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My mixed breed dog (a jack russel, dachshund, chihuahua mix) has had pancreatitis for the last three weeks. He is finally starting to get better, but me and my wife are starting to become extremely worried about his behavior. We have small children and have kept him in his crate while he recovers so that the children won’t bother him. We were letting him out when the children went to bed or nap, but he would just go into areas where we couldn’t reach him and stay there for hours without moving in pain. He is getting better but he was already a nervous dog to begin with, and it seems this has set him over the edge. We know he isn’t in as much pain as before he was trembling non stop, panting, etc. Now he is just anticipating pain.

His current behavior is to sit in his crate and not come out, including to go to the bathroom. He will pee int he crate and if we touch him to try to pick him up to carry him outside, he pees on us. Sometimes he will leave his crate to go to the bathroom, but that is only during the day and only after we have tried for over an hour to get him out and only if the kids are upstairs. If we reach into the crate, we get scared he will bite us (he did try to bite both me and my wife already. It isn’t every time, but it has happened). He refuses to come out of his crate, instead yelps a piercing yelp that wakes up our kids at night and probably our neighbors, growls, and would rather lay in his own urine than come out of the crate and go outside (we have his crate right next to the door so he is right there). We are extremely worried that when the pancreatitis goes away, the behavior will remain. He will continue to be terrified to leave his crate. And our biggest concern is that our dog who was extremely sweet with our 4 year old and 2 year old children will try to bite them. We keep them seperated right now, but we are very concerned that mentally he won’t recover.

He is a rescue dog. We have had him for four years and he was a sweet dog. He has always been extremely nervous and terrified, but has gotten better since we have gotten him. We are afraid he is going backwards and aren’t really sure if A). How to help him mentally recover? B) How to get him to start coming out of his crate again as he refuses to leave it for anything C) how to get him to stop anticipating pain. If anyone goes near his crate or him, he immediately freaks out. We know he isn’t in as much pain because he is no longer trembling and he is moving around much better inside of his crate than he was last week. Me and my wife haven’t had more than 4 hours of sleep in three weeks because of his yelping and he wakes up our kids. We have no idea how to help him mentally recover from this so any advise would be much appreciated!
 

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Pain will certainly alter their behavior. Pancreatitis is, unfortunately a disease that can have accompanying pain at levels that are overwhelming. I would ask your Vet for an assessment of what his current pain level is. If his pain levels are still high, even if lower than a few weeks ago, but still high, his behavior is not difficult to understand. When his pain levels are very low and gone, then is when I would start working with him more diligently. Without knowing how much pain he still has, assessing his behavior is only guesswork.
 
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