Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Griffin learning about eye drops

Griffin doesn't appreciate grooming/vet type handling.  He has always been cautious about handling and it got a lot worse preceding Lyme disease being diagnosed.  Those exams were very painful and uncomfortable for him.

Here's a quick video showing how happy he is about eye drops.  We've done the training steps a few times before, but even the first time it was very similar to in this video. He has such a great "sticky target" and he's learned to stay touching while I brush, pet, and poke at him that the eye drops were just another part of the activity.

He is always allowed to move away, but he doesn't usually choose that option. He wants to keep working and to get more treats.

For a dog who doesn't have a good sticky touch already trained, I would do similar steps with holding the dog under the muzzle (gently and always letting him pull away if needed).

A few years ago, we had a puppy at the shelter who went blind just a few days after arriving. It ended up being some unusual medical condition and she needed twice-daily eye drops.  She couldn't see the volunteers approaching or know what was going to happen so it was always a surprise to be grabbed and then have "horrible" things done to her.  Especially as she was already a puppy, she got extremely mouthy and many of the volunteers did not like to handle her or they were scared of her.  With a few training sessions and with warming up the eye drops by putting them in a pocket (they were stored by a window, in the winter they got cold and made her even more upset), she was much improved.  The shelter raised funds, she had surgery and was able to see again, and was eventually adopted by a veterinary student.  Last I heard, she was going on long drives between family here and the university far away. She was hiking and exploring and going to dog parks and a really great dog despite being a naughty puppy.

No comments: