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elenamarie

Sibe Midlife Crisis?

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Hi Folks!

It's been a long time so I'll reintroduce the facts so those I don't know can chip in.

My AKC Siberian Sarah is 8½ years old (9 in September.) I've had her since she was 12 weeks old and have obedience trained her as well as I can given her nature. ;) She has ZRD and was treated for mastocyoma in early 2017.

She tends to challenge me after our kids and grandkids have left after visiting and it takes a week or two of light dominance games to settle her down. I know she does this and was prepared when everyone left at the beginning of April. It's been dominance games ever since.

Things got ugly three weeks ago when she bit the crap out of me. I was reaching down for her collar after she refused to get up, and she snarled and bit me HARD. The only time she ever snarls at me (serious snarls,  not playtime snarls) is when she's made a kill and I try to get it away from her (which requires a meat-for-meat trade.) She has NEVER  bitten me and other than the hunting ritual, does not snarl at me.

I immediately worried that something might be wrong physically but in March she had a compete emergency exam with X-rays after she got an intestinal compaction, from a kill I didn't know about we think. Her blood work came out fine, the only thing seen on the X-rays were the lower intestinal compaction.

I called our vet yesterday after I found a lump in the junction between her back hip and abdomen. She gave no sign of discomfort while I palpated the mass. We'll be going in for an FNA Monday but the vet doesn't think the mass has anything to do with her behavior given that the mass doesn't cause her pain. He thinks the behavior is something non-medical. Everything other than her attitude and behavior is normal.

After she bit me I went full-on with the dominance games. She was fed her meals piece by piece from my hand for a week. Then tablespoon by tablespoon for another week. No going outside off leash to potty, she had to wait for me to take her out on the leash. I made her follow command after command all day every day for two weeks. She seemed to settle down after that but as soon as I eased up, she went right back to challenging me.

Each time I think she's done with this cycle and ease up, it's back to the beginning.

So my question is, has anyone had a Siberian with this sort of behavior issue at age 8 or so? It's very similar to the adolescent dominance behavior but worse because we know each other so well.

Thanks in advance!

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Not with a Siberian. 

I had a Pointer/Lab mix that went senile at the end (he was around 10 years) It was sad and heartbreaking. Became too dangerous for anyone besides me to handle and even then there were times I didn’t trust he at all. 

Hopefully it is something she snaps out of soon.

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11 minutes ago, 2Huskyfun said:

Not with a Siberian. 

I had a Pointer/Lab mix that went senile at the end (he was around 10 years) It was sad and heartbreaking. Became too dangerous for anyone besides me to handle and even then there were times I didn’t trust he at all. 

Hopefully it is something she snaps out of soon.

Hi--

Oh Lord, that sounds awful. How did your vet diagnose senility?

Siberians have a 16-year average lifespan IIRC so I figure she's about middle age for her breed. I hope she isn't old enough yet for senility to be a possibility. I think I'd prefer jerk dog syndrome to that.

Thanks though! Something else to talk to the vet about Monday.

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My Utonagan had CCD   -  his behaviour changed dramatically  -  it is the same as human Altzhimers (however its spelt)  luckily he did not get aggressive with me   - but he did with our other dog  -  its a difficult thing to diagnose - but once it has been  then there are certain herbs that can help    Bacopa is one,  hawthorn berry to increase blood supply to the brain, helps the bacopa get to where it is needed.   There is another one I cannot remember right at this minute but will put it up when I find it  (I don't need it any more unfortunately).

 

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3 hours ago, elenamarie said:

Hi--

Oh Lord, that sounds awful. How did your vet diagnose senility?

Siberians have a 16-year average lifespan IIRC so I figure she's about middle age for her breed. I hope she isn't old enough yet for senility to be a possibility. I think I'd prefer jerk dog syndrome to that.

Thanks though! Something else to talk to the vet about Monday.

The PointerX had severe Parvo as a pup. His temp was so high it damaged his brain.

Once I got him through Parvo, there were no symptoms so I kept him.

It wasn’t until he got up in age did the damage to his brain start being noticeable.

 The vet really didn’t test him since he knew his past and stated it was a form of senile caused by high fever.

The Pits around here seem to have a high neurological issue. But it seems to hit around age 3 and has to do more with breeding. 

Good luck and keep us posted 

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15 hours ago, wolfpup said:

My Utonagan had CCD   -  his behaviour changed dramatically  -  it is the same as human Altzhimers (however its spelt)  luckily he did not get aggressive with me   - but he did with our other dog  -  its a difficult thing to diagnose - but once it has been  then there are certain herbs that can help    Bacopa is one,  hawthorn berry to increase blood supply to the brain, helps the bacopa get to where it is needed.   There is another one I cannot remember right at this minute but will put it up when I find it  (I don't need it any more unfortunately).

 

Hi—

Having never heard of CCD I went to PetMD to check it out. In case anyone else is interested, it’s https://m.petmd.com/dog/conditions/neurological/5-signs-dog-dementia?page=1

Sarah is a bit younger than the article indicates but I’m going to talk to her vet about it Monday. I haven’t seen any of the DISHA symptoms other than her constant need to challenge me but the symptoms are on my Sarah Watch List. 

When your dog had it what were your first symptoms? Thinking about it, Sarah knows her commands and when I’m keeping on with the “I am the source of ALL good things and you MUST submit to get anything” she returns to normal. It’s only when I think she’s stable in her ideas of who is boss and let her eat her dinner like normal, etc that she returns to dominance attempts. 

Definitely something to add to my list for her vet. And if you happen to recall that herb please do post it. Thanks!  

 

15 hours ago, 2Huskyfun said:

The vet really didn’t test him since he knew his past and stated it was a form of senile caused by high fever.

The Pits around here seem to have a high neurological issue. But it seems to hit around age 3 and has to do more with breeding. 

Good luck and keep us posted 

Poor guy. I’m glad he got much more out of life than most pups with Parvo have. 

Other than resistant roundworms Sarah had a healthy puppyhood and has never had a high fever. The mastocyoma metastasizing into her brain is a concern though the vet doubts that since we got the entire cancer via surgery confirmed by cytology. I still worry though. 

Thanks and once I have this puzzle solved I’ll post the answer. 

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The other herb was Gotu Kola

4 hours ago, elenamarie said:

Hi—

Having never heard of CCD I went to PetMD to check it out. In case anyone else is interested, it’s https://m.petmd.com/dog/conditions/neurological/5-signs-dog-dementia?page=1

Sarah is a bit younger than the article indicates but I’m going to talk to her vet about it Monday. I haven’t seen any of the DISHA symptoms other than her constant need to challenge me but the symptoms are on my Sarah Watch List. 

When your dog had it what were your first symptoms? Thinking about it, Sarah knows her commands and when I’m keeping on with the “I am the source of ALL good things and you MUST submit to get anything” she returns to normal. It’s only when I think she’s stable in her ideas of who is boss and let her eat her dinner like normal, etc that she returns to dominance attempts. 

Definitely something to add to my list for her vet. And if you happen to recall that herb please do post it. Thanks!  

 

Poor guy. I’m glad he got much more out of life than most pups with Parvo have. 

Other than resistant roundworms Sarah had a healthy puppyhood and has never had a high fever. The mastocyoma metastasizing into her brain is a concern though the vet doubts that since we got the entire cancer via surgery confirmed by cytology. I still worry though. 

Thanks and once I have this puzzle solved I’ll post the answer. 

The mastocyoma metastasizing into her brain is a concern though the vet doubts that since we got the entire cancer via surgery confirmed by cytology. I still worry though. 

This could easily be the cause of her symptoms

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19 hours ago, wolfpup said:

The other herb was Gotu Kola

This could easily be the cause of her symptoms

Thanks!

Yeah I’m freaked out a little by that idea. I haven’t looked to see how many mast cells exist in the brain, mostly because I’m afraid of the answer. I’m holding on to the facts that we found the mastocyoma very early and cytology confirmed that there were three clean cell layers below the mastocyoma tumor when it was excised. 

Fingers crossed for lipoma!!!

Thanks again. 😁

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