up if I first get his OK and even then never know if he'll turn on me. I have scars all over my hands from his sudden attacks.

Well, today was bath day. I got through the bath using the muzzle after he tried several times to lunge out of the sink to bite me. I got him mostly brushed out--he won't let me do much with his hind legs. I let him rest an hour or so then was going to pick him up and put him back on the grooming table to see if I could get some of him trimmed. The harder he is to groom the longer his hair gets, because I can't control him enough to cut it. Then all h**l broke loose! He grabbed my right hand so hard and bit over and over. I actually had a hard time getting him off of my hand. My screaming didn't faze him, since he's almost stone deaf! He bit almost through the palm between the thumb and fore finger. The punctures are deep and it's very brused. There are I think 12 different holes! This not the first time it's happened and I've tried everything I can come up with. When I'm not needing to do anything with him and avoid getting too close or touching him when he's sleeping--I can usually get along with him. This is all related to his aging and whatever health or mental thing is happening to him. The last bad bite 5 mo. ago I had over $700 worth of lab tests and X-rays, etc. done trying to find something wrong that we could help him with. Nothing shows up except the heart murmur, slightly high liver enzymes, and a borderline thyroid. He could have early Cushing's but all the tests so far are just borderline, and he doesn't have the classic symptoms.

I'm broken hearted thinking that we can't let this go on much longer. If there is a way to help him with whatever is causing these attacks, we would do it. But he is almost 14 and things are getting to the point that it is dangerous to handle him. My husband is about to the end of his rope. When I get bit it is always much worse and results in antibiotics, but Doug gets bit a lot more often, almost every time he touchs him. Luckily it is always more of a nick or scratch. The crazy thing is, Frosty obviously loves us! He acts so sorry for hours after he go nuts and hurts me. We've tried several "training" methods, but think it is more of a senile thing not a training issue. It is difinetly an abnormal thing.

Sorry to run on so, I'm just so upset. My hand hurts terrible, but my heart hurts worse! I just can't see putting my darling down.
 

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I am so sorry to read about what is going on. I have no answers for you, wish I did. Hopefully someone here can help you. Good luck.
 

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I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. You obviously love Frosty very much, I don't have a solution to offer, just support you in whatever you need to do for Frosty and your family.
Quincymom
 

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omg....I am really sorry, I dont think you should put him to sleep, its just too sad just thinking about it, best if luck and I hope everything goes well
 

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Geez, you cannot go on like this. I don't think it's a training problem either. Since he is 14 it looks more like senility. You know dogs get that too like people. Some get childish but some other ones get darn nasty. You might not have much of a choice left. It's heart breaking. What does your vet say ? If people in hospices get too agressive they tranquilize them, but then they are like zombies. Don't know if you can do that to a dog. And do you really want to.
 

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Oh, gosh, I just can't imagine what is going on with him......Have you checked with a behaviorist?

One suggestion I have is to wear heavy leather gloves when handling him. They will protect your hands. My first Malt, Rosebud, used to bite me under certain circumstances and the gloves worked like a champ.

I am so sorry to hear what you are going through....
 

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I just now re-read your post and didn't realize that he would bite for no reason. Gosh this is just heart breaking... Is it possible that his eyesight is bad and he is startled when you walk by or sense of smell is gone and he doesn't recognize you? Could something be hurting him so that when you pick him up it hurts that spot?

Maybe a mild tranquilizer would help .... even a benedryl, which I believe is fairly safe even for heart problems. My Rosebud had CHF and she could have a benedryl to relax her if needed.
 

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K/C's Mom: We did consult a behaviorist 5 mo. ago when he first bit me badly for no reason. That's when we started all his physical tests to see if there was a physical reason. Both they and the vet have no clue unless he has a brain tumor or just a senile response. I think his hearing loss is part of it.

He has always been a dominant type and slightly aggressive in some situations, like with other dogs. He has never liked his feet touched when grooming, but was controllable. I could sweet talk him into most anything. Or use my "harse" voice to get his attention. He'd just grumble under his breath, like "cussing" me out, but let me do it. It's the sudden, full-out, full force attacks, like flipping a switch, that is completely different. I'm not talking about one quick snap! It's a continueous biting--trying to kill something biting thing that I can't stop until he lets go. It's with all the force his 10 lb. body can produce. It causes deep punctures and lots of brusing.

I've worried about it hurting him to pick him up, so I've taught him to put his front feet on my arm, then I reach under his bottom and lift his weight. He usually still does his under the breath grumble, but goes with it O.K., not so when Doug picks him up. The only time it's O.K. is when he ASKS to be picked up. There is a lot of dominance issue there with Doug. Today when he went balistic and about chewed my hand off I was going to pick him up and put him back on the grooming table. He raised up to put his weight on my arm, so I thought he was OK with it, then he suddenly was at my hand! No warning grumble.

This is so impossible to figure out! He's so sweet in between problems, but I never know now when he's going to flip! I can't just live my life in heavy gloves. I can stop trying to groom him and take a chance on a groomer not hurting him, which I hate! But that won't cure all the other sudden attacks. I haven't tried any sedation except Rescue Remedy, which made him worse. Benadryl he's had for allergies and it does make him a little sleepy, so maybe for grooming type things, but not constantly. My adult children think I'm nuts trying to live with him, but he's been my 24/7 buddy for over 13 years! Thank you for all your nice comments. I know there isn't an easy answer. I just needed a shoulder, and am happy for any comments.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about Frosty's increasing unpredictable aggression. I know it's heartwrenching. We dealt with this last year with our lovely April who had always been the sweetest, gentlest angel. She went into a rapid decline with bouts of increasing unpredictable aggression along with other signs of senility. We made the very difficult decision to have her put her to sleep when the episodes got closer and her quality as life, as well as ours, was compromised.
 

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My heart aches for you and Frosty. I've had to make the decision to let a dog go before, but they were in pain. It was still hard. Just remember that we are here for you, whatever your decision.
 

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You're facing a situation we all dread and fear. It's a sad reality that we are going to lose these precious furbabies. I just wish it would be on their terms and we would be spared from making such a hard decision. But remember you signed on to always do what was best for Frosty, no matter what your feelings would be, so if your heart is telling you it's time, be strong for Frosty. You have my understanding.
 

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I know this might sound bad, but, have you thought of using a muzzle? When he tries biting, put a muzzle on him, or when grooming put one on? I don't think it is inhumane, it will help him.

One like this is nice because it doesn't close their muzzle, it looks bad, but it is better thatn the material ones....:


I am sorry to hear all of this and I know it is breaking your heart. Aging pets are struggles for humans!

Good luck to you...


~Elegant
 

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I dont have much advice to offer. However when I gave Prissy Benedryl yesterday to help her relax man did it work. she just calmed down. I would check with your vet if it is safe for him. My vet said it was ok for prissy and her pups. Also when shiner was young and we had to fly him and we couldnt fly him in cabin because he at the time went crazy screaming when you left him. the vet gave us some meds to make him calm down. We also purchased this liquid from petsmart I think it was called puppy calm or somthing like that and you mix it in there water. We used it a few times for shiners sep issues.

Since frosty has a heat murmer I would check before giving him anything.

this is all I have to offer. I hope you find a solution.
 

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I am so very sorry you are and Frosty are going through this trying time. Has your vet suggested a scan to see if there may be something going on that might be the cause of his behaviour. He very possibly could have a small brain tumor that is causing him pain and discomfort. You certainly can't go on with him attacking you in this manner and causing you such painful injuries as this will eventually effect your own health. There is obviously something going on to cause Frosty to be like this, either his age or his deafness or an illness you are not aware of. I know it is very hard and a heart wrenching dicision but perhaps you need to really consider letting him go. I am so sorry. I know how difficult it must be for you and your hubby, but as others have said we are all going to face this time with our furbabies eventually, but you have my total support in whatever you choose to do for Frosty. I know you do love him dearly or you wouldn't have put up with his aggression for this long. Please keep us posted on your progress, we are here to help you through this very trying time.
 

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Originally posted by Frosty's Mom@Jun 18 2005, 12:21 AM
K/C's Mom: We did consult a behaviorist 5 mo. ago when he first bit me badly for no reason. That's when we started all his physical tests to see if there was a physical reason. Both they and the vet have no clue unless he has a brain tumor or just a senile response. I think his hearing loss is part of it.

He has always been a dominant type and slightly aggressive in some situations, like with other dogs. He has never liked his feet touched when grooming, but was controllable. I could sweet talk him into most anything. Or use my "harse" voice to get his attention. He'd just grumble under his breath, like "cussing" me out, but let me do it. It's the sudden, full-out, full force attacks, like flipping a switch, that is completely different. I'm not talking about one quick snap!  It's a continueous biting--trying to kill something biting thing that I can't stop until he lets go. It's with all the force his 10 lb. body can produce. It causes deep punctures and lots of brusing.

I've worried about it hurting him to pick him up, so I've taught him to put his front feet on my arm, then I reach under his bottom and lift his weight. He usually still does his under the breath grumble, but goes with it O.K., not so when Doug picks him up. The only time it's O.K. is when he ASKS to be picked up. There is a lot of dominance issue there with Doug. Today when he went balistic and about chewed my hand off I was going to pick him up and put him back on the grooming table. He raised up to put his weight on my arm, so I thought he was OK with it, then he suddenly was at my hand! No warning grumble.

This is so impossible to figure out! He's so sweet in between problems, but I never know now when he's going to flip! I can't just live my life in heavy gloves. I can stop trying to groom him and take a chance on a groomer not hurting him, which I hate! But that won't cure all the other sudden attacks. I haven't tried any sedation except Rescue Remedy, which made him worse. Benadryl he's had for allergies and it does make him a little sleepy, so maybe for grooming type things, but not constantly.  My adult children think I'm nuts trying to live with him, but he's been my 24/7 buddy for over 13 years!  Thank you for all your nice comments. I know there isn't an easy answer. I just needed a shoulder, and am happy for any comments.

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Gosh, ... My heart goes out to you and your husband... and Frosty.
 

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I have no solutions for you. Just wanted you to know that I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Remember that we are all here for you and will support your decision, whatever that may be.
 

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I don't have any solutions for you, but my heart aches to read your story, because I can sense the frustration and anguish in your words.

Big hugs to you.
You are a good mommy and will know when the right decision must be made.
 
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