Dog trains man

Friday, February 6, 2015

Nothing To Show For

I hardly had any clinical signs to show for. Usually, whenever Viva or Kenzo had any health-issue, there always has been some kind of physical sign, how tiny it might be. The vet always complimented me, for spotting things early on.

But this time I had not much for the vet to go after other than a change in Kenzo's behavior. Tilde, as a youngster probing her boundaries, had started to bully Kenzo. Not something out of the ordinary, as that is what young dogs do, especially young Hovawarts, and I already expected there would come plenty of opportunities where I would have to help her remember bullying is a no-go.

It wasn't Tilde I worried about, it was Kenzo. It was that he allowed her to bully him, which was odd. He loves Tilde and is far to lenient with her in many ways, but he has never accepted to be bullied before. Not even by Tilde.

I remembered the advice I read in books and articles about dog behavior, but never before needed to put it in to use: "If behavior changes take your dog to the vet first".

I am glad I did remember. The vet ran a wide array of tests on Kenzo as she had not a lot to go on. Many tests came back negative, until eventually she found what was bothering him. He had light arthritis, or the start there-off, in his left front leg. And indeed after a couple of days on pain-killers, he already started to freshen up.

On day 5 Kenzo stopped Tilde's bullying attempt, fair but firm - in other words, he just kicked her butt - and Tilde gave it a second of thought, when she noticed the no bullying allowed rule apparently was restored. She didn't even looked surprised.

Below some photo's and video's how I discovered something was wrong, and from later, after Kenzo started with the painkillers.
Video from last month,  I had to step in to help Kenzo. That time I just thought it was odd.

The picture from last week just before we went to the vet. Tilde flees from her bully attempt behind my back. I had just turned around to take a photo. Having caught it on camera, I could look at Kenzo's body posture over and over again. It finally sank in. Something was wrong.

About a week after taking pain-killers - I don't have a picture when Kenzo made the firm message that restored order - you can see how Tilde invites for play, without bullying.
Even when she is in a full-fledged zoomie attack, Tilde doesn't resort to bullying.

We started Kenzo's long-term treatment for arthritis now with glucosamine and acupuncture, and hope to have him off the pain-killers in a month or so.

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