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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Struggling for answers

In addition to work, I am struggling with a very personal battle at home. I figured it was time to share, and see what others have to say.

My baby Gazoo, has decided to become very aggressive as of late. There were 3 incidents within a week where he bit without provocation. One was the girl next door, one my hubby, and one was chewy. They were not based on him being startled either, he bit from behind. Fortuneately no major wounds, and no angry parent but whos to say it won't happen next time.

We went to the vet and discovered he had partial hearing loss in both ears. One more than the other. We also did a bunch of blood tests. One came back abnormal, but when redone was normal. So, as far as blood disorders he is fine. However, there is a possibility of a tumor on the brain. They want to do a ctscan to check for that. In nowhere's ville here they want $3k for it. I about died. Tumors on the brain are apparently quiet common in older shepards.

Keep in mind, he is just going on 8 now. (like a few weeks away). While that isn't really old in Shepard lifespan, it is for him. He suffered parvo as a pup, and they say that shortened his lifespan. He's also had chronic ear infections no matter what we did, which of course is the likely cause of the hearing loss.

Prior to this, Gazoo has NEVER bitten anyone. EVER!! It is totally out of character for him. Some feel I should put him down like yesterday. Others say I shouldn't. I'm not in a place to make a good judgement call on that at this moment, he is my baby. If he had a health ailment I could put my finger on it might be easier to make a decision. With nothing concrete it makes it harder to even consider.

Anyway, thoughts and opinions would be good. No worries though, I know this is a personal decision only I can make. I just need some more objective thoughts.


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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 09:42 AM
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I was thinking that maybe he was startled because of his hearing loss but you said he wasn't startled or provoked, so I'm at a loss. I know that I try hard not to startle Riley...I try to make sure she knows where I am at all times and I try not to sneak up behind her.

Brain tumors can cause behavioral changes. I've worked with quite a few human patients that had brain tumors and their families have mentioned changes in personality and behavior. If he does have a brain tumor I would think that might be a reason for his behavioral changes.

I'm sorry you have to go through this.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 10:44 AM
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Im so sorry you even have to worry about this... I dont have any advice because I have no clue what I would do in your situation either. But I hope whatever decision you make comes easy. Good luck and I hope Gazoo gets better, and if he doesnt, I hope its not so difficult...sorry.


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Melissa. I appreciate the support.

Scarlette... that was the first thing that came to mind for the vet as well. But when he bit the neighbor girl and my hubby they were walking away from him. The neighbor girl was walking down the hall towards the living room. She has no fear of him either.... which was another immediate thought. When he bit chewy it was bizarre. Chewy was standing on one side of the yard looking out towards the street, and Gazoo was on the other. Without warning, Gazoo charged across the yard and attacked Chewy. I'd never seen anything like it. Fortunately no major injuries, including myself (because like an idiot, i jumped right in the middle).


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 02:04 PM
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I'm so sorry you have to go through this.

Maybe he has a brain disease, maybe he went mad? That's what happened in To Kill A Mockingbord, the dog went mad and started to randomly attack people, but he didn't have rabies. Maybe that's what's happening? I really hope not, but that's all the advice I can give. I'm really sorry, hang in there!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 02:13 PM
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Ohh Chrisanne.. I'm sorry to hear you are going through this with Gazoo. I don't have any advice to give, either, I just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you and Gazoo. I hope everything is ok.

~* Jackie *~

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 02:14 PM
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This is such a tough situation. I'm so sorry that anyone would have to go through this. Usually, when people talk about putting an animal down for reasons other than for behavioural problems beyond help, they consider quality of life. If more of this behaviour could be expected, how much stress would that put on you, having to watch every minute of every day, waiting for it to happen, hoping that it won't? Could you live with that kind of stress? How would you feel if you missed a few moments of monitoring and something happened?

Would there be any added stress to Gazoo if he felt he was being watched every second?

I know you said you live in the middle of nowhere, but is there anyone who would be willing to adopt Gazoo who could spend the time and/or money to find out what's wrong and try to fix it?

Are there any other problems, like eating, sleeping, etc, with Gazoo that you may not have really noticed yet?



Those are the questions I would consider before making my decision, so I thought I would share them with you in case there were some that you hadn't thought of.


I really hope that you can come do a decision with peace of mind that you are doing what's best for Gazoo, you and your family. Good luck!




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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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I am watching for other signs trust me. So far, a lack of appetite is all i see. That however is common for him. He goes through that in stages.

We are being very guarded with him while we think this decision through. Watching him, and being extra careful. It doesn't cause me un-due stress, as I would do anything for him. I don't feel it causes him any either.

Adopting him out is absolutely out of the question. He has never spent a day away from me, with the exception of his week at the vet with parvo, in his life. He would not adapt to another family, nor would it be a wise solution to the problem. In all actuallity it would probably only aggrevate the situation.

I appreciate the advice, its nice to see others thinking along the same lines and even get fresh ideas.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 03:00 PM
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Oh Wow! Chrisanne! I'm so sorry! Poor Gazoo and poor you for having to make such a decision! Everything I could possibly suggest has already been said and I'm sure any questions I would ask myself, you are already asking yourself. All I can offer is my support in whatever you decide to do. It's not easy, I know. My old Chow ended up like that towards the end. She was on thyroid medications and valium for her "seeing things". For my mom though, it was just her, my stepfather, and the dog in the house. No children to worry about and when I would bring my children over, Kayjin would be crated to avoid any problems. She never bit my parents, but did bite my brother a few times. She was also deaf in her old age, so we don't know if he startled her, or if she was "seeing things". The life was gone from her eyes when mom made the decision to let her go, and she went peacefully in Mom's arms at the vet's office. It broke all our hearts but Kayjin lived a good happy life and it really was the best we could do for her.
I'm so sorry Chrisanne, I'm here if you need me

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 08:02 PM
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Oh man Chrisanne, I'm so sorry. I know how much Gazoo means to you.

Bach used to have the chronic ear infections also and we tried everything. And Bach was very particular about eating. Many a times I used to have to force him to eat.

I have a friend that had a GSD that had a brain tumor. He did go through some odd personality changes, including a few bites to the people he loved. He would also act disoriented and just kind of out of it. Just like Gazoo, their GSD was their baby and it was heartbreaking.

I wish I had some wonderful advice or words of wisdom for you. You know Gazoo best, hon. I'm so sorry Chrisanne!

~ Jodi ~

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisanne
Anyway, thoughts and opinions would be good. No worries though, I know this is a personal decision only I can make. I just need some more objective thoughts.
Hope you are ok?

I hope you are coping ok? Whatever decision you make I am sure it will be the right one..

Steph ~ Owned by 4 bunnies and 5 degus..


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 10:16 PM
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Chrisanne, So sorry to hear this. I myself know how stressful watching a dog so closely can be,but like you said, I also would do anything for my dogs!And in my case my dog isn't gonna hurt anyone only herself.
All I can add is that you know your situation and Gazoo. I'm sure you'll know if and when a time comes that you can't take chances anymore.This must be awful for you, my thoughts will be with you.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 01:14 AM
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Chrisanne I have no advice hun, it is a hard thing you are going through with Gazoo and whatever decision you make it will be the right one, so have no regrets. If you need any help with ANYTHING please let us know, we are here for you in anyway you need us to be


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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 04:27 AM
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Chrisanne this must be the toughest decision for you. I can't give you an answer but if I were you I'd seriously be considering the children's safety, your safety, keeping him away from anyone outside the family (to avoid law suits) at all costs and consider his quality of life. If he is biting out of the blue then maybe he isn't happy. I don't know, I'm not there, but you would be able to see if he was looking a bit down in the dumps.
I feel for you girl, and you'll be in my thoughts a lot. I guess if it is a brain tumour and he is going to be unpredictable then you really need to think of what it is going to take to keep everyone safe. I am in no means saying that you should give up and put him down, just try and think about it rationally, without emotions involved. What would you advise one of us to do if we were in the same situation?
And just incase I seem really cruel and hostile here's a big to you! I am not meaning to sound insenstive by asking those questions so if I do, then sorry.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Carmen, you don't sound anything other than warm and loving to me. I know you are just trying to be the voice of reason like all friends are. I appreciate it.

HUGS to you all


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