Shih Tzu left alone
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  1. #1
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    Shih Tzu left alone

    We have a wonderful 8 months old shih tzu and he has to stay alone for quite awhile until we come home from work. Anywhere from 8 to 10 hours I know it sounds bad. He has the guest bedroom all for himself. He has his toys, water and food, and the whole bed for himself. He was fine so far, or that's what we thought. Lately he ended up to the emergency room on a Sunday night because of excessive vomiting. By Friday of that week we ended up to the Vet because he comited again white foam (evry time). The dr. sugested that it seems to have a soar throat and that's why he's leaking excessivly as well. He's on antibiotics now.

    But, what I noticed lately: he scratches and assuming eats the door wood frame. When I leave in the morning he is very sleepy and has the puppy eyes, goes all the way in the living room (far away from where I get ready for work), and seets on the couch. Then I take him in my arms and get him to the bedroom, put him in bed, with the kong with a biscuit and/or a dental chewing stick/bone. When I get home, he is next to the door (we keep the door close), and jumps over me like crazy. The problem is he is SOAKING WET under his chin and front pows. He will not touch his treats that I left in the morning untill we come home.

    All these makes us realized that he must be in distress and all that wood chips probably causes his sore thoat as well. A couple of months ago, when he went in the front room on the couch, looking like an angel, I thought of leaving him there and not lock him in his room. He distryed our wood custom made blinds. I guess he likes to have access to watch on the window. We tried the kennel when he was little...two different ones and it was the same way...soaking wet, he actualy chew the metal fastener that we used, because he could easily open the gate. My husband left him out of the room, with all doors closed to the other rooms, access to a holway, and with a baby gate towards the front room. He actualy managed to jump over the gate...that's why we ended up closing the door to the bedroom.

    We are thinking of getting him used a little beat at a time to the whole house while we are gone. Will he destroy more? Will his life be in danger? Are there any remedies that help? Will he be all the time like this? HELP...is our first dog and we love him very much. What can we do?

    Thank you

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  3. #2
    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: Shih Tzu left alone

    The drooling is likely related to nausea - you said you were seeing vomiting, right? The rest - Well, I'm not the expert here, so I'll back out of that one, because people with more knowledge will be along.
    Last edited by CptJack; 06-27-2012 at 05:18 PM.

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    Re: Shih Tzu left alone

    It's still a mystery to what cause him to be soaking wet. I thought that could be excessive drooling.
    The vomiting was just white foam. He didn't have any such episode since last Friday. I do believe that it could be stress related.

    We tried to have the room as much as possible puppy proof...but...recently we didn't do such a good job. Today I came home and beside more damage to the door frame and the wood floor, he managed to get the pills bottle with his antibiotics pills from the dresser. He managed to open it (which is not that easy). I found all the tiny pills on the floor and don't think that he ingested any because he doesn't like them and he always spits them if we don't manage to stuck them on his throat. The bottle itself was smashed and chewed, no label anymore...leaked it all.

    I am very concerned. We can try the bitter chewing deterrent spray that we have but am wondering if it will last. Doesn't dry after a while ?!? and maybe loose the effect? Other than that how to make him not get to the door? He escapes anything we put him in. We even had a paned area...no luck. He jumps over.

    How dangerous is to have the whole house to himself? I am afraid for him and for the damage. I know that he was fine in a couple of times we let him by himself free...just the damage to the blinds. Obvious can be more than that. I just need to know if it would help. If it would give him more peace of mind.

    After he jumped of joy and run like crazy when I came...we went out, came back, gave him a treat...now he is lying on the floor like...I don't want to have anything to do with anybody. I am wondering if he's too tired after he fought with that door all day

    Other people with more experience?

    Thank you

  5. #4
    Senior Member Nev Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Shih Tzu left alone

    Ok - so the excess drooling is definetely stress related - seperation anxiety to be precise. There is tons of info on this website and the www in general on this topic. Dogstardaily comes to mind.

    Main thing to try and do is ensure the dog has had a ton of exercise before you put her away. She must be totally played out. She will then sleep for several hours. On waking she needs to have something to break the boredom. Stuffed kongs, food dispensing toys, soft chew toys, old shoes.

    Do not let her have the run of the house. Pups can be very destructive. Not intentionally so, just trying to break the boredom.

    It would help to have someone came take her for a walk part way through the day, and give her another exercise session that will tire her out.
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

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    Re: Shih Tzu left alone

    Thank you so much for all the sugestions.

    You are right on the wet part. I already mentioned twice to 2 different vets and neither said anything or be worried. BUT, when I take him out lately, he stopes to pee a gazilions times. I thought it could be an urinary infection and since we start taking him antibiotics I would wait to see if there's a change.

    I mean what can I do about it? Shall I go to the doctor and spend all that money on tests? Or better wait more?

    We did protect now the door and sprayed it with a spray formulated for dog training. I left a stuffed kong and a dental stick.

    Tomorrow I'll definetly add the clothes and worm bottle and look into the music option.

    With the workout in the morning...I'll have to talk with my husband - he's walking him in the morning. I am very sleepy in the morning

    Thank you again. And also - is this situation something that will pass, like a stage...once he grows he gets better? He doesn't seems to be totaly dependent on us, and can stay by himself at times in different places...There were other habits of his that were bothering us that now went away. Is this something that he'll get used the same way?

  7. #6
    aiw
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    Re: Shih Tzu left alone

    This sounds like the exact symptoms our dog Pete displays when he is left alone. He is crated so he doesnt actually destroy anything, just paws at the entrance. We are also certain that the little puddles are drool which shows stress and panting. The pads of his feet are wet because dogs sweat out of their paws! We realized this when we started the "leaving process" and Pete would leave behind wet doggy prints as he followed us room to room. Pete also barks almost continuously when left alone, you may want to leave a recorder and get a sense of when the stress really sets in. That way you can figure out if he eats his kong and then freaks out (as Pete does) or if the panic sets in right when you leave. We have been training him using Patricia McConnells "I'll be Home soon" book which has been really helpful.

    The other thing I would add is, where does he sleep? Pete used to sleep in my room but we saw a major breakthrough when we started having him sleep downstairs in his crate. He was already acclimated to his crate so the first few nights werent too rough, just make sure you don't even go downstairs when he is whining or you will reinforce the behaviour, buy some earplugs. Make sure to get him used to the crate slowly and with positive associations before you try this though or you will be in for a few nights of a frantic dog (no fun for anyone). I'm definitely not an expert but this really helped with our dog.

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    Re: Shih Tzu left alone

    Well...at least there is somebody else that has a similar experience. So far nobody seemed to be familiar (if I can say that) with this wet situation.

    aiw, you have a good point and this is a BIG concern of my and a problem. He is not touching his stuffed kong or any other treats that we would leave with the purpose of getting him busy. Is very hard to say when and for how long his anxiety last. Could start shortly after I leave or maybe 1/2 hour before comming home...

    One thing for sure. He is not barking and getting all agitated before I leave the house. He is not a barker in general. And after I lock the door, I don't hear him barking.

    Today I sprayed again the area where he was chewing and we have a sort of board the would protect it but that can be chewed as well. Yesterday was not as bad as before. I stuffed a dirty sock of my husband with an empty plastic bottle. He love socks and he likes playing with embty plastic bottles. I left a dirty Tshirt a few treats and a new bone that I bought yesterday. I gave it to him a few minutes before he got in the room to get his interest on chewing it and get the flavor. Hope it worked. You should see the sad face he puts when is time to get to the bedroom. He goes byhimself in the front room...maybe thinkig that I'll forget to put him in his room ...who knows what is in a puppy's mind.

    I also left a CD on repeat with music for dogs. I saw yesterday online a soothing mat, or smth like this. I thought I can do it myself. Untill then, the fastest and cheapest thing I did, I put a gel heating pad in a towel, maded like a pocket and sew it so he would not be able to take it out. Stuck it under the blanket in our bed in the morning to get our sence, heated in the microwave, and place it with him in the room. Unfortunately I forgot it in the microwave and realized only on my way to work.

    Hope today it will go better. Not sure though if he will be calm enough to enjoy the treats and the bone... Will see.

    Thank you for your help.

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