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Hi,

I have a 50 pound 6 year old wheaten terrier that I live with alone in my apartment. He is very affectionate to humans. But when he vomits he growls at me when I approach him. If I try to move him by the collar he will try to bite me in a serious panic. It is very scary. Today I had to get out of the room after he vomitted on the couch to let him eat his vomit. After that I put him in his crate for half an hour. This is a problem. He vomits from time to time, and this is becoming a serious problem because I have no way of controlling this! Anyone in this situation? What is there to do?

Thanks,
 

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Hi,

I have a 50 pound 6 year old wheaten terrier that I live with alone in my apartment. He is very affectionate to humans. But when he vomits he growls at me when I approach him. If I try to move him by the collar he will try to bite me in a serious panic. It is very scary. Today I had to get out of the room after he vomitted on the couch to let him eat his vomit. After that I put him in his crate for half an hour. This is a problem. He vomits from time to time, and this is becoming a serious problem because I have no way of controlling this! Anyone in this situation? What is there to do?

Thanks,
Vomiting from time to time is not normal. Have you seen a vet about this?
 

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No I haven't seen a vet specifically about this, but I do go to the vet with him on a regular basis. I have always assumed his vomiting was caused by things he ate from the floor, for example leaves from a tree in my parents place or sometimes he eats the dust bunnies on the floor or eats in the garbage in my appartment. I know this morning I took a carcass out of his mouth that he found in the park while I was walking him. But it was already crushed in his mouth so he may have swallowed a piece of it...
 

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Can you lure him away with something reasonably high value, but easy on his tummy? Or just distract him with a favourite toy? Then you could play with him for a couple minutes...work your way into an other room with the game, then leave him with a little treat that's easy on the tummy and go clean up while he's behind a door somewhere.
 

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No I haven't seen a vet specifically about this, but I do go to the vet with him on a regular basis. I have always assumed his vomiting was caused by things he ate from the floor, for example leaves from a tree in my parents place or sometimes he eats the dust bunnies on the floor or eats in the garbage in my appartment. I know this morning I took a carcass out of his mouth that he found in the park while I was walking him. But it was already crushed in his mouth so he may have swallowed a piece of it...
If you think his vomiting is related to him munching on things on the floor then do NOT let him eat stuff of the floor. Dog proof and make sure everything is picked up. I would make an appointment for the vet though. Always better to be safe than sorry.
 

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ok I will make an appointment with the vet about this. Next time I will try to lure him away from the vomit and play with him. Although he is very difficult with his food and his treats. He doesn't like cookie type treats. He likes dentastix or meat and cheese. For his regular food I have to give him a mix Pedigree canned food with dry food. If I don't put canned food he goes on a hunger strike. He has always been very difficult with his food.
 

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ok I will make an appointment with the vet about this. Next time I will try to lure him away from the vomit and play with him. Although he is very difficult with his food and his treats. He doesn't like cookie type treats. He likes dentastix or meat and cheese. For his regular food I have to give him a mix Pedigree canned food with dry food. If I don't put canned food he goes on a hunger strike. He has always been very difficult with his food.
The problem could also be the food. Pedigree is very low quality food and is full is terrible stuff.
 

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I used to feed him Medical hypoallergenic canned food but he got tired of it. Then when he goes on hunger strike he starts eating all sorts of crap from the floor everywhere he goes. I need a food that is appetizing for him. Pedigree is just what I found that is most accessible and that he likes. I am willing to give him something else though, as long as he eats it.
 

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Does he vomit frequently? I ask because a lot of Wheatens are allergic to wheat, corn, and/or soy; some are allergic to chicken, beef, and turkey, too. I do not know if these allergies cause a dog's stomach to hurt, but sometimes when dogs are in pain, they lash out.

Aidan's treats are freeze-dried liver, venison, or duck -- all free of ingredients Wheatens are known for being allergic to. I don't buy him food at the grocery store, and I read all ingredients and countries of origin before I buy anything for him to eat. I especially never buy food or toys from China.

Aidan acts like he has an upset stomach if he eats a few pieces of stolen bread and the like, so we have a strictly observed rule that no one can feed him any people food unless they check with me first. He is a counter cruiser so we are very careful about keeping the counters clear of food and other items.

I feed Aidan Taste of the Wild, twice a day. I used to mix in some canned food (TOTW, Merrick, etc.) but he now refuses to eat canned food. I mix in a small amount (1 tablespoon) of shredded cheese, or a scrambled egg (2x a week), or 2 T of yogurt, or 2 tsp of Parmesan cheese with his breakfast. He eats his dinner plain, without balking, but sometimes I add some plainly cooked meat and vegetables from our dinner to it.

I have a locking trash can in the kitchen. http://www.amazon.com/simplehuman-50L-Liter-13-Gallon-Semi-Round-Plastic/dp/B003VWMS5E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329369793&sr=8-1

Aidan will get into anything and try to eat it, and he is especially fond of trash cans, and paper and plastic items. I think he mostly does this when he is bored. He requires a lot of my attention: play time, training, and exercise. I keep an eagle eye on him, keep the doors to the bathroom and my kids' rooms closed, and frequently check to be sure there isn't anything lying around that he can chew on and possibly ingest.

Outside, I watch him carefully because sometimes he will eat things he finds out there -- rocks, leaves, pine cones. He is very used to me opening his mouth to retrieve contraband -- I have to sweep my finger under his tongue on all sides, too, because he will hide things there. I give him one of his chewies when I take something away from him.

He is so into chewing up things that I buy him Himalayan chews and varieties of bully sticks. He takes them all over the house, and hides some of them, so he usually has several of these items in use a time. https://www.bestbullysticks.com/

Something I have noticed about Aidan is that he is much easier to manage when I spend time every day just sitting beside him on the floor, stroking him or scratching his back. It is soothing to him and he likes it.

Also, no matter what he does (infrequently he will have an accident in the house or vomit), my response is very gentle, both in my tone of voice and my physical actions. In the past few months, in fact, if something like that happens, he comes to get me and leads me to it, and sits there while I clean it up.

A cleanup tip: I keep a metal spatula for cleaning up after the dog. I clean the spatula with paper towels and dish soap, and then boil it and keep it separate from our utensils (under the sink with the cleaning supplies). It is easier and faster to clean up after him and using the spatula keeps the goop from being spread around further. The only reason I boil it for 10 minutes (soaking it in a 10% bleach, 90% water solution would probably work too) is in case one of the kids decides to use it for cooking. Sometimes I think I am neurotic in that I try to be prepared for things that are unlikely to happen.

I think your dog may be trying to intimidate you, to scare you off, so he can do what he wants to do. Aidan pulls that on me sometimes, usually when he wants to go with the kids on the school bus. I have him on a leash, but I was afraid he would bite me. I switched tactics. I scooped him up and held him in my lap until he stopped, making sure he could watch the kids get on the bus through the storm door. Now he sits and watches without any problem, but he insists that I stand next to him, which I don't mind.

He has never bitten me in anger or to stop me from taking charge in situations like this. He will struggle and snap at me or lie on the floor limply (like a mop) if I try to put him in his crate when he doesn't want to go in it -- and these are always the times when it is crucial he go in the crate (a repairman is here). He is quite strong, so if he must go into his crate against his will, I make sure I prevail, and I am calm, gentle, and determined. (Ordinarily, it is no problem to get him to go in his crate.)

I don't know your dog, so I am not saying you should handle this the way I do. I just realized that (1) Aidan had never actually bitten me (not including puppyhood nips), (2) we were destined for a life of him being in charge of me if I continued to be intimidated because that encouraged him, (3) I don't like being afraid of my dog.

Our vet has an animal behaviorist on staff. They do not charge for the initial consultation. Perhaps it would be a good idea for you consult someone. You do not want to get bitten by your dog or be afraid he will attack you.

A physical checkup would be a good idea, too.
 

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Does he vomit frequently? I ask because a lot of Wheatens are allergic to wheat, corn, and/or soy; some are allergic to chicken, beef, and turkey, too. I do not know if these allergies cause a dog's stomach to hurt, but sometimes when dogs are in pain, they lash out.
This may be part of the problem. The vet has suspected in the past that he may have food allergies but he was saying I should cook special food for my dog and go through a long elimination process which I don't have time for.

Our vet has an animal behaviorist on staff. They do not charge for the initial consultation. Perhaps it would be a good idea for you consult someone. You do not want to get bitten by your dog or be afraid he will attack you.

A physical checkup would be a good idea, too.
I've been to a dog trainer in the past when he bit me on the hand. But I couldn't go through the whole training and I just considered the event to be an exception. It was about 4 years ago. Although he hasn't bitten anyone else since then his level of aggression has been stabily increasing through the years.

I've been again to a trainer about 1 year ago after he started becoming ressource guarding with his food, growling at me and trying to bite. So I talked with the trainer and decided to get a cage for my dog for him to eat there.

Now when I walk him he will jump in the face of other dogs if I let him close to them. In the car he goes absolutely crazy when he sees other dogs. The only dog he gets along with is my mom's dog which is extremely submissive. With my sister's dog he always gets in fights over food or territory (his cage at my parent's place). Back when I had a roommate he had become territorial with my roommate as well. For example he would put himself between me and my roommate when my roommate came into my room. But fortunately in a sense my roommate was an exchange student and he eventually left. When the janitor comes in my apartment I have to put my dog in the cage. The last time the janitor came, I remember the janitor put his hand close to the cage and my dog jumped with intent to scare off the janitor's hand. I remember the trainer told me that to train a dog it was much harder when he is older... The truth is I think not everyone can be a good disciplinarian. I'll report back on what the vet had to say.
 

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Another thing to consider about the vomiting is that he may just be eating a lot of fur. When I comb my dog or sweep the house Spirit is very interesting in gobling up any clump of fur she finds. Then 20-45 min later it comes back up. Next time, take a good look at it and see if their is a lot of fur mixed in there.
 

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This may be part of the problem. The vet has suspected in the past that he may have food allergies but he was saying I should cook special food for my dog and go through a long elimination process which I don't have time for.
bite.

The truth is I think not everyone can be a good disciplinarian. I'll report back on what the vet had to say.
The Wheaten allergy problem is why I started out with Taste of the Wild. I get the kind with bison in it because Aidan likes it the best.

BTW, how long has your dog's aggression been a problem? His entire adult life, just recently, or what? Is he neutered? Does he get plenty of exercise and play time? Note that I do not know whether neutering, exercise, and/or playtime have anything to do with this.

I'm interested because Aidan is 13 months old, and I sure want to be on the lookout for any warning signs. At the moment, he is not aggressive about anything and loves all people and dogs. He has recently, however, barked vociferously at people he doesn't know who come to the door -- he used to be all eager and wiggly and couldn't wait to lavish his affections on them. He's still that way after they greet him, but not before, and he's still that way with people he has met. Basically, strangers are afraid of him now and back away unless I tell them it is okay (which it is). Also he will bark like crazy at something I can't see out in the yard at night, and then back up and sit on my feet, still watching, but not barking -- he doesn't go after whatever it is (another animal).
 

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Another thing to consider about the vomiting is that he may just be eating a lot of fur. When I comb my dog or sweep the house Spirit is very interesting in gobling up any clump of fur she finds. Then 20-45 min later it comes back up. Next time, take a good look at it and see if their is a lot of fur mixed in there.
I'm sure that's not the problem because Wheaten Terriers don't lose their fur. That's one of the reasons they don't give allergies to humans.
 

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The Wheaten allergy problem is why I started out with Taste of the Wild. I get the kind with bison in it because Aidan likes it the best.
Good to know. Do you get the cans or the dry food?

BTW, how long has your dog's aggression been a problem? His entire adult life, just recently, or what? Is he neutered? Does he get plenty of exercise and play time? Note that I do not know whether neutering, exercise, and/or playtime have anything to do with this.
Like I said it's been slowly increasing during his whole life. Barking at strangers when he is in the house is something he does a lot when he is at my parents. He also barks a lot in their backyard. But at my appartment he almost never barks unless I leave the windows opened and he hears intriguing noises. When there are thunder storms he goes absolutely crazy with the barking and running around the appartment to go from one window to the other. The only way to stop him is to bring him with me in my living room, close the drapes of the windows and put the TV loud enough so he doesn't hear the thunder outside.

He was neutered at a proper age, when he was young. However he didn't always get enough exercise. About 1 year ago when I went to the trainer I started walking him a lot more. I walk him twice a day half an hour at a fast pace now. Before I would only walk him about 10 or 15 minutes twice a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I'll report back on what the vet had to say.
okay so I went to the vet. They offered two options.

A) Run a battery of blood tests, X-Rays, etc.
B) Give him antacids, and Royal Canin Gastro veterinarian food cans and see if the problem goes away after one week

So I took option B.

I also told them about some of the 5 star foods I found on dogfoodadvisor.com and they said that it was bio food with too much protein and too much salt. So they strongly recommended their veterinary diet for option B which makes sense I guess.

But this has left me wondering, are there any 5 or 4 star food that is like this gastro intestinal veterinarian food? Also after this visit I am left wondering if this gastro food can still cause food allergy related problems. Truth is I thought my dog had more reflux after he ate this food for diner tonight than when he was eating pedigree, even with the antacids. Anyways I don't want to judge too quickly. I'll give it a few days.
 

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okay so I went to the vet. They offered two options.

A) Run a battery of blood tests, X-Rays, etc.
B) Give him antacids, and Royal Canin Gastro veterinarian food cans and see if the problem goes away after one week

So I took option B.

I also told them about some of the 5 star foods I found on dogfoodadvisor.com and they said that it was bio food with too much protein and too much salt. So they strongly recommended their veterinary diet for option B which makes sense I guess.

But this has left me wondering, are there any 5 or 4 star food that is like this gastro intestinal veterinarian food? Also after this visit I am left wondering if this gastro food can still cause food allergy related problems. Truth is I thought my dog had more reflux after he ate this food for diner tonight than when he was eating pedigree, even with the antacids. Anyways I don't want to judge too quickly. I'll give it a few days.
YES. Royal Canin is full of grains. It is better than pedigree, but still a pretty bad food. I'll let someone else comment on what he said about the 4/5 star foods.
 

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Well that specific formula only has one grain, rice. The dry stuff is so much worse. Brewers rice is a lower grade rice. It also has pork by-products as the first protein, which I don't like. It also has cellulose in it, which is basically saw dust. I don't like pet foods that have vegetable oil, because you don't even know what the ingredients are. It also bothers me that sodium silico aluminate is so high on the list. It is basically a salt preservative. Natural flavor could also mean anything. Also, the hydrolyzed yeast really bothers me. This means it was already chemically broken down. During chemical breakdown the hydrolyzed proteins can result in the creation of a free glutamate that combines with free sodium to form monosodium glutamate (sp?), yes MSG.

I am just not a fan of Royal Canin. Too many iffy ingredients and preservatives. I personally would not let my dog eat this for more than a few weeks if absolutely necessary. And even then, I would have tried every other option. Royal Canin is also not a great food to rule out allergies because so many of the ingredients are unnamed.

Also, if your vet is worried about salt, then why is he recommending a food that has so much? There are like four different salt sources, all added and not naturally present in the meat.


I would just avoid this at all costs, hopefully you can find a food that helps him that is also healthy.
 
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