Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > General Forum for cats and dogs

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old June 14th, 2014, 01:44 PM
R. Bear's Avatar
R. Bear R. Bear is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa ON
Posts: 34
Anxiety in Older Dog - Min Pin

Hello all,

I'd like to know if any of you out there have ever had a similar issue. Here's the story:

Sammy is my 10 year old Miniature Pinscher who I adopted 2 1/2 years ago from a rescue. He is a great dog with only some anxiety issues (he is a Min Pin after all!) on the walks and only on while on-leash. He is fine off leash at the dog park. In the house he was an angel from the beginning. No chewing, barking or accidents while we are at work all day. He will only bark if someone passes by and he happens to see it from the living room window.

Background: When I got Sam I already had another dog, a Rat Terrier named Tyson. Tyson had to be euthanized back in December 2013 from a heartbreaking condition called Fibrocartilagenous Embolism (FCE). Sammy adapted well to Ty's death and actually became more confident and somewhat "happier" since, I am guessing, Tyson was very dominant and rather bossy!

Current Issue: Out of the blue, starting June 6th, I came home on a Friday afternoon to a pile of jackets on the floor in the hallway closet. Sam had torn down every coat, sweater and jacket, breaking a couple of hangers along the way, and even tore down the towel I use to dry his feet on wet days, tore down the doggie jackets hanging on a plastic hook, and chewed a leash which was also hanging on a hook. There was no food in the closet or in any of the pockets. There is also no door on this closet since it is right behind the front door and virtually impossible to install one.

I also noticed that during this past week he was following me around while I was getting ready for work in the morning. Even standing in the bathroom while I was in the shower. Never exhibited this behaviour before. By Wednesday last week he finally stopped destroying the closet, then I thought he was getting over whatever phase he was going through. Then we noticed some material on the floor in the bedroom..

It appears that Sam has managed to crawl under one of the beds upstairs, tear through the membrane of the bottom of the boxspring, and start pulling out all the material (which looks kind of like dryer lint) that lines the top of the boxspring where the springs touch the top pad. I can't for the life of me figure out why this is suddenly happening.

My vet's office, after a long talk with me, concluded that there is either something external to the house that is agitating him or he is suffering from a sort of dementia. They have prescribed Anxitane which is a natural product found in most herbal teas that help promote relaxation. It takes 30 days to take effect however, so we'll see how it goes. Good news is that by Friday (yesterday, June 13) he had stopped following me around so much in the morning before work so I am hoping things will improve. Anyone out there ever used Anxitane?

Before you ask, you should know the following:
- He has ample exercise and stimulation, with 3 walks a day, every day in all weather and all seasons, dog park on the weekends, play time each day too. This is the way it has been since I first adopted him 2 1/2 yrs ago.
- There are no rodents or insects invading our house
- Other than following me around in the morning before work, his behaviour is normal. He is eating normal, sleeping normal, and is acting normal.
- As far as we know our neighbours are not doing anything different during the day that would agitate Sam
- we do not have any other pets except our box turtle which is kept in a terrarium
- Our other dog died six months ago so I don't expect that Sam's sudden change in behaviour now is a result of the loss
- I do have a Thundershirt which I purchased last year since Sam doesn't like thunderstorms. It did not work for him. I have not yet tried to put it on him before I go to work. If it doesn't work for thunder I'm not too optimistic that it will work for whatever he is going through now (any thoughts?)

Does anyone out there have a similar story to share with me, or have any words of encouragement?? Last week I was so worried about the little guy. I'm also concerned that if I start blocking his access to under the bed, then what will he do? Start digging to get under there? Find something else to wreck? If I crate him (I have NEVER crated an animal ever in my life) will that just cause more anxiety? Is there any hope that this is a phase he is going through that will improve over time, if I commit to not focusing attention on these things that are happening? (in other words, when I clean up the mess of fluff under the bed, I do it when he is not watching. I do not want him to see that I notice, thinking that ignoring the behaviour will not encourage it.)

Thank you all.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old June 14th, 2014, 09:11 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,754
Did you have your dog checked out for any infections ,like an urine infection or a tooth ? An infection can made a dog start acting strange.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old June 15th, 2014, 06:53 AM
R. Bear's Avatar
R. Bear R. Bear is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa ON
Posts: 34
Forgot to include this bit in my post: He had just finished a week of antibiotics following a bout of diarrhea caused by him eating something rotten. The behaviour started literally the day after he finished the meds. He had also been on a special canned gastro food containing probiotics during the week he was sick. He finshed the last of the food (which he loved cause it was canned!) the day before the behaviour started then he was back on kibble.

Since his stools had returned to normal the vet feels that there is no further infection and the 7 days is sufficient. Plus, if there were further infection he would likely be exhibiting other behaviours like appetite change, listlessness, sleep disturbances.

But to your point I bet a blood test wouldn't hurt. Thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old June 15th, 2014, 08:14 AM
marko's Avatar
marko marko is offline
Administrator - Pet lover
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal Quebec Canada
Posts: 11,064
Hi R. Bear - Welcome to the forum!
You sound like a great pet owner.

First thing that comes to mind, (if it's not dementia or something medical) is that is it possible this dog is bored and is engaging in this behaviour as a form of stimulation?

You suggest that the dog does indeed get enough stimulation...but is it possible that from the dog's point of view, the dog is still bored?

When dooger engages in this behaviour, how many hours is he left alone?

If it's a bunch of hours, I might suggest that you change the exercise routine so that dooger gets major exercise before he's left alone.

Just thinking aloud here so maybe this thinking applies to your situation and maybe not. Good luck!!
__________________
Please tactfully EDUCATE or IGNORE posters you don't agree with.
Please PM me & Include URLs and post #'s for any issues and it's my pleasure to help.
I'm firm - but fair. Mind the Rules and enjoy your stay.
Newcomers FAQ - How do I post on this BB?
Pet facebook group
Check out the Pet podcast
Follow me on Twitter
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old June 15th, 2014, 08:55 AM
R. Bear's Avatar
R. Bear R. Bear is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa ON
Posts: 34
I have a very hard time believing this dog is bored however Mr. Marko at this point all possibilities must be considered. He does get a 25 min walk before I go to work each morning which is the shortest outing of the day, mainly cause it's 6 am and I have to get ready for work and I leave the house by 7am. I have to say Sam is fortunate since most of the dogs in the neighbourhood get only a few moments in their own yard in the early morning to do their business and no walks.

What I am struggling with the most here is that he is 10 years old (not a boisterous baby), and I have had him for 2 1/2 years already with absolutely no issues. Mystery to me.

To answer your question; my husband and I leave together on workdays in the morning at 7am. Hubby comes home for lunch usually and stays about 30 minutes. During that time Sam will go and sit on the patio for a while in the summer months and in the winter he hangs out with the hubby inside. Hubby gives him a milkbone before returning to work for the afternoon. Hubby is also home before I am after work. He gets home by 3:30 or 4 pm. I get home about 4:45 or 5 pm. As soon as I get home I change and take him out for 1 hour where we walk the neighbourhood and visit the local parks and play with his other dog buddies. He gets another walk around 9pm on leash in a different neighbourhood (so we can change up the scenery) and that walk lasts 30 to 45 minutes. And, when we return from any walk and he's all happy and excited, we have playtime in the living room with his squeaky toys.

I'm not sure if I can give him more stimulation than that!

Anyway, I'm doing and will do the best I can to help this little guy get over whatever he is going through!!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old June 16th, 2014, 07:15 AM
marko's Avatar
marko marko is offline
Administrator - Pet lover
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal Quebec Canada
Posts: 11,064
You are definitely doing a great JOb and these things are often hard to figure out.

Practically speaking, until i did figure it out - If possible I think I'd do some of the following.
- Block access to past trouble spots by closing the door in the bedroom for example. Look for potential trouble spots yourself by getting down to dooger's level and block them off.
- Maybe get a KONG stuffed with treats or some other special toy that is left out only when you leave.
- Maybe leave the radio on or classical music or a TV show made for dogs when u leave.
- If you have any type of video camera, might be useful to see what's going on in your absence.

Hope these suggestions may help,
__________________
Please tactfully EDUCATE or IGNORE posters you don't agree with.
Please PM me & Include URLs and post #'s for any issues and it's my pleasure to help.
I'm firm - but fair. Mind the Rules and enjoy your stay.
Newcomers FAQ - How do I post on this BB?
Pet facebook group
Check out the Pet podcast
Follow me on Twitter
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old June 16th, 2014, 08:11 AM
Marty11's Avatar
Marty11 Marty11 is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Gwillimbury, ON
Posts: 1,126
What comes to my mind is you have a great "Ratter" there. Are you sure there is no rodents? It is prime time spring and there are nests everywhere. I was invading by squirrels this year big time in my home. I also get shrews which is not so common. These Ratters would dig through anything to get to them. That's what they do. My other theory is medical, since just getting over antibiotics. At 10 you certainly are over the destruction age and you give him enough exercise.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old June 18th, 2014, 07:04 AM
R. Bear's Avatar
R. Bear R. Bear is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa ON
Posts: 34
Thank you all for your input. Sam has been getting better; Monday there was just a little boxspring stuff torn out left under the bed and Tuesday he did nothing. I have been using some lavender oil as well to promote relaxation. I am convinced that he was suffering from some sort of withdrawal from the antibiotics "Metronidazole". I'll update you on further progress. I think everyone should be aware that antibiotic use can cause withdrawal issues in some dogs. A friend of mine told me that when her child was on antibiotics for an ear infection then finished them, a few days later she was throwing tantrums which was a behaviour she had never exhibited before. After a week and a half she was fine.

There is no other explanation for the behaviour. There are no rodents or insects, at least so sign of them that I could find.

Oh, and thank you for saying I'm doing a great job! Makes me feel good! I felt so bad going to work thinking the poor little guy was feeling anxious.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old June 18th, 2014, 11:25 AM
hazelrunpack's Avatar
hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
The Pack's Head Servant
Chopper Challenge Champion, Mini KickUps Champion, Bugz Champion, Snakeman Steve Champion, Shape Game Champion, Mumu Champion, Mouse Race Champion
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just east of the Hazelnut Patch, Wisconsin
Posts: 49,807
Was he, by any chance, on an anti-nausea agent at the same time he was on the metronidazole, R. Bear? We've seen behavioral changes with meds like Centrine, used to control vomiting...
__________________
"We are--each of us--dying; it's how we live in the meantime that makes the difference."

"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!"

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old June 27th, 2014, 03:30 PM
R. Bear's Avatar
R. Bear R. Bear is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa ON
Posts: 34
No, he was not on the anti-nausea or anything else. I ended up blocking his access to under the bed and so far so good. I think he got to the point where now that he had started he couldn't stop pulling out the material inside the boxspring. Sam does love to eat hair and fur, and when I help my friend brush her German Shepherd we have to make sure that we capture the clumps of hair and put it in a bag or he will eat them all!!! YUCK. So far blocking his access to under the bed has worked well. Hoping that this is the end of it all and the anxitane will help further. Certainly want to avoid having to pen him off or crate him but will do it if I have to!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old June 27th, 2014, 09:55 PM
Marty11's Avatar
Marty11 Marty11 is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Gwillimbury, ON
Posts: 1,126
Funny thing my Manchester terrier used to eat my golden retriever's hair clumps too!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 8.33%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:34 PM.