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Wheaton Terrier Lump Surgery Cures Behavior Problem

2010 May 28
Hazel, the blue Wheaton Terrier Dog leans on her mom's lap for emotional support

Hazel leans in for some much-needed emotional support

A medical school graduate, Hazels mom asked Doc Truli to share this strange story in case it might help other dogs with anxiety and aggression problems.

Wheaton “Terror” Bites Anyone Who Pets Her!

Hazel’s problem was biting.  And fidgeting.  And acting hyper and nervous almost all the time.  She would bite her family, her veterinarian, kids in the neighborhood, anyone!  It was an unusual, nervous, hyper, fidgeting, uncomfortable anxiety disorder.

Hazel started when she was about 8 months old and the biting and hyper nervousness worsened over the years.  By six years old, she had behavior consultations, trainers, Prozac, Xanax, and many other drugs fr the brain to try and make her comfortable and make people safe in her presence.  Luckily for Hazel, her mother loved her very much and never gave up on her.

“The most important component 0f successful treatment of a behavior problem in a pet is the commitment of every family member to never give up!” says Doc Truli.  “A dog with only one family member who believes they will get better will never have as good a chance as a dog with every family member believing in the best.”

Wheaton’s Mom Swears She’s a Suddenly Changed Dog

Hazel, a 6-year-old female spayed blue Wheaton Terrier fidgeted around her mom’s chair in the examination room. She waged her stumpy little tail nervously and tried to stuff herself under the chair.

“I can see you, Hazel,” said Doc Truli.

Different year, same routine.

“She’s different, Doc, watch this,” said her mom,”Come here, Hazel honey.” Hazel slunk out from under the chair and sat in front of her mom’s legs. “Stay, Hazel.”

Then Hazel’s mom looked up at Doc Truli and said, “Go ahead and pet her, I swear she’s a changed dog.”

Veterinarian Reluctant to Test the Theory With Her Own (Much Needed) Skin!

This is a Wheaton I had to muzzle every visit. A dog that would wag her tail, act excited, and then start jumping up with her teeth bared in terror and nip anyone. A dog that latched onto the mailman’s calf muscle one day and did not let go. A dog I had prescribed Prozac for. And Xanax for thunderstorm phobia, just to keep her from tearing apart the house. A dog her mom had adopted another dog for, in order to try and calm her and keep her company. I’m not even going to mention the professional dog trainer and the relaxation and desensitization therapy.

“Go ahead, she won’t bite you,” said mom. I hear that a lot…

“Run this by me again. Why do you say Hazel is a changed dog?” asked Doc Truli.

One Week After Skin Cyst Removal Surgery, the Wheatie is a Changed Dog

“Remember that nasty skin cyst in between her shoulder blades? The one we didn’t remove for years because it was cosmetic? But then it oozed and looked infected, so we finally removed it? (You did such a great job on that surgery by the way…) Well, you’re going to think I’m crazy, but she’s like a new dog since the surgery. You have to write this up,” said Hazel’s mom.

“The only explanation seemed to be, the skin cyst caused internal discomfort and contributed significantly to Hazel’s anxiety disorder,” says Doc Truli.

Doc Truli let a hand dangle down by her leg, next to Hazel’s right ear. Hazel looked up and nudged the hand with her soft Wheaton muzzle.

“There!” said mom,”Would the old Hazel have done that?”

Actually, never…

From Impossible to Touch to Sweet and Affectionate…

Doc Truli sat down on a chair next to Hazel and she wagged her whole rear end happily. She shoved her head on Doc’s lap for pets. Doc obliged with soft pats and scritches under the chin. Hazel got overstimulated and gently gnawed on Doc’s hand with a soft biting motion. Just a little.

“She’s not perfect, but she’s 90% better, isn’t she?” said mom.

Yes! Hazel was like a new dog!

In the spirit of potentially helping other dogs like Hazel, Doc Truli agreed to report on this result from a cyst surgery. If your dog is edgy, bitey, hyper and not trustworthy, and has a cyst, think twice about whether or not that lump or cyst bothers your dog. Maybe it bothers him or her more than you know….

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