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Redsoblue
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Redsoblue is offline  
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Joined: Feb 2018
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26-02-2018, 03:34 PM

Puppy PTSD after being Attacked

This is my first post. Sorry in advance if this is a long post. I really need help, please, anyone. I've included some background info so hopefully the whole situation can be observed. I will take help anywhere I can find it right now.

We have a 17 week old Pomeranian, male, named Baxter. He weighs 8 lbs. Baxter also has a sister - Pepper, our 4-1/2 yr old Pom/Papillion Mix (15 lbs)

We welcomed Baxter into our family at 12 wks old, January 15th. In the first month he was house trained and crate trained. He is an exceptional dog. Well behaved and very smart. Such a happy little guy, until last Tuesday Feb 20.

Around 4:30 last Tuesday our neighbors 6 yr old was walking their large breed dog. At the time I was standing in the my front yard with Baxter and did not see the child or the other dog until it was attacking both of us - after dragging the child to the ground and across the street.

Baxter hasn't been trained yet to Run & Hide so I threw myself over my puppy as fast as I could, and tried to protect him with my body, but we both were attacked. The screams and barking, the fear in my puppy, the weight of the dog on me, biting, scratching as I crawled towards the front stoop. I screamed for help, over and over, and no one was coming. Apparently the child's mother was inside the house and at some point came to pull her dog off me.

Multiple bite wounds for both of us, doctors and vets, damage to my neck from the weight of the dog on me (my vet said I saved his life - so it was totally worth it). Immediately after returning from the emergency vet Baxter started refusing to near the front door, and absolutely not out in the front yard.

Slowly and with a Ton Of Praise and Treats he has gone back outside - provided it is completely silent. Otherwise if he see a person or hears a car, a door, another dog, any sound, he beeline it straight to come inside. He is terrified to walk by the "Dog" House.

We are both suffering from PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety, etc. while healing our bodies as well.

How do I help him get past the fear? How do help him to not be afraid of the noises? The people? They will only increases as the weather gets nicer, and the dogs in the "Dog" House will be in the yard 24/7 all day every day behind a very small fence (I terrified of the Attacking dog jumping the fence and coming after Baxter again)

I've been slowly carrying him by that house on the opposite sidewalk so we can walk Baxter with Pepper. The entire time he is visibly shaking from the core, he immediately starts having a panic attack. I softly and calmly whisper to him it's ok. Momma is here, Pepper is here, it's ok, it's just a sound, it's ok, etc., until we get a few houses away and he will walk and follow Pepper - provided another fear trigger doesn't present - a car, a person, etc. at which point he starts again with a panic attack.

Right now everything is secondary to helping Baxter recover. We have all kinds of dogs in our neighborhood. He was supposed to start training and now we can't.

The attacking large dog has a history and a trigger for attacking small animals. I personally witnessed this dog killing a groundhog, and last summer she attacked our other dog, Pepper, while being walked by a 10 yr old (and at that time we were told a child would never walk the dog again). Pepper was fast enough to get away without harm - She's been trained to Run and Hide.

The "Dog" House has two large breed dogs, and the other one barks 24/7 and throws himself against the window when the owner isn't home - neither dog is getting enough exersice, they are screamed at constantly, and they are home alone everyday for at least 10-12 hours. I don't know if this is considered abuse.

We called the police, but our local Boro did nothing. We called Animal Control but no one has called us back. The owner has still not provided the Rabies Certificate - but there isnt anyone asking for it either. I am so torn apart. The attack was so horrifying I went into shock. I just don't know what to do or how to get help. Those poor large dogs are obviously needing love and attention and training.

I am at my wits end here - I love animals - all of them - and it's breaking my heart not knowing what to do and no one helping us figure it out. We don't want to press charges - but there are four young children in that Dog house and we have 7 small dogs in our neighborhood. I do not want to responsible for the large dog getting blamed. It's not the animals fault.

Any and all help or advice or suggestions are welcomed.

I need help

- Robin
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Chris
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26-02-2018, 05:26 PM
First of all, press charges. If you don't, it's very likely this will happen again.

It's been highly traumatic for you both. I imagine that you are just as freaked out as your little one when you are out on the street.

Is there any chance that you could drive until you are well away from the place it happened? Preferably to a quiet open area where you can play with Baxter to take his mind off his fears. If he responds to this, then slowly, slowly bring him back to walking in the real world
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Trouble
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26-02-2018, 05:39 PM
I agree with Chris, take action against the owners of the large dog. They had their second chance after attacking Pepper, don't allow it to happen again.
Of course Baxter is freaked out, so would I be.
Take it slowly, give both of you time to heal physically before going back to walking outside. Act as normal and as calmly as possible and try not to act like it's a big deal.
Change your routine if possible to just having fun in and around the house, away from the street. Once healed you can get back to walking normally, preferably by driving past the house to another area.
Hope the little guy improves soon, in the mean time just try to chill.
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Gnasher
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26-02-2018, 08:45 PM
Gosh this sounds a horrible, horrible attack and yes I wholeheartedly agree with Chris & Trouble that you absolutely must report these people to the appropriate authorities in the US.

Unsurprisingly you are totally traumatised by this event, and I think the advice given to walk Baxter somewhere else is good ... as understandable as it is, you are feeding Baxter's fear through your own fear - he is sensing that YOU are terrified, unsettled, stressed, and this is making it far, far worse for him. It is absolutely essential in my opinion that you rebuild YOUR confidence as fast as you possibly can, because until you do you cannot help Baxter. He will for ever be unsettled ... thus it is an excellent suggestion to build up Baxter's trust in you whilst at the same time you mend yourself. Probably best to try and go somewhere you won't meet other dogs, certainly dogs who are off leash - and then after a few days would it be possible to meet up with someone you know who has a very friendly, well-socialised, well-balanced dog or dogs?

It is a ghastly situation and please don't think I am in any way blaming you for Baxter's trauma, but it is a fact that dogs pick up very, very easily on us being frightened, angry, lacking in confidence, and it is essential that as quickly as possible you can return to your normal confident self, pre-attack. Gosh, I wish you the very best of luck - poor you, and poor Baxter - let us know how you get on xx gnasher
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CaroleC
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26-02-2018, 10:15 PM
I agree with all the comments above. Another important point, if you have not had one in the last 8 - 10 years, did you get an anti tetanus injection? If not, please do so as soon as possible.
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Besoeker
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26-02-2018, 10:30 PM
6-year old walking a large out of control dog?
Criminal insanity.
Here the Dangerous Dogs Act would be applicable and could be enforced I think.
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Redsoblue
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26-02-2018, 10:33 PM
Thank you all for responding. It is so very much appreciated. Baxter is the first non-rescue dog for us, as well as our first puppy. I will clear it with our vet and see if he can start classes - maybe we can take Pepper with us - she seems to help him feel better when he's outiside.

I was aware that he can pick up my emotions/feelings and I have been trying hard to get that under control with a doctors help. I know that is critical to his healing process. I am trying hard to fix myself as fast as possible.

It can be hard to know what to do - it's been mentioned to me that I probably shouldn't be carrying him and babying him and that it may be feeding his anxiety as well. So we will drive and find an empty lot for play. That's a great idea.

I want him confident and happy no matter what it takes. On our block we live in the cul-de-sac so we have to leave the neighborhood to find a place to play. There are dogs everywhere here. We live out in a rural area. We have 7 dogs just on our small block.

So some trips to have fun outside are a great idea. I can also have Baxter's brother brought here to the house, since he is with my stepson.

Unfortunately my husband will not allow me to press charges. This was one of the reasons I reached out - to help Baxter overcome his fears because I am unable to have the dogs removed.

Thank you so much for all the advice. I will keep everyone posted and see about getting him back on the training schedule.
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Redsoblue
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26-02-2018, 10:36 PM
Originally Posted by CaroleC View Post
I agree with all the comments above. Another important point, if you have not had one in the last 8 - 10 years, did you get an anti tetanus injection? If not, please do so as soon as possible.
Yes, I have been to the Dr office due to the bite wounds, scratches, and panic attacks, and The Health Department finally called me today about my bites and getting the rabies certificate information.
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Gnasher
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27-02-2018, 06:32 AM
Shame your husband wpnt ldt you press charges ... so these dreadful people get away with it and the same thing could happen again. Yes, you absolutely must not carry Baxter .. I forgot to say that before ... it is making things very much worse.

I am sure you and Baxter together will win through together. You are very brave and I applaud you for that. Have you considered anti depressants? I suffer from PTSD and have been on Prozac for 15 years ... wonderful drug to help you through the bad moments. Best of luck and do let us know how you and Baxter do.
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Besoeker
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27-02-2018, 11:26 AM
Originally Posted by Redsoblue View Post
Unfortunately my husband will not allow me to press charges.
The obvious question is why?
Does he think there might be retaliation? A brick through your window or maybe personal intimidation?
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