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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm a bit freaked out right now. Today when I got home we went outside and she threw up grass twice. Not a big deal, dogs do that. She threw up in her crate maybe an hour later. I let her stay in her crate so that I could keep any more messes contained.

Fed her dinner outside her crate. She ate very well. Then we gave her a new suffie my sister got her. She pranced all over with it. Maybe 10 minutes later she laid down with the toy and acted like she didn't feel well or like she did something wrong. I laid with her, petted her, and just loved on her. She was very sweet. We wanted to crate her so we could have dinner, asked her to go in, but she wouldn't without the toy. We gave her the toy and she was good. She tried to bury it in her blankets.

Her crate and Daisy's (chihuahua) are right next to each other. Nova kept staring at Daisy and raising her lip which is rather strange since she has done that maybe once before. We let Nova out with her toy and then things got very strange!

She laid down with my SO on the floor with her toy. She kept wiggling a lot and seemed agitated. Then she started staring at Daisy (crated) and they were growling back and forth at each other. I got up to cover Daisy and Nova growled towards me thinking I was going to grab her toy I guess. It was so strange because maybe an hour earlier I was laying with her squeaking her toy. She aggressively barked, growled, and snapped at Daisy's crate after I moved and covered it up. My SO who was right next to Nova got up slowly and she wasn't too sure about him either.

Not sure how to get her back in the crate and away from the toy my SO got another toy out (same kind) and got her focus on that. She again barked/growled/snapped at Daisy's crate. This is where I really got scared, and I shouldn't had, because Nova came and sat next to me all the while showing teeth and growling about Daisy. My SO was able to lure her into the crate and she is now in there minus the toy. Seems to be acting normal now except for the initial protesting of not having her toy.

I almost cried this freaked me out so bad. Never had this happen before. Could it be hormones? I have been able to take things from Nova before. I'll be reading up on threads about resource guarding and how to handle a dog that is growling at you. What do you guys think? I got up slowly (I was on the couch) and backed away from her when she growled at me. Probably not the right thing to do but I was scared... I feel so bad for being scared of my amazing sweet girl. :(
 

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If it's new behavior, coupled with the vomiting, I'd be at the vet first thing tomorrow (tonight if her belly gets hard, she can't or doesn't poop, or starts biting at her stomach) Pain can cause seriously unusual behavior, snapping, growlng, even actual biting. A dog in pain is still your cuddle bunny, but that is hidden behind the instinctual response of an animal defending herself from something that hurts that she doesnt understand.

Resource guarding doesn't start all of a sudden (IME), were there subtle clues before this? Rigid posture over the item when othe dog was around? Ears pinned? Staring? Snatching and running off with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She has maybe raised her lip once to Daisy. Daisy is the one who is very protective of her own toys. Nova has before offered Daisy a toy to initiate play. So it seems very sudden this blatant possessiveness.

My SO (John) seems to think that maybe Nova considered the toy her baby. She is still intact and finished up her last heat in early November. She and John were on the floor together and she kept moving almost trying to sit on him while moving her stuffie around. It almost looked like to me she was trying to place it near her tummy to feed. Could she be having a false pregnancy?

I put the toys away in a closet where she can't get to them. She seems normal now, wagging her nub and accepting treats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, so I just looked up false pregnancy and IMO it sounds like that as she has several of the signs. So sad that she may have thought it was her puppy and we took away. :((((

Now that John and I discussed it more, she loves to suck her stuffies and blankets and she didn't do that with the stuffie... only carried it around.
 

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Oh my goodness :( this must've been an unpleasant experience. It's never nice to see the dog you cuddle up to react this way.

In my experience, it sounds medical and not behavioral. Dogs suddenly act very strange when they're sick. They feel vulnerable and weak and tend to respond defensively.

And don't feel guilty for backing away from your girl. Dogs can sometimes be hard to predict when there's something wrong with them, so there's no shame in taking caution.

Get her cleared fully by the vet before you start worrying that its a behavioral change - you can cross that bridge if and when you come to it.

Keep us posted!
 

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I really hope that you find out what this is and that it is nothing serious. I dont know much about false pregnancies or that but I dont think guarding is something that just starts suddenly so there must be an underlying cause. I will be praying for good news soon.
 
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Shilow had a 2 false pregnancies and was having alot of hormone issues that sound very similiar to what Nova is going through. Her false pregnancy would start several weeks after she came out of her hear cycle. I took away the toys and chews for about 3 weeks until she was back to normal. how long ago was her last heat cycle ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
John is hime today and he says she is acting like her normal goofy self. I can't wait to go home and love on her.

Her last heat ended around November 8th or so I am pretty sure.
 

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Are her teats swollen at all? If it is a false pregnancy it is often much worse I have found than a real one. At least with a real one you can see why they are reacting the way they are.

Her moodiness with your Chihuahua sounds like she is warning her off from her nest / pups (even though she hasn't got any). I would watch her with your little one just in case she decides to have more than a grumble.

My old Mastif and Sasha (Boxer) both had false pregnancies before I had them fixed and both became quite unpleasant, moody, possesive.
If your girls teats do become swollen and look as if they are milking up try giving her a Parsley Omelette this will help dry up any milk she is producing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Her teats are still a tad large because of her heat. Haven't noticed any milk but maybe I'll give her some parsley anyways.
 

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No suggestions since I've never owned a female but I hope Nova is OK. :)
 
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