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Oscar, 14 months, Vizsla
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

Oscar was unfortunately involved in an altercation with his long time friend. They found a piece of garbage on the ground and his friend decided that Oscar cannot have a piece of that extremely delicious gourmet garbage and he kinda attacked him. This morning I didn't think much about it, as there was no blood and there was only a puncture above his eyebrow. Oscar seemed a bit shaken but was happy to play with other friends and run. Afterwards, I saw several other small punctures (really small, because I can only see some swelled spots but no sign of actual bloody wound/puncture).

My only problem is that he's been sleeping for the past 7 hours almost continuously, just woke up for our car ride home from the office and once we got home, he went back to sleep. He eats fine, enjoyed some leftover chips from my lunch and ate his breakfast normal. He also walks very slow, in super slow motion and seems overall sad. This is very unusual behavior for him, as for any Vizsla, I assume. Also, after arriving at the office, he settled in his chair and I started to inspect him (like a maniac) and he slightly growled at me for a second - not directly at me but more in a "go away, lady, haven't you done enough today?" way. `This has also never happened before, no matter what I do to him (nail clipping, bandaging, inspecting for bugs, washing, brushing teeth etc.) .

Did anyone have a similar experience? I am thinking he may be traumatized, but did not seem so this morning just after the incident. Did anyone experience any damage from an altercation that did not produce an actual, consistent wound? Is actual trauma (physical and/or psychological) possible? What should/can I do to help him?

PS: Oscar is quite a nice guy and sometimes too much of a momma's boy. The entire time his friend was biting him, he was crying (probably for me to rescue him :((, which I did, but not fast enough), didn't even attempt to fight back.
 

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have you disinfected the wound? If you see him slowing down and not bouncing back within 24 hours i would do a vet check. Just because you cannot see, there could be deeper damages. The growl seems like a sign for me that he has some pain, whether it is a mental trauma or physical, hard to tell, a vet could be more of a help.
 

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I would be very concerned of subcutaneous injury. Dog bites may not seem bad on the surface , but underneath could be serious damage. This is due to the clamping + shaking that dogs do when attacking. The action can tear up tissue under the skin while leaving the outside looking like its no big deal. I would get him checked ASAP. Dogs try to hide pain, and his behavior may be some of it leaking through.
 

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I would guess that he is very sore, after being attacked. Sometimes it takes a hour or two for them to start hurting. He's basically telling you, leave me alone it hurts.
Dogs carry a lot of germs in their mouth.
Puncture wounds become easily infected.
It's best to treat them with a round of antibiotics. Because you know he's in pain, I would muzzle him before attempting to clean the wounds.
 

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Oscar, 14 months, Vizsla
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for the replies!

@Gabica - The wounds were disinfected, however I just washed him with H2O2 because I could not see the punctures, so I covered an ample area.
@Dan_A - I was afraid this may de the case, but his friend is a GSP, so he let go rather fast, did not hold onto him not letting go and there was very little shaking. I assume it was an assertion over who gets to control the "resources".
@texasred - I assume he was in some sort of pain, however, he has been in pain before (he is a professional at accidents), but always lets me do what I need to do to him. I cleaned him without a muzzle and he was his usual loving self (we don't even own a muzzle, as he even lets the vet do anything they need to do to him).

As an update, he will be taken to the vet later today, just to make sure everything is fine with him and perhaps they will prescribe some antibiotics just to be safe. However, after endless hours of sleep he woke up late in the evening and demanded to go out and we played and he did not want to go back home (which is great, he never wants to go home, he would stay out the whole day). This morning he was very active at the park and played with his girlfriends only.

As I had feared, he seems a bit proactive in keeping the males away. A slight growl from a male and he's either fleeing to hide behind me, or responding (not with trying to bite, just with a warning to stay away). He did not want any interaction with any male, avoided them after they briefly tried to interact with him, or kept them at a distance (these are dogs that he knows and has played with before). The only exception was a 14 yo Golden Retriever, which Oscar greeted and offered his ball as present (a thing he does with dogs he likes, in an attempt to engage them in play).

Is there anything that can be done to ensure that this experience will not make him be overly mean/scared to/of male dogs? Or to minimize any potential trauma? Should I try to find a "nice" male and re-socialize him?

Do you think it would be safe to let him play again with his friend that bit him? Should I let Oscar decide? See if he engages in play and feels comfortable, and if not just stop the interaction completely?
 

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Glad the physical injury was superficial. I personally wouldn't let my dog play with another dog that demonstrated resource guarding to the point of aggression biting my dog until that dog's owner worked on that behavioral issue and can show progress and an ability to de-escalate before it gets to that point again. I also don't feel that I need to condition my dog to "want" to play with other dogs such as in your case other males. If your dog is perfectly fine playing with the ladies, let it be. If he wants to eventually make friends again and play with other males, let him do it on his own terms perhaps? Maybe he will seek out other males at his level such as the golden, avoiding the dominance play all together. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. In my book, my dog's focus is me and my family. Playing with other dogs is a fun leisure activity and not a job per-say.

I'm sure there are a ton of opinions and ideas out there. Just sharing my 2cents. :)
 

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Oscar, 14 months, Vizsla
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Glad the physical injury was superficial. I personally wouldn't let my dog play with another dog that demonstrated resource guarding to the point of aggression biting my dog until that dog's owner worked on that behavioral issue and can show progress and an ability to de-escalate before it gets to that point again. I also don't feel that I need to condition my dog to "want" to play with other dogs such as in your case other males. If your dog is perfectly fine playing with the ladies, let it be. If he wants to eventually make friends again and play with other males, let him do it on his own terms perhaps? Maybe he will seek out other males at his level such as the golden, avoiding the dominance play all together. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. In my book, my dog's focus is me and my family. Playing with other dogs is a fun leisure activity and not a job per-say.

I'm sure there are a ton of opinions and ideas out there. Just sharing my 2cents. :)
Thank you for your input!
Regarding the dog, I only partly agree, as they are both young, and we just didn't see it coming (they got on really well until now, for almost a year. Having two intact males, we were usually extra cautious and broke off all play when it got too rough). When younger, they used to share sticks they found in the park and steal them from each other and chase, it was a really nice play, very "brotherly", so it was a big surprise for everyone. It will be up to Oscar, if he does not run towards his friend to play and does not wish to engage, I will stop all encounters.
Regarding who he plays with, I completely agree. I have always been a firm proponent of letting my dogs choose, where possible, such as this case, what they want to do. I don't want him to do anything that he doesn't want to do (not discussing manners, behavior and education, but things that matter to him that are irrelevant to his education and proper integration in the human world). I was just trying to make sure he doesn't miss out on anything, but it's best that he chooses things that make him comfortable as well as helping him "grow" as a dog.
 

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Hello everyone!

Oscar was unfortunately involved in an altercation with his long time friend. They found a piece of garbage on the ground and his friend decided that Oscar cannot have a piece of that extremely delicious gourmet garbage and he kinda attacked him. This morning I didn't think much about it, as there was no blood and there was only a puncture above his eyebrow. Oscar seemed a bit shaken but was happy to play with other friends and run. Afterwards, I saw several other small punctures (really small, because I can only see some swelled spots but no sign of actual bloody wound/puncture).

My only problem is that he's been sleeping for the past 7 hours almost continuously, just woke up for our car ride home from the office and once we got home, he went back to sleep. He eats fine, enjoyed some leftover chips from my lunch and ate his breakfast normal. He also walks very slow, in super slow motion and seems overall sad. This is very unusual behavior for him, as for any Vizsla, I assume. Also, after arriving at the office, he settled in his chair and I started to inspect him (like a maniac) and he slightly growled at me for a second - not directly at me but more in a "go away, lady, haven't you done enough today?" way. `This has also never happened before, no matter what I do to him (nail clipping, bandaging, inspecting for bugs, washing, brushing teeth etc.) .

Did anyone have a similar experience? I am thinking he may be traumatized, but did not seem so this morning just after the incident. Did anyone experience any damage from an altercation that did not produce an actual, consistent wound? Is actual trauma (physical and/or psychological) possible? What should/can I do to help him?

PS: Oscar is quite a nice guy and sometimes too much of a momma's boy. The entire time his friend was biting him, he was crying (probably for me to rescue him :((, which I did, but not fast enough), didn't even attempt to fight back.
Another angle other than injury is that I found V’s to be very sensitive when it comes to difficult experiences.

Mine went to the groomer once and she tried to blow dry her. Groomer said she seemed fine (before she was too scared to get blow dried) so the groomer proceeded.

Afterwards at home she displayed all the symptoms you mention, including loss of appetite, excessive drooling and very lethargic. I had no idea what was happening, she seemed almost as if she was in shock. I rushed to the vet, and they checked her but couldn’t see anything wrong. They have her pain meds just in case and a shot to make her feel better. I went home and it got worse, and then suddenly after a few hours (I honestly was about to go back to the vet) like yours, everything was back as if nothing ever happened.

From then on, I’ve been extra careful with intense experiences, watching her closely myself. I still think it must’ve been some kind of reaction to what she experiences at the groomer. Maybe it could be the same for your dog, he had a lot to process? Sensitive creatures..
 

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I'm sorry to hear about Oscar's injury, it sort of reminded me about an incident recently with my intact male Rafa.

For the past 9 months or so he has been happily playing every couple of weeks with a young male Doberman puppy called Freddie who was very non aggressive and bounced around unable to catch Rafa as he was too fast. They had a great time together.

We hadn't seen Freddie for a couple of months and saw him again recently now he is fully grown and about 1 year old. Unfortunately the friendly stage seems to have gone, the Doberman Freddie was really mean to Rafa and displayed signs of impending aggression, growling, positioning his head above Rafa's neck etc. so much so that his owner said he had never seen Freddie show such signs of aggression before withany other dog.

Freddie is also an intact male and I'm guessing it is the testosterone levels now that has lead to the change in his character. The end result is that they had many months of friendly play together, but sadly I'm now not going to risk Rafa getting bitten or worse by a dog that is so much bigger and stronger than him. I will never forget reading the tragic message on here a couple of years ago when a lovely young female Vizsla was killed in the dog park by a German Shepherd.
 

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I don’t do dog parks but a good trick we learned in puppy class was that you should bring a portable air horn with you and to use it to instantly distract all dogs if something bad is brewing. Of course emergencies only. Air horn
 

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Oscar, 14 months, Vizsla
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@PhilipL Oh my god, I did not think a dog getting killed in park would be possible. And by a German Shepard - those dogs are sweet and disciplined and obedient...that is tragic and now I am really scared. However, I do think (hope) that that was an isolated case/ a incident that happens very rare? I am sorry your Rafa lost a friend, but it's better safe than sorry.
@Frida010 it is so true that Vizslas are more impressionable than most other breeds. Very sensitive and empathic. This is mainly why I always freak out when something happens to Oscar. I used to have a Belgian Shepard in highschool and college - that dog could keep away a pack of strays, just by looking at them, not even growling (so dominant, independent and assertive). Oscar is nothing like that - he is sweet, docile, loving, friendly and sooo needy for attention and approval - I like that so so much, but I also feel that makes him so vulnerable.
@Dan_A those things have somehow become illegal where I live. Probably it has to do with noise pollution. Eitherway, I would be careful always if in the situation of using certain noises to scare dogs away. Due to a general problem about 10 years ago, all the country was full of packs of strays (like born on the street and living in huge packs of 5 or more) and I used to have a professional thing that was supposed to scare the dogs away (recommended by a professional dog trainer). Given that they were in a pack and in charge mode, what was supposed to scare them off had the opposite result. They got really annoyed and went into full charge mode and actually attacked. Unfortunately, I had to use pepper spray that day to get away. It was the only time I saw such angry dogs. Normally, I got away just by being human and scaring them with posture and verbally. I truly think they would have killed me, if it wasn't for the pepper spray. So, I for one, am skeptical regarding using sounds around angry dogs.

I will try and limit the interaction between Oscar and other dominant/assertive males as much as possible. Since we don't have many options besides the park during the week, there will be other males that will engage with us. There are other males that Oscar gets along with and that are really kind to him - usually mature males, that are probably more balanced and less hormonal and that have known him since he was a puppy.

Thank you all for your support, this is a wonderful community!
 

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To give you some reassurance that tragic Vizsla death I mentioned is the only case I can recall reading about on here in the past nearly three years. On the positive side Rafa still plays with a rescued German Shepherd male called Theo who is six years old and displays zero aggression. I used to keep Rafa well away, worrying about any GS, until I got talking to the owner one day and saw Theo playing happily with lots of other dogs. I'm still wary of dogs we don't know, but responsible owners here seem to all leash their dogs on sight if already running free and ask about temperamant before allowing them to play together if they don't know each other.
 
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