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Hi everyone!

First time poster here, please be gentle. :D I have a 9 year old lab/rottie mix named Sadie, that's her lovely mug there to the left. I've had her for 5 years and have never had a problem. However, 6 months ago, I got sick. It wasn't anything major, just got a cold/flu that hung around for 3 weeks or so. During this time Sadie freaked out, wouldn't walk with me, hid in my roommate's room, and when I would take her out I would have to carry her out to the sidewalk and then she'd sit and look at me like she didn't know what she was supposed to do. It was like she had doggie dementia. I took her to the vet, had tests and xrays that all came back normal and SADIE was normal. The vet asked if I had a terminal illness or was pregnant that Sadie could be picking up on. (NO on both counts, thank goodness.) During this time she would still walk normally with my roommate, my dog walker, the vet just not me. Once I got better, so did she and things were normal.

Now I have a cold again. And Sadie is acting even worse than before. She hides from me, keeps her tail between her legs when she's around me, won't come when I call...but WILL still sit with me on the couch, lay her head in my lap, etc. But will once again not walk with me.

What the HECK can I do to try to ease her anxiety and show her that mommy's ok? It breaks my heart to see her scared of me and I don't know how to fix it because I can't not cough or sniff when I'm around her, given that we live together and all. Any ideas? :confused:
 

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welcome :) wow... that is very interesting... my dog acts in a similar way when HE isn't feeling well, not when i'm not feeling well. he will lay on the bed/couch with me and mope around, but if i try to engage him he always gets excited about it. her behavior seems pretty extreme, but it makes some sense. it isn't uncommon for animals to prey on/drive away sick/injured members of their own family/group, maybe that is having something to do with it?

tbh, i'm not sure of what the best answer is, but i can make a few suggestions that might help. one is a DAP diffuser or collar. (google it ;) you can get them from amazon) it might take the edge off for her. you can keep one around and maybe put it on her when you feel the sniffles coming on. depending on how you are feeling, you can also try hand feeding her all/part of her meals when you are under the weather, a kibble or two for every sneeze/sniffle/cough maybe adding in a few high value tid-bits with her regular food. you might have to just toss it to her at first, and that is ok, you don't want to force anything on her, doing so would only increase her stress, in fact, make sure that you don't try to push interactions on her at all during this time. i also would recommend not trying to walk her when she is like this, but maybe instead, try to make some positive associations to the process of going for a walk, so grab the leash, toss a kibble, put it back down and you are done, then maybe grabbing the leash and taking a step towards the door, or taking a step towards her but not attaching it... break it up into little steps. you could also try to play some training games with her, that are low key/low energy, but require some thinking on her part, 101 things to do with a box comes to mind, as well as nosework games...

i hope that helps you out... maybe someone else will have experienced something like this a bit more than i and have better answers for you...



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Perhaps she detects your unusual behavior (i.e. you're probably not moving, sounding or acting exactly as usual) and it concerns her. She may not know what to do.

When you're sitting, she may take it to be like a calming signal, and then she comes over to you and then wants to be near you. The rest of the time, perhaps she's still uncertain, which might explain the anxious behaviors.

Try to keep things as normal as possible. If you're usually upbeat with her, try to be that even when you're sick. I know it's hard, but dogs usually are on the stoic side, even when in pain, so if you do the same as much as possible, perhaps it will ease her.

I know Wally knows when I'm feeling sick. He notices we don't do as much, I get super quiet (and I'm usually not very verbal with him anyway), and I don't have the same "gait" for lack of better term. He probably can smell it (literally) and see my face expression isn't the same.
 

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That's weird, for both of my knee surgeries during the recovery time my dog wanted to stay right by me the whole time. He would curl up next to my knee and wouldn't let anybody else touch it. He would follow me from room to room and curl up with me on the couch and growl at anybody that walked by. Both times it lasted for about a month then he figured I should be healthy again and went about his normal life!
 

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My dog is scared when I'm sick

Yesterday, I dislocated my knee. Now my dog keeps running upstairs everytime I get up from the sofa or when I call for him. He's been with me for 9 years and he never acts this way.
 

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It sounds like its just one of those weird things that dogs do. It could be the way you sound, smell, talk, walk ect. or any number of combination of things that makes her a bit worried. It could be or partially be due to some experience in her past. Does she act this way if your roommate is sick? Just give her lots of praise and treats while your sick to help give her a positive association to you while your sick. Try giving her a long lasting or extra special treat/chew while your just hanging out resting, to again pair you being sick with something good and positive.
 

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Dogs are extremely sensitive to our human illness and injuries. Our experience, though, has been if one of us is sick or hurt, Samantha tends to want to stay very close, she becomes virtually the 'Velcro dog'. One of our neighbors blew her ACL, Samantha kept sniffing her knee & chose to sit near her when she could. Your dogs reaction, though reverse from what ours has been, is reacting, probably to what she smells, which apparently is upsetting her for some reason. That's my best guess and its only a guess.
 

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What kind of dog do you have?
My dad had a stroke and I want

That's weird, for both of my knee surgeries during the recovery time my dog wanted to stay right by me the whole time. He would curl up next to my knee and wouldn't let anybody else touch it. He would follow me from room to room and curl up with me on the couch and growl at anybody that walked by. Both times it lasted for about a month then he figured I should be healthy again and went about his normal life!
 

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What kind of dog do you have?
My dad had a stroke and he can’t talk. I want To get him a dog but most dogs ignore him and play with the able-bodied people.
I want a dog that pays attention to the sick and comforts the sick -not the regular people.
 

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Proper therapy dogs require quite a lot of training. Is there a stroke charity in the US that might be able to advise you?
 
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