A Tale of Two Shih Tzus
How is Oscar doing ?

His breathing went back to normal the day we went to the vet. He didn’t want to eat anything the next day. He is all better though it seems. My real problem is Emma’s separation anxiety. She has been very very destructive and it’s making me crazy. Crate training her is hard too cause she is slow to learn new things.

The vet couldn’t figure anything out so we did a chest x ray. No fluid build up. His heart looks fine but maybe a tad on the large side - nothing to worry about really though right now he said. No tumors. He did see some minor inflammation and thought maybe it was due to allergies so we got some prednisone (steroids). It’s been 2 hours since I gave it to him and he is breathing fine right now. His breath was was definitely labored before and it was scary. Might have been nothing but I guess the peace of mind is worth it. I mean, what else was I going to do with that 300.00? Sigh.

The vet couldn’t figure anything out so we did a chest x ray. No fluid build up. His heart looks fine but maybe a tad on the large side - nothing to worry about really though right now he said. No tumors. He did see some minor inflammation and thought maybe it was due to allergies so we got some prednisone (steroids). It’s been 2 hours since I gave it to him and he is breathing fine right now. His breath was was definitely labored before and it was scary. Might have been nothing but I guess the peace of mind is worth it. I mean, what else was I going to do with that 300.00? Sigh.

At the emergency vet with Oscar at 7 am. He woke me up about 5:30 breathing loudly. Not panting but just loud breathing with a raspy weird groan to every breath. He can’t get comfortable or fall asleep but is still walking around and stuff. Dr says he can’t tell anything is wrong which I guess is good and bad.

Trying out the crate

Trying out the crate

I needed to zoom in on this. How cute is he haha.

Emma acts like she isn’t interested in her new toy…until you try to take it. You get bit!

Emma acts like she isn’t interested in her new toy…until you try to take it. You get bit!

It’s Emma’s 5th birthday! She got Star Wars toys and a crate and a bed. The crate and bed are more for her newly developed separation anxiety issue. And Oscar mostly tried to steal her toy but oh well. I can’t believe she is 5 already :( I’m a sad dog Mom.

Separation anxiety or other?

Sorry this is so long. I’m having some trouble with Emma and don’t know what to do. It’s stressing me out.

Every morning we have the same routine. Go out and potty, get treats, then the dogs go into the bathroom where I put up a child’s gate in the doorway. Its a large bathroom and I leave a light on, food, water, and their big bed. It’s been working for 2 years. When they go into the bathroom, they get bones or dentastix to chew on.

Oscar hears the treat bag open in the morning and runs to the bathroom to wait for me. Emma lags behind and then follows me right to the bathroom. She has always gone right in on her own. I put up the gate, give them treats, go to work.

Seemingly out of nowhere, one day Emma just wouldn’t go in. I called her and she saw me with the gate and ran. I had to put up the gate then pick her up and put her in. She was always so good about going in on her own. The even stranger part -she wouldn’t take her treat. Since then it’s gotten even worse.

Now every morning she runs from me. Even before I go to put her up she knows the routine so she knows it is coming and she runs away. I’ve had to get her out from under the bed, the dresser. She hides and runs. When I get her she is shaking like a leaf and panting nervously. I tell her it’s ok and try to give her lots of treats as a reward and she turns them all down. Even new treats she will sniff and reject. All she can think about is how she wants out.

Before I’m out of the house she is crying and jumping on the gate. It’s so sad it hurts my heart to see her like that.

One day last week I came home to find she had knocked down the gate. She had spent the day pooping and peeing all over the house. I figured I had left the gate too loose. The gate was laying down just in front of the door and Oscar is weird and refuses to walk over the gate, so he was still sitting in the bathroom with the gate totally down in front of him lol.

Today was the same routine as always. She ran and cried. Didn’t take her treats. I made sure the gate was secure and tightly wedged in the door frame.

I came home to find she had knocked the gate just loose enough to jump over the space or squeeze through. She must have been body slamming the gate to get it loose because it was wedged in there. I can’t imagine how hard she had to hit it to do that. Again she pooped and peed all over the house.

And note that before when she was locked in the bathroom she might have an occasional poop accident but she usually holds it all day. This pooping and peeing everywhere is not normal.

She has gone from running into the bathroom on her own, getting a treat, and holding her bodily functions to FREAKING out completely about being put away, refusing her treats, running scared, jumping on the gate, crying, panting nervously, escaping, and popping and peeing everywhere.

I have no idea what has changed or why she would suddenly after 2 years get this way and I’m so tired of it. I don’t know what to do. I can’t leave her out cause she will ruin my laminate floors by peeing on them. I can’t put her away because she is miserable.

I had planned to crate her once when she peed on the floor 2 years ago during the night, but we made her start sleeping on the bed from which she can’t jump down so she doesn’t have to be crated. I have no idea how a crate could be better than a bathroom but I am going to try it. I’m almost positive she will act just the same in a crate no matter how positive I try to make the experience/association.

Does anyone have any idea on how I can make go back to not fearing the bathroom? Or figure out what in the world she is so scared of suddenly? Ideas on what I can do with her during the day that won’t make her so unhappy? Is this sudden separation anxiety or something? Help!