Scared to death of the vet

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Scared to death of the vet

This is a discussion on Scared to death of the vet within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a rescue Australian Sheppard mix. When we got our dog he was 7 months old and scared to death of everyone, especially men. ...

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Old 05-07-2018, 07:14 AM
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Scared to death of the vet

I have a rescue Australian Sheppard mix. When we got our dog he was 7 months old and scared to death of everyone, especially men. It took me 20 minutes of sitting on the floor of the kennel before he would come out and check me out. He also had an extreme reaction to a collar and leash. Whoever had the dog before me really screwed him up. Flash forward a year. He has gotten better with people, he is still very cautious but doesn't hide like he used to. Now, to my problem, lol. The first time I took him to the vet he peed all over the place just as soon as the vet came in. I was like, ok, I can deal with this. The second time is when the real fun started. He is extremely cautious of men and this time at the vet, they brought in this huge muscular guy to hold him while they drew blood. Just as soon as the needle went in the dog freaks out, twists out of the muscular guys arm and bit me in the hand, thinking that I was the guy holding him. He preceded to crap and pee all over the place and was scared to death. At home, every time he saw my bandaged hand, he would lower his head and walk away, he felt guilty that he bit me. I actually skipped going to the vet last year due to my and the dogs anxiety, but I had to take him this year so I could get the prescription heart worm and tick medication. This time I let the vet techs take him back without me being in the room. The techs and the vet were all women. He again was ok until the needle stick, and he again pooped and peed all over. I know vets don't have the time to sit with an animal to get to know them before the exam, I just don't know what to do to make the vet visit more pleasant for my dog. We tried to drug him and he was sleepy until we got to the vet and he worked right through the medication like it was nothing. My vet is now suggesting that we knock the dog out in order to get his annual done. I would hate to do that but I will if need be. Any suggestions would be great or if you know of a very patient vet in the Kingston, NY area, I would be grateful.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:51 AM
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Since Vet care is critical for their well being, I would ask the Vet for some medication to sedate, not necessarily knock him out, that you could give him at home prior to going.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laco View Post
Since Vet care is critical for their well being, I would ask the Vet for some medication to sedate, not necessarily knock him out, that you could give him at home prior to going.
I'll highly agree with you Laco! Nice thought.
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:39 AM
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If he really needs to be sedated then you don't have a choice. I think trying with a different vet would still make the same output. He'll still be afraid seeing the needle just like you said.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:11 PM
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I am scared of vets too. After they gave me a sample tab that would make my dog kill fleas and ticks on his body for three months, I stopped going. Just because they send you a postcard every year with yet more recommended vaccines, you don't have to go. Feed good quality and raw food and avoid the stupid drugs and other chemicals. Farm dogs that have never been to a vet live 16 - 18 years.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:32 AM
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I would think I would start with short, simple hello visits to the vet. Bring WOW treats like bratwurst or liver or something irresisitable and build into the vet. The first visit may just be sitting in the parking lot. Reward for calmness, looks at the vets, and focus. Show that this doesn't have to be a terrifying experience. Eventually when there is no fear in the parking lot go into the lobby and do the saw, machine gun yummy treats into his mouth rewarding for calm behavior. Be prepared this might take a while.

Sedatives may be necessary in the beginning but they don't address the fear the dog has.

Have you spoken with a trainer or a behaviorist?
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:09 AM
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I agree with jclark, building a foundation of positive association with the vet would be a great place to begin, and you could probably have the staff feed him the high value treats, they’re usually very willing. Put a stress on male employees feeding treats as well.

In the meantime, sedatives would probably be the best option
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:47 PM
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A fearful/defensive dog on sedatives will only validate that their behavior is correct for the situation. As well as scare them more because now they do not feel as alert.

Lack of confidence being reinforced by humans. Build his confidence..praise everything good that he does, play with him with a flirt pole and act like you at a sporting event.whoo hoo, when he catches it...tell him get it get it when he has it in his mouth...all positive stuff as well as your energy.
Stop anticipating his behavior because he is picking up on your energy as well as all the other humans and dogs around him. Stay calm and teach him you will never let anyone or anything harm him.

Take him for car rides and instead of giving treats/oral goodies. Give him love petting, kissing, hugs or pats how ever you show your love when he is calm. We transfer energy from our hands and if some human is coming near a dog with negative energy they will do all they can to get them not to touch them. The more you touch him with loving hands the more he will desire it.

Play buzz buzz game. First buzz like bug and goose him somewhere on his body then laugh. Laughter is awesome positive energy and reduces negative. Make games out of the fearful/defensive behavior. Change the way you react to change the dogs action always in a fun loving manner.
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