Monday, April 25, 2011

418. Sudden onset "Shortness of breath and panting" & toilet-training a puppy

E-MAIL TO DR SING DATED APRIL 26, 2011

On Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 1:03 PM, ...@yahoo.com.sg> wrote:

Hi Dr Sing,

it's me again. Actually I've a question in mind and was wondering if you're able to advise me. My Cookie has just turned 1 yr old 2 months ago. Every 2-3 months, he would pant very hard and gasping for breath for about 1 - 2 mins, so far I've seen him like that for about 3 times, however after every incident, he'll return to normal again like nothing has happened.

Is this common? Does dog gets asthma as well? We often bring him for long walks and he seems to enjoy and doesn't pant at all. I'm getting very worried, should I bring him to the vet asap?

Thanks & Regards,
XXX

E-MAIL REPLY FROM DR SING DATED APR 26, 2011

Hi

I thank you for the email. Cookie's condition is not common. It is hard to diagnose what is the problem without examination and X-rays (pharyngeal area, heart, lungs). Consult your vet asap if the problem persists as it is not easy to diagnose.

UPDATE: APRIL 26, 2011. It was one year ago that I got the following e-mail from Cookie's owner. Toilet-training queries by e-mail from her and my reply in CAPITAL LETTERS. It is rare to get the owner's point of views and problems as regards toilet-training so well written. As the situation for each owner, the puppy and living space is unique, affecting the toilet-training success, there is no one-stop solution but the basic principles of confinement, perseverance and positive reinforcement training are necessary for success.


On Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 5:36 PM, ...@yahoo.com.sg> wrote:

Hi Dr Sing,

I’ve been reading up your toilet training blog and find it very useful when toilet training my puppy. However, I still have a few queries. I’m a first timer raising up a puppy and hence has been quite stress up. I’ve accompanied my puppy for the first 3 days (almost keeping him within my sight) and observed the following:

My puppy is a mix breed of Chihuahua and Pomeranian, 3 months named Cookie. He was with us since 24 Apr 10.

The pet shop owner came with a crate with wire flooring and a pee pan below. Initially I try to carry Cookie to the bathroom after nap/food with newspapers laid on the floor but was unsuccessful. Cookie usually poos twice a day, 1 in the early morning and another one in weird timing. I realized that he only pees in the middle of the crate; I supposed it’s due to the urine smell. He pooed everywhere though.

COOKIE IS USED TO THIS WIRE FLOOR SYSTEM. HE WAS IN THE PET SHOP WITH SUCH A SYSTEM. AS TO POOPING EVERYWHERE, ARE YOU SURE? Where is his sleeping area? Is the crate too small?

XXX: So far we've not really let him outta his crate for too long, only wanted him to get some exercise and will put him back aft 10 - 15 mins. We try to bring him outta his crate at least 3 times a day. He drinks a lot too esp aft play outside the crate. As for the crate size, please advise if it's too small or too big based on the attached pictures.

CRATE SIZE OK

QUESTION 1: Do you think Cookie will poo in the middle like where he used to pee if I spray those anti-pee/anti-poo spray (given by my friend) on those area that I don’t want him to do pee/poo? The spray has a strong smell and I'm contemplating to use it.

YOU CAN TRY. THE BEST IS TO ENSURE THAT HIS SLEEPING AND EATING AREAS ARE FURTHEST AWAY FROM THE POOPING AREA AND

THE MIDDLE OF THE CRATE.

XXX: I tried spraying on the red rubber mat and Cookie refused to eat after that. I guess its due to the pungent smell. He continues his eating after I wiped the mat.

SPRAY IS NOT VERY USEFUL IN MANY CASES

QUESTION 2: It seems like he’s trained to pee/poo in the crate. Is that a good idea? It’s ideal for us since we are working. However, if we bring Cookie out eg. to a friend’s place, will he pee/poo everywhere since there’s no crate?

YOU MAY NEED TO BRING YOUR CRATE ALONG. COOKIE WILL PEE AND POOP ANYWHERE IF LET ALONE FOR THE FIRST 2-4 WEEKS as he is not fully house broken.

XXX: how do we determine if a puppy is fully house broken?

WHEN THE PUPPY KNOWS WHERE TO PEE AND POOP IN AREA REQUIRED BY THE OWNER. E.G. PAPER TRAINED PUPPY WILL ELIMINATE ON PAPERS ONLY AT ALL TIMES, UNLESS THERE IS NO PAPER. OR HOP INTO CRATE WHEN HE NEEDS TO ELIMINATE AND NOWHERE ELSE. OR TO A SPOT IN THE GARDEN.

QUESTION 3: Cookie seems to be stepping hard on his own poo when all of us are asleep. He’s also seems to be shifting them around. I can see portions of it at different areas of the crate. We also caught him eating his own poo once. How do we prevent such action from happening especially when we are all asleep?

EATING STOOLS IS A COMMON COMPLAINT. YOU MAY NEED TO REMOVE STOOLS PROMPTLY. IF NOT PRACTICAL, YOU MAY NEED OTHER METHODS I had mentioned in my blog. These are not guaranteed to succeed.

XXX: Will try a few of the methods and update you on the improvement.

QUESTION 4: When I let him out to play in the living room, will it be better to leave the crate door open and let him run to the crate to pee/poo? YES. HOWEVER, MONITOR HIM CLOSELY SO THAT HE DOES NOT PEE/POOP OUTSIDE THE CRATE. KEEP ALL DOORS OF BEDROOMS CLOSED.

XXX: So far he hasn't poo outside but has an accidental pee just outside the toilet.
Or will it be better to lay newspapers on a pee pan (given by my friend) with Cookie’s urine smell at a corner so he can pee/poo when he’s out playing and need not rush back to the crate? DECIDE ON ONE METHOD - CRATE WITH WIRE FLOORING OR NEWSPAPERS FOR THE NEXT 2-4 WEEKS IF YOU WANT EARLY SUCCESS. In the Crate method, your dog will then use the Crate as the toilet area and outside as his den in 2-4 weeks, in most cases. So, you just clean the crate. Later, you can buy the GRATE + PEE PAN which is actually the same as the lower half of your present crate, without the enclosed vertical walls.

XXX: "In the Crate method, your dog will then use the Crate as the toilet area and outside as his den in 2-4 weeks, in most cases. So, you just clean the crate." When you said "outside as his den in 2 - 4 weeks", are you saying that Cookie will want to sleep outside of his crate in 2 - 4 weeks?

DEPENDS ON THE TYPE OF TOILET TRAINING PROVIDED BY THE OWNER IN THE FIRST 2-4 WEEKS.

MOST PUPPIES WILL SLEEP OUTSIDE THE CRATE AS THERE IS FREEDOM. JUST GOES INTO THE CRATE'S WIRE FLOORING TO PEE AND POOP. OTHER SMALL BREEDS WILL SLEEP INSIDE THE CRATE AND ELIMINATE OUTSIDE (ON NEWSPAPERS).

As for Grate & Pee Pan, can I just used the current pee tray and removed the vertical walls since it's similar to the one you recommended?

OK

I've let him out of the crate twice on 26 Apr and surprisingly, he climbs back to his crate when he's thirsty after running a few rounds. I see that as a good sign of recognising his own den?

FOCUS ON CRATE TRAINING FOR THE NEXT 2-4 WEEKS, SINCE YOU ARE WORKING AND HAVE NO TIME. IF YOU START PAPER-TRAINING, YOU WILL NEED TO FOCUS ON PAPER TRAINING. The puppy gets confused as to what you want.

XXX: Will heed your advice and focus on crate training for the next 2 - 4 weeks.

YOUR PICTURE SOLVES THE MYSTERY OF WHY YOUR PUPPY PEES EXACTLY IN THE CENTRE. THE PUPPY 'FEELS' THE FLOORING AND IS USED TO THE WIRED FLOORING OF THE PET SHOP. SO HE PEES IN THE CENTRE SINCE YOUR LEFT 1/3 AND RIGHT 1/3 HAS RUBBER MATS WITH A DIFFERENT FEELING.

IN THEORY, YOU SHOULD HAVE ONLY RUBBER MATS ON THE RIGHT 1/3, THE WATER BOTTLE ON THE RIGHT 1/3 FRONT PART AND FEEDING NEAR THE WATER BOTTLE.

SO THE LEFT 2/3 IS THE WIRE FLOORING INTENDED TO BE A TOILET AREA. WIRE FLOOR GRATING. THIS WILL NOT CONFUSE THE PUPPY AS IT DOES "FEEL" THE FLOORING AS WELL AS DETECT THE URINE SMELL IN THE NEWSPAPERS BELOW FOR PEEING AND POOPING.

I HOPE YOU KNOW WHAT I AM WRITING ABOUT.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for the time to read my email, I would be very much delighted to receive your reply J

Regards,

XXX

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On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 10:42 PM, ........@yahoo.com.sg> wrote:

Hi Dr Sing,
as promised, I've attached 2 pictures of Cookie's crate & pee pan. By the way my mum is a housewife but she goes out like 2 - 3 days a week and hence Cookie is not under full supervision on these days. I'll have to follow the way a working adult trains his/her puppy.

Hope it helps. I've also added further comments in my email to you (her comments are in the above email).
From: Kong Yuen Sing <99pups@gmail.com>
To: ...@yahoo.com.sg>
Sent: Thursday, 29 April 2010 05:34:35
Subject: Re: Toilet Training My lovely darling Cookie(Chihuahua x Pom)

SAW ONE PICTURE.

FORTUNATELY, YOU EMAIL PICTURES AS I WAS WONDERING WHY YOUR PUPPY PEES IN THE CENTRE ALL THE TIME. FROM YOUR PICTURE, YOU HAVE RUBBER MATS WITH HOLES ON THE LEFT 1/3 AND RIGHT 1/3 WITH THE MIDDLE BEING THE ORIGINAL WIRE FLOORING OF THE GRATE. IN THE LEFT 1/3,

THE BACK HALF OF THE LEFT IS THE POOPING AREA, THE FRONT PART IS THE FEEDING AND WATER AREA.

THE BACK HALF OF THE RIGHT IS THE SLEEPING CLEAN AREA.

THE RIGHT 1/3 IS THE CLEAN AREA AND SO HE DOES NOT PEE AND POOP THERE. HOWEVER THE LEFT 1/3 IS ALSO THE DRINKING BOTTLE AND FEEDING AREA. SO THE POOR PUPPY HAS TO WALK DIAGONALLY PAST THE SOILED CENTRE (WHERE HE PEES) TO GOTO THE WATER BOTTLE ON THE FRONT RIGHT.

I WILL RECOMMEND THAT THE FRONT OF THE RIGHT 1/3 AREA BE THE AREA WHERE THE PUPPY EATS AND DRINKS. THAT MEANS THE WATER BOTTLE SHOULD BE ON THE RIGHT, NOT ON THE LEFT.

IF YOU CAN, SEND ME 2 PICTURES IN .JPG FOR MY RECORDING PURPOSES.

E-MAIL REPLY FROM DR SING DATED SEP 23, 2010

From your email, I have the following observations:

1. Cookie is an adult dog now. He can be neutered anytime.
2. As an adult male dog, he wants to keep his den (crate) clean and so he waits till you let him out to eliminate.
3. As a male dog, he wants to urine-mark his territory (natural instinct). So he pees everywhere. It is not that he "forgets" but that when you are around, he has to behave himself otherwise he may get punishment.
4. As a male dog, he may want to mark his territory with poop although most male dogs mark with urine.

5. Solutions:
5.1. Neutering as early as 6 months may reduce his urine-poop marking but you have delayed this. Still it is not too late although it may not be as effective.

5.2  Neutralise your flooring with white vinegar: water in 3 parts to 1 part respectively.

5.3  Confine the dog to his crate or to a small toilet area for the next 264 weeks after neutering.

5.4 Every day, twice a day, after meals, bring him outdoors to eliminate. Praise and reward with dog treat when he eliminates outdoors in an area not used by members of the public.

5.4.1  Pick up the poop with papers and dispose properly. Going outdoors is a positive "reward" and he will learn not to dirty the whole apartment which is his "den". This takes patience and time. Many owners find the above-mentioned tips to be useful.  

6. Adult dogs are harder to toilet-train but you need to have a routine for him now. He must have realised that you are his "subordinate" and this is natural for dogs. Dogs need a firm leader and I believe you are gentle towards him when he is growing up. Now, he thinks you are his follower. Therefore, you need to be a leader and start with him going outdoors at least once a day (morning and/or evening). 

As blogger.com can't do proper tabulations, goto:
http://www.bekindtopets.com/stories/20110434chihuahuaxpom-toilet-training-emails-drsing-toapayohvets-singapore.htm

to read in proper layout.

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