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Skittish and anxious from ageing

Discussion in 'Senior Sheltie Health' started by Caro, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Has anyone experienced their senior getting really skittish and anxious as they aged? Deska is scared and anxious, cowering and hiding a lot.

    - He seems to be scared of anything that might be dropped. If I carry a plate or a pot, if I move something, even if a drop a piece of paper. Now I know when he was living with my mum my stepfather dropped his food bowl on him, but Deska's reactions are really extreme (oh and he is afraid of his food bowl).
    - He cowers at the front door. He's been slow getting in and out doors for a while, but now he's scared to go out and even more scared to enter. The scared coming in the door only got bad this last week.
    - He won't sleep in the bedroom anymore.
    - If I grumble or swear or yelp in pain he runs away and hides.
    - He's also wandering off on me all the time, usually heading for a rubbish bin or food, and goes into a kind of 'zone'.

    Obviously both dogs have been through a lot in the last year with me being sick and them living with my mum, but Deska's anxiety is getting worse since being back with me, not better. I think he's sight is fine but not sure about his hearing.

    I've tried that canine pheromone thing but it's not helping (thunder shirt never worked). I'm not keen on adding more drugs (natural or otherwise) to the cocktail he's already on.
     
  2. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    A1369D2F-EC1B-4EC1-BB74-A0C13659B75B.jpeg Caro, does it seem like something neurological is going on?

    I can’t say I have experienced these symptoms in my senior dogs at all. Other than the fact that Jasmine and Mr Chance got startled if you patted them when they were asleep since they could not hear you.

    Would you consider Zen Pet?
    So sorry to hear Deska is having these issues. Especially since you all have been through so much.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

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    We saw some of this in Annie Laurie in her last year (not trying to worry you). We canned it "Dog-heimers." Zen Pets helped some, but routine was the best. Please give Deska a hug for me!
     
    SheepOfBlue likes this.
  4. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    I agree with Chris, Caro. Barkley, who has signs of doggie dementia, needs his routine and that is his security. Part of his issue is that we know he can't hear well, and I think that affects his perception. The good news is that noises don't scare him, but he does not like life out of his routine and will get snarky with the other dogs if it is.

    I hope that getting Deska back into his familiar routine with you after the past months will help. I've used Zen Pets also (but not with Barkley) and find it really doesn't help this much. The only other thing I can think of is having a crate for him that is his den or safe place where he can go when he's frightened, or you can put him in to give him some peace from scary things. You may do this already but if not, maybe it will help.
     
    SheepOfBlue likes this.
  5. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

    I second the crate idea. Gavin has shown some interesting quirks as he ages... He woke me up this morning to go outside. Thing is the door was already open. He has been asking to be let out regularly at midnight so the backdoor is open all night. He no longer sleeps in my bedroom at night anymore , which I miss but he apparently doesn't. Gavin loves his extra doggie massages.
     
  6. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Deska hates crates - it prevents him from following me around everywhere :rolleyes2:. I think it would be more stress to confine him. I have noticed during the night he sometimes stands in the doorway to check on me, and when I get up 4 or 5 times a night he'll get up too. Now I say it, that can't be good for his routine. I'll look at clearing out the bedroom and try to make him a space in there.

    Daylight savings started last weekend so that did switch the routine up a bit. He lays in the kitchen every night - I thought he wanted the toilet but last night I realised he's waiting for the 1/2 egg he used to get before bed, that stopped about a year ago. Maybe I'll just do the egg again.

    Can't get Zen Pets here now Amazon US doesn't ship here. But he definitely likes massages. Vet suggested putting him back on gabapentin. But I'm trialling Apoquel with him atm, and with his arthritis meds, tummy meds, vitamins, joint supplements, psyllium etc half his meal is supplements! Plus last time he was on gabapentin he was like a zombie.
     
  7. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

    Our older pups just need a bit more love! Gavin has his special spots with dog beds, and ramps to help him get to them. He is on gabapentin, but the night behavior started when he was on CBD oil and not gabapentin. Will see how he does tonite at the motel and tomorrow night in the tent!
     
  8. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    Haven't experienced this myself but have heard of elderly dogs who seem to get dementia. One friend's dog would get stuck in a corner and be unable to figure out how to get out. I agree that routine is probably key, but it sure isn't your fault since you are dealing with your own health issues, Caro. I would try his bedtime egg routine and see if that perks him up. Maybe also some one-on-one time with you?
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

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    Shall I ship you some? Or can you get Bach's Rescue Remedy? That may be better -- it's really easy to give.
     
  10. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    I 'll look for rescue remedy. I remember whale sounds and pan flutes help in thunderstorms, and he dances around to swing music, so i might see if music helps.

    I'm back in hospital and poor Deska was holding so tight before the ambulance took me. It should only be couple nights so I decided to leave them at home with neighbour dropping in for toileting. Hoping this will be less stressful than someone taking them away.

    When I get home I'll put in some tighter routines so he'll recover ok. Guess I won't be going out without him for a while.
     
    Sharon7 and ghggp like this.

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