Behavioral or illness

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Behavioral or illness

This is a discussion on Behavioral or illness within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I feel this needs a little background history: My 10 year old mix breed dog has been having on and off "panics" since September 2015. ...

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Old 08-13-2016, 12:23 PM
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Behavioral or illness

I feel this needs a little background history:

My 10 year old mix breed dog has been having on and off "panics" since September 2015. I had recently relocated and knew that the change would take time to adjust to but I think this is more than just adjusting.

I stayed with friends upon moving that had two cats. She has never had issues with other animals and everyone got along fine. After a month of living with them she started getting up in the middle of the night and pacing. I didn't think much of it, just that she probably wasn't sure where she was. It wasn't consistent. Within a few weeks I finally moved into my own apartment and things were fine for a while - every once and a while she would get up in the middle of the night and pace for hours. In October I spoke to my vet about it and was advised it was standard anxiety. The prescribed Fluoxetine and Xanax (only to be given to her before a stressful situation like leaving her alone). I gave her one Xanax on two separate occasions and she had an adverse reaction both times. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old and she has never chewed on a single thing, but while alone and on the Xanax she started chewing the door frame of my apartment. We nixed the Xanax idea immediately. We bought pheromone collars, trying lavender essential oil spray, natural calming pills, everything - nothing can calm her down. We stopped leaving her home alone for a while thinking it was a separation anxiety issues - but over the past few months we have left her for a few hours with an "only when you are alone" special treat and we haven't had any issues. The vet also recommended a behavioral specialists which we contacted and after explaining her behavior they basically said that we were already doing what they would recommend (ignoring behaviors or redirecting) and to continue what we were doing.

This has since been going on periodically since - the longest "stretch" lasting a month in January. It slowly started manifesting during the day and would continue on into the night. Pacing, pawing at me, jumping up and down off the bed, panting excessively. She looks right through you, doesn't listen to any commands during the state of mind she is in. She will lay down and sometimes calm herself only for a short time before leaping up frantically.

She caught some fleas in March and I thought that maybe that had something to do with it? We got rid of the fleas but the behavior would still happen occasionally.

In April I thought it was arthritis or pain that was keeping her up and stressing her out, so she was prescribed Rimadyl which she takes daily. It seemed to help and we had no issues for about a month or two. The veterinarians did some bloodwork and a few other tests to see if there was an underlying illness but everything came back all clear.

In June she started doing a weird "mouth juttering" clanking her teeth after a yawn three times. It seemed involuntary and I thought it could have been a symptom of something very serious - so I took her to the vet again and they had never heard of a dog doing it. I happened to find one youtube video of a dog doing the same thing and he was diagnosed with Eosinophilic plaque/Eosinophilic Granuloma. I told the vet about it, they advised it doesn't seem likely and that it could be the "start" of seizures and to watch it and see if it gets worse. It has gotten a lot better and only happens from time to time.


Although it hasn't been as severe over the past few months it came back with a vengeance this weekend. She has been pacing/panting for almost 10 hours, she refuses to lay down. I have been staying at a friends house sitting for the weekend and she usually rests peacefully because it is quieter (which I also thought was an issue but it doesn't seem to be the source of the panic). I'm out of ideas.

I don't know if she is in pain physically or mentally. I have spoke with a few behavioral specialists, veterinarians, vet techs, ect and they haven't heard anything like this before. I am terrified that this is going to cut years off of her life or she is going to hyperventilate and die.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this?

She is a healthy, active, and happy pup the majority of the time - but when these episodes hit she is a completely different dog.

Not looking for a dx, just some hope that I am not alone in this.
chirpmire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2016, 02:14 PM
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I would find a different vet not associated with the first one and request a second opinion.
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anxiety, behavior, pacing, senior dog, stress

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