Taking in new buddy after his owner died

If you have recently taken in a rescue Schnauzer or rehomed a Schnauzer and need some advice, then please feel free to ask here. Whether it be about integrating your new dog into your home, health or behavioural issues, someone is sure to be able to help.
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Kris10Joy7
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Joined: 24 Jul 2018, 15:53
First Name: Kristen
Dog #1: Chase
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 12 Mar 2010
Location: Houston, TX

Taking in new buddy after his owner died

Post by Kris10Joy7 » 24 Jul 2018, 16:16

Hi all!

I am new to the miniature schnauzer world as of 4 days ago. A friend of mine passed away a couple weeks ago in a tragic accident, and he had just adopted 8-year-old Chase from the SPCA about 6 months prior. My boyfriend and I decided to bring him into our family - just the 2 of us plus my Shiba Inu, Leelu (female, 7 years old). He is a very sweet boy. I can tell sometimes that he's sad...wondering where his owner is. It breaks my heart. I'm hoping it won't take too long for him to adjust. Overall he seems happy though - lots of cuddling and loving, and he's also started playing with his toys a little bit. The 2 dogs get along well...my dog has been an only child, so she's learning how playtime with another dog works...but they have similar energy/temperament, so it seems like a good fit.

Unfortunately in any conversations with my friend, nothing ever came up about Chase's health. We found prescription bottles at his house for Rimadyl, which I understand is for joint pain/osteoarthritis (and it does appear maybe his hips/back legs are a little stiff...he sometimes struggles a tiny bit when he jumps up on the couch, and he has a hard time getting up the stairs occasionally), as well as for Apoquel, which I believe is for dermatitis (he does have a handful of tiny crusty-feeling bumps on his back). I'm not sure though if these are things I should give him every day, or only if he seems to be bothered by pain and/or itching? I also found some probiotics...not sure what he was using those for. Maybe skin issues as well? Oh yes, and some ear solutions, but I obviously know what those are for.

I suppose I'm just hoping for any advice/info (or even words of encouragement!) you all can give me about mini schnauzers in general - common health problems, personality quirks, etc. I, of course, have done some googling, but I would feel better getting info from actual schnauzer owners. I guess I'm feeling kind of lost...I desperately want him to be happy in our home and I want to do a good job taking care of him, but not knowing anything about his past makes me feel like I can't do as good of a job as I want to.

Thanks in advance! :)
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zeta1454
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First Name: Leigh
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Re: Taking in new buddy after his owner died

Post by zeta1454 » 25 Jul 2018, 10:49

Welcome to the Forum :-)

Well done for taking in Chase and hopefully you will get to know him better as the days go by and he will be able to settle in his new forever home knowing he is loved and will be supported through his loss and yours.

Miniature schnauzers make wonderful family companions but you will need to get to know Chase's particular personality and individual traits as time goes by as you know nothing about his parentage or past. Mini schnauzers can be very vocal as in barking! This should not be constant or without context such as when the post arrives or when a dog passes the garden gate but you will find out Chase's level of provocation before too long I am sure. Mini schnauzers thrive on companionship and like to be part of everything their family are doing. It is great that you have another dog to "show him the ropes" :-)

Health issues: eye problems are the most significant hereditary issue as in Hereditary Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy both of which can lead to blindness. The best breeders will be screening their dogs before breeding from them and understanding the pedigrees behind the parents but as you do not know Chase's background, my advice would be to have him examined by a BVA veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as you have settled him in with your family. There is no immediate urgency but it will give you some peace of mind that there are no eye issues currently. As the examination is a physical one, the results are not valid for life and annual or at least regular eye screening is recommended for miniature schnauzers. A general vet cannot carry out this examination, it must be a specialist.
https://www.bva.co.uk/Canine-Health-Schemes/Eye-scheme/

A number of owners of schnauzers have reported pancreatitis in their dogs and it is best to keep fatty treats or high percentage fatty foods to an absolute minimum or avoid altogether as high fat can trigger an attack. Having said that, we have never had a mini suffer any digestive / pancreatic issues over twenty years of owning minis but we are careful with their diet.

I assume you do not know Chase's age? Joint stiffness can be a sign of old age. However, I would recommend you take him for a full health examination at your vets including a blood screen which will give a better idea of his liver / kidney function etc. and may give you a better idea of his general condition.

Rimadyl is something I would be careful of using unless there is no alternative as it does carry a significant risk to health in terms of potential side effects, incidentally one of which is scabbing of the skin. It is possible that the skin condition has been caused / aggravated by the Rimadyl. There is a link here to more information on the drug:

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/healt ... -for-dogs/

Apoquel is also a drug that needs caution. It is currently being monitored due to large numbers of reports of adverse reactions to the European Medicines Agency:

"Potential signals involving signs associated with respiratory tract disorders were identified during routine surveillance in 2017 and will continue to be monitored.
Additionally, the MAH has been requested to continue monitoring reports involving unexpected signs associated with blood and lymphatic system disorders, in particular reports involving the signs of lymphoma or lymphosarcoma.."

Personally, with our own dogs I prefer to try gentler, more natural products to deal with chronic non life threatening ailments and consider strong pharmaceutical treatments only if all else fails. We feed our dogs raw food but whether or not you do feed a raw diet, do make sure that the food is the highest quality and high meat / fish content. There are natural supplements which can help considerably with both skin conditions and joint health. My first port of call would be to Dorwest Herbs who are a licensed veterinary herbal supplier who have been in business since 1948:
https://www.dorwest.com

There is also a good joint supplement available from Lintbells which we have used with our elderly dogs:
https://www.lintbells.com/products/yumove-dog/

You may be able to find some of the above branded products more cheaply from different suppliers online such as Amazon or Fetch etc. but I have given the links to the main website for the full information.

Do not worry about not knowing his past. Try to find out as much as you can regarding his health via the vets and just take time to get to know him. Love and understanding go a long way and the more you get to know Chase, the better you will be able to judge if and when he is feeling pain, distress etc. This is a new beginning for you both but do ask as many questions as you like on the Forum, browse the Board Index for topics of interest and let us know how things progress with Chase too :-)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

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Dawnspell
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Re: Taking in new buddy after his owner died

Post by Dawnspell » 25 Jul 2018, 10:50

Hi and Welcome
So pleased you could give Chase a home. Have you tried getting in contact with the vet that prescribed the medications. They may have more background history on file about him.

Once he's settled in it would be worth looking at his diet as the wrong food can cause skin issues and can improve stiff joints with food supplements rather than prescription drugs.

Schnauzers love to be with their Hoomans at all times if they can get away with it. Not necessarily attention seeking they just don't like to be on their own. They're smart and will soon train you into what they want if you're not careful. They can also be VERY stubborn, they can think for themselves, that's one thing they were bred to do. You can ask a schnauzer to do something and you can see the cogs turning "Do I want to do that?" Not your robot border collie that does what you want when you ask it. They have been described as the dog with the human brain and I know what is meant by that.

Is he food or toy orientated ? Playing with him with his toys or just doing simple obedience training sessions with food rewards will help build a bond and trust between you. He'll start to settle in a lot quicker when he realises your a fun person or you have yummy treats. Grooming is also a good trust/bond building exercise.

Just be kind and patient they are very sensitive. They really are a breed with personality.
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"

Oscar 12345
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Re: Taking in new buddy after his owner died

Post by Oscar 12345 » 25 Jul 2018, 12:20

Hi Kristen, what a truly lovely thing you have done for your friend and Chase. He looks a very sweet little boy. You won't regret it, schnauzers are wonderful companions, they just muscle their way into your heart. If you can get to the vet or even telephone to understand Chase's health history I think that would help you enormously.

I can vouch for the suggestion from Leigh regarding Yumove. Sorted my old boy's stiff rear legs after a few weeks of taking it. Having said that you might have to carry Chase up and down the stairs and also lift him up on to the couch if he is struggling.

Another trait I would mention is that generally schnauzers love their food and will eat anything. It is important for their health to key an eye on weight for the reasons Leigh outlined but also not to put more pressure on stiff joints.

Very sad story for Chase but it sounds to me like it is going to turn out very well with you as his new Mum. Good luck and we are all here to help.
Otto's motto - Everything's a toy unless it's edible...

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Robin black mini
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Re: Taking in new buddy after his owner died

Post by Robin black mini » 25 Jul 2018, 13:08

I've nothing to add to the above great advice..you've done a wonderful thing for your dear friends little dog..he will adapt soon and be one of the household,as an older dog you will have to address his stiffness( yumove) and keep his calorie intake monitored. I would use an antibacterial shampoo for his skin bumps...eg chlorexyderm..or hexocil..you could also rub betadine into the bumps( antibacterial)
.and with a quality ,low fat,diet he should come right...
Your story moved me and I recalled a meeting I had years ago...I was in the market with my two poodle girls,a man approached me to ask where I had them groomed..I asked where his dog was and he head flicked backwards where I saw a tiny silver schnauzer,sat like a statue,in the crowded market, waiting for this man....off lead , and so obedient,eyes fixed on his owner, I was really impressed by the little dog.
We talked and he said he had schnauzers for years,but this dog was new to him.The owner had died and the relatives had basically taken the inheritance but turned to the vet to euthanize this "unwanted baggage"..,..the vet refused to do the deed,but called this man to ask if he ,as a former schnauzer owner ,could take on the little mite....
And what a dog it turned into.!!!..off lead obedient,faithful ,beautiful, and will be loved until it dies...
It moved me to tears and struck a chord....I decided one day I too would have this breed .
Here I am,a devotee of the schnauzer..
So my ramblings say this...I bet in a few months you will have discovered a little jewel in this dog..they have a character like no other breed.
You will always remember your friend when you look at the dog...you will.She will be beaming that he's with you.
Thank you for taking him on.

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Kris10Joy7
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Jul 2018, 15:53
First Name: Kristen
Dog #1: Chase
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 12 Mar 2010
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Taking in new buddy after his owner died

Post by Kris10Joy7 » 26 Jul 2018, 17:55

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond with your wonderful and advice and stories! You have been extremely helpful, and have relieved some of my stress. Thanks to your recommendations, I have some Yumove and antibacterial shampoo heading to me in the mail as we speak. I'm so glad I found this forum...I'm sure I'll be back! :)

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