desensitization

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Hawthorne
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desensitization

Post by Hawthorne » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:30 pm

Just want to get other ideas before we try to desensitize our male.

Earlier this month, we took Darwin and Raven in for their vaccines. The Lyme vaccine is believed to be a bit painful -- it might sting when injected. So of course Darwin had some objection to getting this shot in his shoulder. The vet and vet tech tried many times to inject the full amount and finally Darwin had enough and snapped at the vet tech. Luckily Darwin missed. So--they put a muzzle on him--which is what I'd expect them to do--and finished the vaccine.

It seemed to me that in this one vet visit he was successfully conditioned to 1. not like vaccines, 2. not like being restrained, and 3. not like wearing a muzzle.

So today we returned to the vet and of course they just put a muzzle on him first thing and he immediately became upset (forehead wrinkles, panting, etc.)

I think it's our job now to desensitize him to muzzles, being restrained and to syringes. Wow. This is going to be an uphill battle with lots of treats. Thank goodness for his food drive.

Any specific ideas on how to best go about this? I have a very good idea where to start (i.e. show him the muzzle, give him a treat; touch him with the muzzle, give him a treat; put the muzzle on, take it off, give him a treat; increase time. Same goes with restraint and the syringe (without the needle of course!)

I think they successfully conditioned him in one vet visit...and perhaps it was too much all at once.
Tracy Graziano
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Nino
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Re: desensitization

Post by Nino » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:44 pm

is there any possibility to get some local anesthetic cream to put on the place where he will be be vaccinated beforehand?
Maybe use the DAP spray (collar might not be worth the money since they only work for like 4 weeks and you don't need to use them all the time) to make him relax?

Else I would do with the muzzle like you do, and maybe look into another Vet, it hasn't been necessary for any of the Vets I have brought my dogs for vaccinations at, to restrain the dog, only when I needed the Kennel Cough nasal spray/drip I needed to hold Sølves head..
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Re: desensitization

Post by arianwenarie » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:02 pm

The trainer I work for does muzzle training and touch sensitivity work with dogs who are stressed out at the vet. If I do not remember to send you an email about this later tonight, please poke me either with a PM or an email as the info is extremely lengthy. :)

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Re: desensitization

Post by issylupus » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:58 pm

There is a good chance it may be the Vet he has taken a dislike to and not the actual syringe or muzzle. If he had not experianced a muzzle before, then the vet shoved one on him while causing him pain and discomfort, then who could blame the poor lad... I would not tolorate a vet treating any of my pets in this way. If they had asked permission to muzzle my dog I would refuse. I think taking a little longer to do the treatment is faveroble to 'Forcing' the dog. Luckily my vet's are very kind to the dog's and are armed with plenty of treats and are very pacient.
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Re: desensitization

Post by Hawthorne » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:01 pm

Thank you both! He was fine at the vet before this incident. I love our vet and really believe it was because he didn't like being restrained, didn't like the muzzle, and didn't like being poked repeatedly. Who would? He needed his shot and they did what they are trained to do. Darwin tried to bite the vet tech. He's not an aggressive dog--I just think he had enough with all the needle pricking. Just bad luck, I think, that he had to be stuck so many times.

Yes, our vet is patient. We were in the office for two hours. I don't think the muzzle caused him pain--I think he panicked because he's never worn one before. Let's face it--he tried to bite and the last thing I want is for Darwin to bite our vet tech. Putting a muzzle on him was the right thing to do.

I am not into pointing fingers. It is unfortunate that this happened and I can tell you that our vet is a keeper. She's very compassionate and loves our dogs. Our dogs love her. Both times when we took the muzzle off Darwin took treats from her happily so I think he's okay with the people. I really think it's the combo of those three things: restraint, muzzle, and needles.
Tracy Graziano
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lick like there's no end to kissing
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Re: desensitization

Post by Canadia » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:26 pm

That sounds like a solid plan. Finch had to be restrained and muzzled for a painful shot once but the vet was very gentle about the whole thing and when he freaked out a bit she offered an oral medication alternative that I could give him myself. After she took the muzzle off she made sure to play a food game with him and he forgave her right away. She never put the muzzle on him after that - she always gave him the benefit of the doubt - maybe your vet could give Darwin a second chance too? ;)

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Re: desensitization

Post by arianwenarie » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:56 pm

I sent you that email I promised before I forgot. lol.

While I do like my vet very much, I don't like how they restrain Abby...two people manhandle her to give her shots. I don't think they trust me to restrain my own dog even though I've done it in the past and they gave her shots like it was mosquito bites to her. :lol: I was taught to do minimal restraint where I just hold abby's collar near her head and keep my knuckles wedged between the ear and jaw joint area so that she can't turn her head. I press her head and her body against me (almost like a U shape into me) and use my other hand to hold the part right before her flank to restrict her back end movement. One leg is leaning against her side to keep her in the U-shape and the other leg is gently pressed against her chest to keep her from moving forward. I'm standing up, obviously, and so is she (on all fours) and I'm bending over her while rubbing her neck with my thumb...feebly... and praising her. Once the vet techs are done poking her, I tell them to back up and I gently nudge Abby away from me just in case she decided to nip at me for holding her so long. :P

To the vet techs, I think they think Abby can whip her head around and bite them if she wanted...or she'd squirm out of my hold. If I decided to put her in a headlock, she'd probably bite ME in the face. Though, I suppose if they ever wanted me to restrain her that other way, I could...with my head facing away from her big head. 8-)

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Re: desensitization

Post by skyedream » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:25 am

I'm not sure whether you're going to have much luck with this one. Yes, of course you should get Darwin to associate the muzzle with treats and excessive praise. But if a dog knows something bad is coming then it's difficult to calm them down. I just cleaned out Maya's ears last night and she stayed still for the first one with my someone holding her in the down position by the scruff of the neck (had to hide the bottle behind my back when I approached her). But when I came back for the other ear she desperately tried to get up and escape (but couldn't find purchase on the tiled floor!) Once we were done she got loads of treats and praise.

I don't think I'll ever get her to like or even tolerate having her ears cleaned!
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Re: desensitization

Post by Hawthorne » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:14 am

Well, I clip my dogs nails, and clean their ears, brush them no problem. That took a lot of patience and time but treats work! They are all fine about getting shots--until Darwin had this one incident. I just don't want him to get worse. And I hope there is a possibility that with a year's time (the next time he goes in for shots) that he may be okay. :D
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

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Re: desensitization

Post by juice » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:45 am

if your vets are willing maybe you can take him down regulary to see all the people involved in this incident. this way they can give treats for just being there and eventually hold a syringe whilst giving treats and then touch his skin with it. this will take some time but i think you will get some good results. i wouldnt wait a year to take him back as he will remember the last time he was there and also more importantly he will remember the smell, if you do the above he will then associate the vets with nice people and treats. the same principal can be used for car training. its all about small frequent steps and praise. good luck :D

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Re: desensitization

Post by Hawthorne » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:38 pm

juice wrote:if your vets are willing maybe you can take him down regulary to see all the people involved in this incident. this way they can give treats for just being there and eventually hold a syringe whilst giving treats and then touch his skin with it. this will take some time but i think you will get some good results. i wouldnt wait a year to take him back as he will remember the last time he was there and also more importantly he will remember the smell, if you do the above he will then associate the vets with nice people and treats. the same principal can be used for car training. its all about small frequent steps and praise. good luck :D
Good idea, thanks! The vet is only 5 minutes away so it shouldn't be a problem.
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

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