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Canine OCD

Overview

Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, as a fairly common issue that comes in varying forms and levels of severity. Basically, it is repetitious behaviour that has no obvious purpose.

Some of these behaviours might seem cute, such as obsession with a ball or chasing non existent flies for example, however it is important to note that this is not an enjoyable state, and instead, their addiction is somewhat of a prison.


Symptoms

Your dog may become obsessed with an array of varying behaviours, all with their own scales of severity. Biting or scratching themselves might start out as nothing more than the usual display, but as the behaviour develops, it can intensify into uncontrollable self mutilation. The same is true for other behaviours, such as obsession with objects, chasing tail, fence running etc. If left too long, the obsession can manifest into a larger issue.

Boredom and confinement can be contributing factors.


Treatment

The first port of call if you start to notice any obsessive behaviour, is to take them to a vet. They will be able to perform a series of behavioural and physical tests to determine the severity. Recording your dog’s behaviour to show your vet, will help with a speedy diagnosis.

Seemingly harmless obsessions that do not hurt your dog or anyone else, can be managed with proper advice. However, more intense instances, may require hospitalisation and medication. Anti-anxiety medication and behavioural modification programs, specifically designed for your dog’s case, are known to work.

Some of this behaviour may be extremely annoying for you as an owner, but it is important to know that punishment is one of the worst avenues to go down. Your dog does not necessarily want to behave in this way and punishment will only lead to greater anxiety and a more intense state of obsession.


Prevention

Dogs usually start to display signs of OCD at around 12 - 36 months so it is important to monitor your dog closely, especially in the first few years of their life. Responsible exercise to burn off any excess energy is a massive step to preventing any obsessive tendencies.

Early intervention is a must, so make sure you monitor their behaviour and seek help if you think they’re tendencies are abnormal.

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.