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Avatar universal

dog depression after baby???

We don't know what to do with our dachshund.  We have two.  The girl dog is fine with the new baby (he's 4 1/2 months now) and the boy dog loved him at first.  Then all of a sudden he started limping, not getting out of bed, walking slow with his head hung low.  We have spent probably $500+ on x-rays, blood tests, etc...you name it.  We thought he was deathly ill but the vet cannot find anything wrong with him.  We've decided it must be depression from the baby.  What can we do to bring him out of this funk???  Any shared experiences or advice will be much appreciated.
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Avatar universal
Did your vet suggest that your dog may have a spinal problem?  It is common in that breed.  However, spinal or disk problems are difficult to evaluate without MRI's.  Has the vet given your dog anything for pain such as Deramaxx or Previcox?

If it is definately not physical than:

Dogs can get depressed from a variety of reasons including the great environmental change a new baby can bring.  Is he getting lots of attention?  Is it difficult to give your pets the same quantity of attention after childbirth as he was used to before the birth.  I would try for quality time instead of quantity.  Additionally, is anyone in the family sick or depressed?  I believe that pets are very empathetic and can pick up on the feelings and problems of the ones they love, and can feel saddened as a result.

If he still has difficulty snapping out of his possible depression no matter what you do your vet can prescribe an antidepressent for him.  He probably won't have to take the medication for too long, just long enough for his brain chemistry to return to pre-depression status.  Let me know if any of this helps.
Avatar universal

The vet said everything has been checked and they can find nothing physically wrong with him.   The vet did say the only thing was his thyroid was on the low end--not out of range---but the lowest in the range.  We have him on thyroid meds (since low thyroid can cause depression) right now and it's made a very tiny bit of difference in him.

I wouldn't say he gets less attention than he did before.  We still give him lovin and have the same rituals just like we did before....difference from before is the rest of our time is spent taking care of baby.  Of course, I know it's not the same as before but we try extremely hard to give them as much attention as we can.  It almost seems like it we try to lay it on thick....give him more attention and lovin he acts even more pathetic....like he can barely move and we need to pick him up and help him.....almost like he's milking it for all he can.  It's driving my husband and I crazy because we'll get to the point where he's so bad we'll be convinced that there is something seriously wrong with him and could possibly have to (I hate saying this) put him down----and then next thing you know he's bouncing around like tigger (winnie the pooh) without a care in the world.  

I'm hoping someone might have a similar experience to share and tell how they got their dog out of the funk or how their dog eventually got better on their own?????  :-)

195500 tn?1257431132
One of the things we did with our beagle (she was around 8 at the time of our first baby, so was very used to being the "baby" of the house) is we let her sleep with one of the baby's older blankets. Obviously we used a blanket the baby wouldn't use again, but tried to get her more comfortable with the babies scent.

Another thing we did was to make sure we gave her, "her own time" without the baby. Took walks with just her, drives with just her, etc. It sounds crazy that you need to do that, but some dogs are very sensative to it. After a few weeks of that, she seemed to shake it off.

One thing that is still an issue though, is she's very possessive of her toys and bed with the kids. It's like she sees them as equals and they are not allowed to take her toys or go near her bed. She won't bite them, but she threatens. Meanwhile, my wife and I can grab the toys or bed with no problem. It's something to keep an eye on, especially when the baby starts crawling because EVERYTHING looks interesting to them at that point.
Avatar universal
Thank you.  
That's probably one thing I need to do is do things with the dogs and JUST ME.  My husband works a lot so if we go for a walk or something it's the always the dogs, me and the baby.  Unfortunately, he (the dog) gets very carsick (VERY) so car rides have never been a treat for him, but they actually might be now.  We'll try that too.  

Thanks for the heads up on the bed and toys.  My husband and I had talked before we had the baby that we would try as hard as we can to make the baby respect/stay out of the dogs' area.  Granted, he won't quite understand as a baby but hopefully will grow to understand.  Nothing drives us more nuts than when people let their babies run all over the pet, and then when the pet gets fed up with it  and reacts, the pet gets in trouble.

Thanks a lot.  We are anxiously waiting for our pup to "snap out of it" sometime soon.   :-)
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear your dog isn't feeling well. Its so upsetting when something like this happens. My dog had been rough housing with my brother in laws dog and got a tear in her meniscus. Three doctors misdiagnosed her, thinking it was her back! It may be(?) the meniscus or even the ACL. My dog was operated on by the vet that knew what it was as soon as he touched her.

Also one other thought....the recalled dog food. ....hopefully you haven't fed her that brand. it seems the list has grown on the recall.

I hope you find out what the problem is and your dog gets better real soon.

Good Luck!

Avatar universal
for laying around in bed, he may lay around in bed more.

I agree that an unlying health issue has to be eliminated and that spinal things can be tricky - a round of pain meds, if the vet concurs, can answer some questions. If he perks right up, then pain of some sort is causing the problem.

The low head makes me think pain is possible as well... will he raise his head for a cookie or does he keep his head low and follow it with his eyes?

If you think it is behavioral, try Childproofing Your Dog for some games you can play now to help get your pup ready for a toddler and give him something else to think about.
Avatar universal
I have just seen your question regarding your dachsund's health problems  --  maybe it's sorted out now --but it caught my eye because my beloved dobermann suffered the exact same symptoms and I knew that something was seriously wrong but for weeks and weeks the vets. just kept saying that it was "only arthiritis" and prescribed pain killers. I eventually insisted on an MRI scan which showed up a seriously prolapsed disc in his neck. Pain killers were obviusly the wrong thing as they helped to numb the pain and make him more active  --   the worst thing in his condition. Devastatingly, he didn't survive. I know this problem is common in your breed, and I would be very interested to learn of the outcome with your boy  --  I do hope that alls well now.
Avatar universal
I am currently going through the same thing. I had a baby 2 months ago. The day I came back from the hospital, my dog just seemed to give up on life. I had him 10 years, his name was Angus. He died two days ago...I am just so depressed. We took him to the vet and they just said that he was old and couldn't find anything wrong. Angus moped around the house, slept all day, then he stopped eating and drinking water. In 8 weeks he died (I know in my heart he died of a broken heart). I feel so guilty and so sad I can't even begin to explain. I tried walking him, playing with him, holding him and talking to him all day as I jusually did, but nothing seemed to bring him out of his sadness. This is the most painful experience I have ever been through and it is suposed to be the most joyous (with my new baby!!) Good luck.
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