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Dog is fearful

November 12th, 2004, 10:50 AM
My thirteen year old pointer Julia has been acting very strange lately. She wants to hide in the basement in the evening & it takes a lot of coaxing to get her upsairs again. She usually hides if there is a fly in the house; she is frightened of flies for some reason, but there have been no flies in the house. Her eyesight is failing & she is becoming hard of hearing but otherwise in good health. She is presently sleeping on the floor in the computer room & will stay upstairs during the day but when it gets dark, she wants to hide. My husband thinks she is going senile. She still knows her name, her family, doesn't have accidents in the house, likes to go for walks; I don't think she has canine cognitive dysfunction. If only she could tell me what was wrong.

November 12th, 2004, 11:30 AM
If it's only when it gets dark, I have a feeling it has something to do with her eyesight. It sounds like she considers the basement a "safe place". I'm only guessing, but I know our animals tend to go to certain spots in the house when they are frightened.

Lucky Rescue
November 12th, 2004, 12:12 PM
She could be getting senile, and the decrease of hearing and sight can make animals fearful.

IF this behavior has just started, a vet check is a good idea. Some medical conditions can cause strange behavior.

November 12th, 2004, 05:47 PM
I took her to the vet this afternoon as she was due for her shots. I told him about how she has been behaving & he asked me if there had been any changes in the home or change in the routine. He said she may be able to hear things (insect buzzing) that I can't hear & is scared. He prescribed her amitriptyline for anxiety to use as needed. I have managed to coax her up from the basement & she is presently sleeping upstairs. Hopefully the medication will help. She's having bloodwork done as well to rule out any other problems.

November 12th, 2004, 07:37 PM
This is a long shot... My mother has problems with her eyes. Nothing serious, but she refers to them as her "little bugs". She can see fine, except for these little dots on her peripheral vision that move around when she shifts her eyes. They look like flies that move off when she tries to look at them. Maybe your dog is having a similar issue. Since she's afraid of flies, it might look like there are flies constantly just out of her field of vision. Because the basement is dark, she doesn't see the flies anymore, and so is more comfortable down there. Like I said, it's a long shot...