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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,
5 days ago myself and Arlo were in a car accident in which our car was written off. It was extremely traumatic as we were at a stand still and a woman drove into the back of us going around 50mph.
Arlo is 6 months old today. Physically he is fine. However I do think he is struggling. He is now very reactive to noises, where in he runs straight to me, jumps up and then cries for around half an hour.
He is also not sleeping as soundly as he used to. Constant movement of his limbs and low growling and wimpering.
He is also becoming very protective of me, I have 4 broken ribs, so moving is hard. Whenever I make a painful noise he comes charging over and won’t let anybody near me. I know this is because he loves me, but I want him to love everybody and not have to worry about me.
I have spoken to our vet and they said give it a couple of weeks and see how things go.
But I was wondering if anybody had been in a similar situation before .
Thanks
Madi x
 

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I'm so sorry for what you went through. It sounds like it was traumatic for you both, but Arlo is especially affected.
I don't have great advice for how to deal with his fear and trauma. But it might help to find a veterinary behaviorist sooner than later to get some tips about what you could do to help him get by this.

About his being protective of you - this I can relate to. I had a cycling accident a few years ago and had several broken ribs and two broken wrists (two casts). My then 10-year-old Golden became very protective of me, too, even with people she had known for years. She barked at anyone who approached me (even people she knew) and she put herself between me and anyone else until I spoke to them and she was confident that I was not at risk. As soon as I was well and healed, this behavior stopped. My guess is that this will be the case with Arlo, too. Right now, he is very focused on you, you both went through a lot, but my guess is that once some time goes by and once you are feeling better, he will ease up and relax. I don't think he loves anyone less - he is just more focused on you for the time being.

I hope you feel better soon and can get some professional help for helping your pup. Try to be confident and upbeat with him, as opposed to babying him, if you know what I mean. I don't mean to sound cold at all - but the more he feels you are good, he will be good. This will be hard while you are in so much pain, I know. Again, so sorry about the accident.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your accident and wish you a speedy recovery. How was Arlo restrained in the car? One of my biggest fears is for my dogs to get injured in an accident so I'm glad to hear Arlo didn't have any injuries.
 

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I'm so sorry for you and Arlo :( . I have no experience but just wanted to wish you a speedy recovery and hopefully Arlo will be back to himself soon!! Be well!
 

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I had the same thing happen to me but thank goodness my dog was not in the car. I ended up with soft tissue damage and my elbows were very tender for about a year from gripping the steering wheel. The jeep ended up on top of my car! So, your puppy could have some tender areas too. The jerking and whimpering might simply be the puppy dreaming. Did your vet manipulate your pups joints to see if there was tenderness? If so, perhaps a couple of weeks will give it time to heal. Hopefully, you are okay too!
 

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Arlo may be hurting physically as well, even if there's apparently nothing wrong. My husband had a serious car accident in November of last year (fell asleep at the wheel, hit an electricity pole, wrote off the car). The doctors found no physical injuries, but he was in pain for a month of two: in his neck, his shoulders, etc. He also felt like his insides had been "shaken up", meaning that he felt off-colour too. Your dog, while not actually injured, may have some of these same effects too, to say nothing of the trauma.


Hope you both recover well. My best wishes to you.
 

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At 6 months old I would be concerned he is impressionable and might continue the protective and anxious behavior going forward. I think you should consider having a good trainer with behavior experience come in and help you work on this with him.

I also agree with the other posters who have said he may be in pain. After a car accident even if there are no broken bones, etc. everyone always has pain. Please ask your vet for a course of pain medication for him.
 

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I think a trip to the vet is warranted. As mylissyk mentioned, I'd be very concerned that he's at an impressionable age where behaviors are being formed and I wouldn't want this behavior to become established. A short term therapy w/ Trazodone may help him relax and be less anxious so this fear and fearful behavior doesn't become an established part of his temperament. Another thread from today reminded me of how helpful Trazodone can be.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks so much for all of your well wishes and responses.
Arlo had a seat belt on and was sleeping on the back seats like he always does. We have gotten him back in a car and he seems to be doing ok.
He has seen the vet and they have deemed no physically injury.
We went to obedience class last night as usual as I didn’t want to disrupt his routine. He loved it and was completely himself. However, a lady from the dog training has put us in contact with a dog psychologist, just to make sure that he is ok.
My next problem is that he has stopped eating (well his last two meals). So we shall be back off to the vet today x
 

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You might check into rescue remedy for pets. It’s created by Bach flower remedies. Check with your vet first.
 

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So glad things seem to be better - especially that he did get an initial all clear from the vet. Let us know what happens with the not eating - hopefully nothing serious. I think you are totally right to be keeping to his schedule and all. Best thing for him right now as long as he is physically well.
 

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It makes total sense if you think about what happened...you know it was a car accident, he just knows he was frantically thrown around for some unknown reason...hopefully he is just sore but my daughters dog got hit by a car and has always been terrified of wheels and some noises...it seems like from a dog perspective, he has and is entitled with you to have ptsd in his world....he will need time to become less fearful and confident..as a dog, he's probably completely freaked out and is confused (I'm trying to think like a puppy) I bet time and confidence for you will help! Good luck!!!....you know every time I drive thru this one intersection where I was rear ended I think oh yeah I got hit here....so in a puppy mind I'm sure he is scared not understanding what we know....kinda like fight or flight.....don't worry...think how he is interpreting things...that really helps me when my dogs are being weird..I am on this site as my dog is currently battling cancer...I cry constantly and she doesn't even know, so for what its worth it was hugely tramatic for you both ...you are entitled to be freaked out!! At least you are both going to be ok! H won't forget but similar things might set him off for a while...best wishes!!!
 

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I was hit by a truck and had a badly fractured leg. Amber was not with me, but as long as I had the cast on she would get between me and any visitors. She didn't growl or bark, but she stayed between us. After the cast was removed and I no longer wore the boot, she returned to her old behavior.
 

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So sorry for the accident, the broken ribs and the trauma you went both through.
In this case, someone shall take Arlo almost everyday for short rides to his favourite petstore, to icecream shop, to the dog park . The sooner he erases bad memories connected with cars, the noises, the sooner he will also recover mentally.
 
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