Monday, April 18, 2011

This poor dog is breaking my heart.

It seems as though Sonny's progress had plateaued for a while.  He'd be voluntarily coming out of his crate at night when we're hanging out on the couch, and in the morning when I first got up.  He was beginning to play and interact with me a little bit as well. But it seems as though he's now taking steps backwards.  He spent a lot of time outside his crate when Rob was away, and for the first several days when Rob was back he continued with that pattern.  He even ventured close enough to Rob to smell him, and Rob stayed perfectly still, which was absolutely perfect for Sonny.

But for the last 3-4 days, he has been spending significantly more time in his crate than he was previously.  He hasn't voluntarily come out of his crate in days, and while in there, he presses himself up against the back of the crate so hard and for so long that he's leaving crate imprints on his fur.  He wraps himself up into a ball as small as he possibly can and shivers the entire time.  Previously, he would come out of his crate to sniff around and jump into the papasan chair.  Sometimes he chose to lay in Roxy or Buster's crate instead, and since neither of my guys mind, I don't stop him.  Sonny's crate is covered, and he is obviously uncomfortable when it's not covered.  Roxy and Buster's crates are not covered, so when Sonny voluntarily enters their crates to lay down, I consider it some level of progress for him.

The only time he moves is when I walk towards the crate with the leash, at which point he lifts his head to sniff my hand and allow me to attach the leash.  When I begin to walk away from the crate, he gets up, stretches, and follows me to the door.  When we get outside, he goes to the bathroom and then pulls me back inside, where he proceeds directly to his crate, where he doesn't move again until it's time to go back out again.

Worse yet, last week I took Sonny to the kennel so the vet tech there could help me cut his nails.  I didn't want to attempt it by myself, because he moves his paws a lot and I feared I could not safely trim his nails.  When I got there,  the vet tech was in the kennels so I left Sonny in the office with the rescue's president and the other vet tech for the rescue.  Previous to me taking him home, he'd been alone with other individuals without a problem, and those individuals are experienced with fearful dogs and specifically with Sonny, as well.  But poor Sonny was so scared that he defecated in the office despite being housetrained.  He had already gone to the bathroom that morning (within the last hour), so his response was definitely fear-based.

I feel terrible for this dog -- he's sitting there suffering silently and it's only been 5 weeks on the Clomipramine.  I am certain he needs a stronger dosage, so I'll be speaking to the vet again (she was out on vacation last week).  I think she'll want to wait until the 8 week mark in order to up his dosage since she told me that it sometimes takes 8 weeks to see any difference in the dog's behavior, but I think this backwards progress is a pretty clear indication that he needs additional medication.

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