Concerns about Ray!

Thinking about this Post made me reflect on my two kids as they fought their way through the teen years in an effort to reach adulthood. “Fought their way” is so very appropriate for them rather than simply developed, matured, or grew etc. However, there is a slight advantage with humans because we (our family) all theoretically shared a common language. I use the term “theoretically” intentionally because they (the teenagers) did seem to slip into a foreign tongue when pressured to explain a totally illogical action on their part… but I digress!

Ray has never been a hyper active “guy”. When he plays, it is for brief moments. He often resists going for walks which, to us, in unnatural! His lethargic nature is bothering us a little.

We have considered a number of potential explanations which, listed from the least serious to the most serious are below:

  1. He is Shepherd/Rotti X and just does not have the expected German Shepherd perspective on life. Perhaps he really is a very laid-back, chill-out whenever possible, “guy”.
  2. He has an exquisite (really!) and thick fur coat, and our recent temperatures and humidity levels simply wipe him out.
  3. He is bored. We really don’t think that this is Ray, but reading him with those big brown eyes is very difficult. They generally look very sad. Our back garden is sheltered by a very large Maple tree and so there is a significant temperature reduction there, But Ray rarely shows an interest in even playing there, but just finds a nice spot and chills-out!
  4. He has something (a medical condition) going on “in there”, but he recently had his annual check up and everything was fine.
  5. He has some residual soft tissue damage from his heart-worm experience. This is a tough one because x-rays were not designed for soft tissue analysis.
  6. He is experiencing the side effects of long term anti-anxiety medication. This is the tough one because, until we can get him to relax when left on his own, we really don’t want to reduce his medication.

I am going to bring this to the attention of his vet as I would like some feedback on item 6, but perhaps I am just being an over-sensitive parent? Perhaps the only difference between living with Ray, and living with teenagers, is that teenagers can shower you with obscenities and then walk out, slamming the door behind them. Poor Ray does not have that option!

ps. Our bets are currently on item 2!


24 thoughts on “Concerns about Ray!

  1. It could very well be the heat. Is he usually a bit more energetic than he is now? And maybe the combination of the heat and the medicine is making him more tired. As long as he seems happy and healthy, that’s the main thing!

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  2. One side effect of Prozac is lethargy. Have you considered having a groomer clip some of that thick fur off for the summer? Has your vet run liver and kidney lab values for potential damage from Prozac. Do you know about using hemp oil for anxiety issues. It is readily available in Canada or at least I think so. Lots of hemp grown in Canada and it is legal because it is grown as a strain that is low in THC.

    Heat will affect a large dog and I’m pretty certain that he has residual effects from heart worms. At least that’s my non-veterinary assumption. It’s been my experience in the past with two dogs that I rescued.

    I hope you can get an answer soon.

    Liked by 1 person

      • What a relief. Seriouslyt though have you considered at least clipping his fur shorter? It does not have to be shaved down. I know that he is gorgeous with that full coat but on the other hand I just now thought that maybe you have tried that and he does not allow his body to be touched by buzzing machine.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We wouldn’t try and clip his fur shorter. He barely tolerates his regular combing (which drags out huge amounts of fur). As noted in an earlier comment, he had a great walk today at just over 2 hours on tree sheltered trails, so everything points to temperature and humidity being the issue.

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  3. We often have these same concerns with our rescue baby. He is honestly the laziest dog I have ever met. He is a flat coated retriever and they are suppose to be the “peter pan” dog. Very puppy like their whole lives, with retriever energy. Jack does not have that energy. We recently purchased an activity monitor for him to try to keep tabs on his exercise and he gets half the expected “bark points” of the average flattie in the system. Despite opportunities given to exercise Jack is happy just hanging out. We considered many of the same reasons you did and had a few checked out and had to come to the conclusion that that is just Jack. He is just lazy, but he just had his annual vet check and he’s healthy so we must be doing something right.

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  4. I’ll hope for #2 or #1. Having grown up with an extremely active dog, and being around a lot of active dogs belonging to family and friends, Choppy’s laidback nature doesn’t always seem natural to me. I think Choppy’s nature is just slightly more active than Ray’s, but she has never been the most energetic of dogs, even as a puppy. Considering her doggie ancestry is probably close to Ray’s, both #2 and #1 seem like plausible explanations!

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  5. What type of anxiety medication are you using? I have seen other people’s dogs ‘zombified’ by them and am not a fan. We use Homeopet Anxiety when there are fireworks going off. The great thing with these homeopathic drops is, is that you only have to give it at that moment. It may be worth looking into some alternative approaches with an integrated vet practice where complementary and conventional treatments are combined.

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  6. Maggie is very lethargic at the moment and shedding her coat by the ton. We brush her daily and remove loose fur enough to make another dog, then she shakes herself and we are showered! It is extremely hot over here at the moment, the boat showing over 30 degrees inside, even with all the doors and windows open. Her appetite wanes in the heat too so I have tempted her today with a little minced beef and stock in her dinner from my spag bol mix, and she’s cleared her bowl.
    At least with kids, they can tell you what’s wrong. Dogs are another matter. I hope like you say it is item 2, same as for Maggie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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