How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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In most cases, dogs lie on top or sleep snuggled into your side because they want affection and want to show you the same. Smaller dogs might even lie on your lap as they fall asleep.
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After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.
My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.
Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8
I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8
(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)
Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!
Neck pain in small dogs is usually due to disk problems. They get a form of disk disease known as Hansen’s type II chronic disease, where the disk gradually moves upward and presses slowly on the spinal cord, causing pain and weakness.
Generalized weakness can be due to a number of conditions, starting with just not feeling well due to a GI problem (nausea, for example) to something like anemia (low red blood cell count) or heart disease. It sounds very much like your girl isn’t feeling well, and likely need some diagnostics in order to figure out what’s going on. You vet will start with a physical examination and rule out possible neck pain, and then will likely recommend blood work or other tests. If you want to talk to us further we can probably provide more information on a consult, where we can get more details about exactly what’s going on.
However, as far as specific neurologic conditions that might cause what you’re seeing, chronic ear infections or a polyp in the inner or middle ear can affect the vestibular nerve and affect balance, some drugs if used long term (metronidazole) can cause it as well. Other things include intervertebral disk disease (slipped disk), cancer in the spinal cord, thiamine deficiency (not a problem if your cat eats a commercially-prepared diet) and feline infectious peritonitis.
Unfortunately the only way to start figuring out what’s going on is likely with lab work (complete blood count, chemistry panel, and urinalysis) and x-rays for starters (likely of the spine). And as I said above a good neuro exam is critical to starting to figure out whether it’s a neuro problem or not. Your vet will possibly recommend other tests based on the initial results. If you’d like to consult further about exactly what’s going on with your cat select the “consult” button.
Another thing you can do is have a toy that YOU OWN. This can be a soft braided rope toy or something of the like. Dot not allow your dog to have this toy whenever he wants. This toy disappears when you are done playing with him with it, and reappears when you want to play. Never allow him to “win” games with this toy. Eventually, the toy will hold so much meaning, when he sees it, he will be instantly interested in the toy instead of your hands.
It also helps to have two bags of toys. Bag#1 is full of chew toys/rope toys/soft toys/etc. It comes out for one week, and then disappears and out comes Bag#2. Bag#2 has the same types of toys in it. This will keep the toys feeling like “new” to your pup and make him less likely to chew on you during play!
You could also try adding things to your pups diet. Things like canned pumpkin for dogs (not the pie filling you find in the grocery store, that has way too much sugar in it). Or you could feed your dog raw chews like marrow bones, or beef tendons. You’ll have to add things to his diet in order to find out what is missing from it. If you allow him to continue eating poop, even if there is something lacking in his diet, he will continue eating poop when you’ve solved his diet issue because it will become a LEARNED behavior. This means he will continue eating poop because he learned he CAN eat poop. You could also try feeding him three meals per day. Feed him the same amount of food, but break it up into three feedings per day. This could help him feel a bit more full throughout the day.
Clean up your yard, and clean up after your pups immediately when they eliminate outdoors. Do not scold him, there is no need.. it isn’t his fault.