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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1264
Experience:  over 13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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In August 2014 my long haired yorkie/chihuahua standard size

Customer Question

In August 2014 my long haired yorkie/chihuahua standard size was attacked badly by 2 greyhounds. He was 18 mths and castrated. He had puncture wounds all over his rear area and his back leg was torn by a bite. Since then whenever any size breed of dog approaches him he snarls and bites/snaps at them whem they come over to say hello. The vet said it will take time but I was wondering if taking him to a socializing group might help or do you think this might 'freak' him out? Thinking of putting a muzzle on him too? Man vanished with his dogs. I informed local dog warden.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Bruce :

Hello, this is Dr. Bruce and I would like to help you with Rolo.

Dr. Bruce :

I'm sorry to hear that he had this horrible experience. I am not surprised that he is so anxious at this point.

Dr. Bruce :

I don't think that muzzling Rolo will help him. I think that will only add to his anxiety.

Dr. Bruce :

You may find that it is not possible to completely eliminate his anxiety. After all, he had a very traumatic experience, and it may have permanently scarred him. However, if you are committed to helping him, then the best bet would likely be to relearn socialization skills with small groups of dogs that you know will be friendly to him.

Dr. Bruce :

If you have friends with dogs of similar size to Rolo, that would obviously be the ideal situation. Do not rush or force him to do things he is not comfortable with. This will take some time and may never go back to the way he was prior to the attack.

Dr. Bruce :

If it seems like the situation is worsening, then it may be necessary to put Rolo on an antianxiety medication. There are several available, and your vet can prescribe them. The two most common medications used would be diazepam (valium), and fluoxetine (Prozac). I would recommend starting with the fluoxetine. He may need to be on this for a few months or longer to really get the most benefit from the drug.

Dr. Bruce :

Please be aware that some dogs that experience this level of trauma will never go back to being the same. If Rolo was a very timid dog before, this may prevent him from ever being an outgoing social dog.

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX tried to mix with people we used to meet over the field. These are small dogs like him but the owners tend to walk in the other direction now. As I said it seems to be the larger dog owners that are more understanding. The dogs he always played with they moved away from the area.

Customer:

Think I will go back to our vet to see him. I was just seeing if anyone had any other helpful ideas that could help with my situation ad he was such a happy playful dog before, used to love playing with other dogs.

Dr. Bruce :

I think it would be worth trying the Prozac for a month or two to see if you can take the edge off of his anxiety. Then taking him into controlled situations with 1 or 2 other friendly small dogs so that he is eased into socializing.

Customer:

Thank you for your help and advice.

Dr. Bruce :

You're very welcome. Also, just make sure that when you are in any socializing situation, and he reacts, do not pick him up or "protect" him in any way. Just ignore him and let him realize that the world is not ending just because another dog is nearby. Good luck!

Customer:

Ok, Thank you again.

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