Wires crossed in the brain?

Wires crossed in the brain?

Postby jdavis92 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:26 pm

This is long so bear with me. Question for those who hunt their Chessies in cold-ish weather (or those who have Chessies who swim in cold water I guess). I took Phobos hunting on the river today. Context: The air temp was about 18F and there was a little bit of ice on the shore of the river. The water is mostly shallow and not fast moving on our spot.

Something happened today, I'm not sure what, but after the first group of birds came in and Phobos retrieved my triple, which included a swimming/diving cripple up the river, I think her brain had some wires get crossed.

I didn't notice it until bird #5, but while returning with the bird she veered off course the tried to run away with the bird. I actually had to get out of the blind and go get it from her. Bird #6 was the same way and even worse because she started chomping it when I went to grab it. Because of my inexperience as a trainer she has always been suspect when delivering to hand, but this was NOT just a delivery failure. Thinking back, bird #4 was not the best retrieve either.

Then something happened that has NEVER happened in the past. I waded across the river to jump shoot a spot upriver. I make her wait in the blind until I am across so we don't get in each other's way. I kind of use this as a litmus test for her hearing too, because at about 70 yards away, on the other side of the river, I can usually whisper "here" and she'll bust out of the blind. Today, I jumped up and down, yelled "here, cmon, lets go" and she sat there, looking at me like I was speaking greek.

This all got me worried. I'm hoping it's just the cold. She is 12, has lost some muscle mass this year, and her coat ain't what it used to be. Anyone else ever have this experience?

Let me know if anyone needs more context or has questions.
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Re: Wires crossed in the brain?

Postby Sharon Potter » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:46 pm

Every dog hits retirement at some point. At 12, I'd say she's telling you she's done. Is she wearing an e-collar?
Deafness is a possibility, as is canine dementia.
Sharon Potter
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Re: Wires crossed in the brain?

Postby jdavis92 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:39 pm

Thanks Sharon. After some time to think things through, I think you're right. Time to retire her from cold harsh hunts. Only warmer, easier hunts from now on. I think she may have been suffering from the onset of hypothermia. I also thought about the possibility of dehydration as well, since the temps have been so cold and her water supply has been frozen overnight. She is my first hunting dog and, being a Chessie, she's never showed any signs of weakness until this last weekend.

She does wear an e-collar while hunting but I rarely have to use it. In fact I can usually initiate the tone function to get her attention if needed.

I've thought about deafness and dementia. She seems much better after a couple days at home in the house. It snowed yesterday and she seems enthusiastic about playing around in it.
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Re: Wires crossed in the brain?

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:17 pm

I'm with Sharon, particularly under such conditions. My last old veteran pretty much quit on me, too - well over 11,000 birds into an otherwise pretty stellar career. Made it abundantly clear he'd much rather play in the water than work in it. Which may be why God made young dogs, as well as old ones. Know he wasn't the wasn't the first of what had been my hardest workers, dogs I thought would never quit, to do so. And that I've been fine with it.
Rick Hall
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