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Very sleep deprived owner of an 8 month old rat terrier here with a long story... Please help!

Sammy had been a pretty super dog up until Tuesday. He is a rescue, and had been suffering from a little separation anxiety, but we've been working with him on that and felt he was making progress.

He has always been confident with other dogs and is well-socialized, and Tuesday evening he had an hour and a half romp with his doggy friends at our local dog park. Wednesday morning, however, he work up with a lame eye. We took him to the vet to discover that he had a scratched cornea.

Not a huge deal -- he got some eye drops, antibiotics, and an e-collar. We are not fans of the e-collar, but he HAD been trying to rub the eye, so we kept him in it. By night one, he was looking kind of down, but seemed otherwise okay. The eye was already a little better. We put him to bed like usual, in our sun room, where his crate is. And...

About 2:30 AM, we awoke to him howling. This hasn't happened in a long time (he had one incident of late-night howling after we were away for a weekend about a month ago). We attempted to wait it out but, living in the city, there's only so long we can wait. We waited for a lull and then checked on him to discover him outside his crate, just hanging out.

Now, we hadn't watched him go into the crate that night. We hypothesized that maybe he never had -- maybe he couldn't get in there with the collar on? It WAS his first time in an e-collar. So we helped him back his way in and get comfy. He went to sleep, we went to sleep.

The next day, things seemed okay, although he was lower energy than usual. Nighttime came, we put him to bed, and this time we watched him go into his crate and lay down. But...

12:30 AM, and we awoke to him howling again. He was back outside the crate. We tried a number of tricks, but nothing got him to stop. For hours this went on. Eventually, thinking he was in pain and needed comfort, we relented and brought his crate into our bedroom. Still he wouldn't go in. He wandered around our bed and cried. If we pet him for a few minutes, he would lay down, whimpering, and fall asleep, then get up a few minutes later and wander the room, crying.

Morning came today (too fast). My husband had to wake Sammy (which never happens -- he is a true terrier) and took him out for a run. He didn't need much exercise, seeing as he was exhausted from no sleep. When he got home, he followed us around the house, whimpering and crying. So we tried a new tactic our trainer advised to help work through his already-existing separation anxiety that we'd been chipping away at; we separated him behind a baby gate from where we were in the kitchen, gave him a food dispensing toy with his breakfast in it, and gave him until we were ready to leave for work to finish his food (he comes to work with both of us on a rotating basis). He didn't TOUCH his food. Just sat and whimpered.

I took back his meal (he missed out on it -- that's the strategy, to teach him to focus on other things besides us), and freed him up to move around the house. My husband left for work. Sammy began alternating between roaming the house, crying, looking for him, and laying on the couch, crying.

I packed him up to leave for work with me and as we headed down the front steps, he froze in fear. I realized then that the e-collar was debilitating for him to maneuver in on the stairs, and thought maybe it was responsible for a lot of his wazzy behavior. I took it off.

In general, he's seemed a little better since the collar came off -- only a little whimpering at one point during the work day -- but he is definitely low-energy and depressed. Just laying around, doesn't want to play or come to me.

My husband and I are sick with worry about him. He was definitely a needy dog with a bit of velcro syndrome before this happened, but we believed he was making good progress toward feeling more secure with us, and now he seems to have suffered a huge setback. His eye seems fully healed, and he is just about done with his meds, but could he still be in significant pain? Could the experience of the collar have depressed him? Could we have set bad behavior trends in the last few days, and how can we reverse them?

What do I do for my sweet pup to get him feeling back to normal again?
 

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Talk to your vet about a different size ecollar or cut the ecollar down so he can't rub at his face with his forelegs but can see/maneuver better and also talk to your vet about pain relief...I'm not sure if the drops you were given have a topical anesthetic or not in them..so ask. A scratched cornea hurts like HELL so he may be very upset because of the pain.
 

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Awwww...poor little guy. He may have trouble falling asleep. I had a scratched cornea once. It was deep, and it was from a cornerof a piece of card stock in my eye. Ya know how your eyes roll back in your head when you fall asleep? Well when that happened, my eye socket would rub on the cut and it was like some one was sticking a hot poker in my eye. I couldn't fall asleep for three days. After that it healed enough and I was exhausted enough to finally pass out. Hurts like hell is an understatement.

I would imagine he is experiencing pain like that. He also has a third eyelid that rubs on the corneal abrasion when he tries to sleep. Thankfully they heal pretty quickly and he should be back on track after a few days. Hopefully he doesn't regress too far....but when he's healed you can go back to your training schedule and hope for your boy it doesn't happen again.

Small particles dogs can usally work out unless their tear production is compromised. Might want to have your vet do a tear test just to check and suppliment with drops if its low.but you said it was after a play session so it may been a big enough piece that the poor boy just got hit in the eye. Good luck with him!
 

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Thanks, folks. I do think the poor little guy was in some pain, still, and I think it was compounded by some growing separation anxiety. We took him out of the cone and his eye has healed and he seems to be returning to normal, but his separation anxiety symptoms are persisting, so we're working with a trainer in private consultations now on how to tackle that. Follow up appt with the vet re: the eye just in case this coming weekend... HAVE to make sure he's not in pain. :-(
 
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