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Very Strange Behavior - Very Disconcerting

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OK, I've put off writing this because I'm not sure I can really explain the happenings so anyone can even pretend to understand, but I will give it a try ...


This is about my mother's dog - Edie KL Ole Aunt Edna . She'll be 8 in March, mother adopted her in November 2005. Edie came into adoption as a stray.


On Thanksgiving day, in the early afternoon, I noticed Edie standing in my mother's sunroom panting. None of the other dogs were panting. My initial reaction was that she was too warm - with extra people in the house and the oven cooking all morning, the house was warmer than normal. The dogs hadn't been out in a while, so I put her outside to see if it would cool her off - and to potty if needed. When she went out, she wandered into mother's flower bed (20' or so from the door) and I had to call multiple times to get her attention and for her to come in. Not normal for her - she's one that goes out and does her business then comes right back to the door to come in - if she leaves the door at all.


When she came in, I paid closer attention and realized that it wasn't a "warm" pant -- it was a big, open mouthed anxiety type pant. So, we tried to figure it out. There were 2 "new" people around. My brother's girlfriend - who had been to the house briefly a time or 2 before and my niece's boyfriend (early 20's, nice guy, not trying to interact with her or anyone, if they didn't want it). Also, we had expanded the dining table and added a leaf for the extra people and moved her eating stand and put our "buffet" table there. So we put the furniture back as it was - seemed to maybe help a bit, but not much. I took her back to her crate - in my mother's bedroom, back, out of the activity - and gave her a melatonin. We just left her there, she stayed and relaxed for a while.


After everyone left, she was still "strange". She went out later and we actually had to go out and GET her to come in.

The next morning, she seemed to be OK. She came right out and up to me, tail wagging, happy to get pets, etc.


Since Thanksgiving, this has happened several times. No pattern (that we can identify). Mother has had to go get her out of the yard on many occasions. Sometimes she has to actually pick Edie up from a laying position, so she has left Edie's harness on her for convienence. Mom even carries a leash with her, but it makes no difference to Edie.


I got here to mom's last night (Friday 12/21). All was well. All was OK first thing this morning. Sometime (wasn't watching the clock), we noticed Edie standing in the livingroom, back to the room, sorta looking at the garage door, panting. But she did respond when we called her and she came over. She's been fairly interactive today - on the couch, laying on a bed in the livingroom. It started really snowing shortly before noon and is building quickly. We put the dogs out early afternoon (all 7 of them) ... some pottied, some just played, Edie was in the play group, though she didn't really play, but she did trot around some - and I think she never pottied. A while later --- 3pm or so probably (not really watching the clock), Edie was panting again and wandering around. Thinking that she might need to potty, and known to be willing to potty in the house, I bundled her up and put her out - by herself. She wandered off. I watched her every step. She'd look up and around as she wandered but she didn't stop and potty. Eventually she got clear to the other end of the yard. An area where mother said she has stood and looked around and/or laid down and mom has had to go retrieve her. The snow appeared to be 3 - 4" or more by this time. She stopped and stood, looking around. She circled .. and laid down, in this snow.


I ran back to get better dressed, grabbed shoes and a coat to go get her. I took out one of my dogs to see if she'd respond to her. (no). When I got to her, she was laying there shivering. I got the leash snapped to her harness and had to pull her up. She willingly walked with me until I got close to the house, then she wanted to go back into the yard. Of course I got her into the house. She has been back in her crate, or laying in one of the bathrooms - one with no windows. Today, laying with her back to the door, close to the tub with her head between the tub and toilet.


Mother said she has laid in this bathroom before, panting, with her back to the door, but in the past she's been laying by the cabinet.


Oh, I forgot, this morning when she was panting, I was holding her and her heart was racing - but then, that does usually happen when you are anxious about something.


On Thanksgiving, at one point, I thought her eyes were dialated, but when I comparied them to one of the other dogs, I changed my mind.


Tonight, mom kind of dragged her out of the bathroom to see if she'd eat dinner - tonight she turned dinner down. Mom said she's only done that once or twice before, but she's usually eaten even during one of these "episodes". (she could stand to miss a meal or 2 - mom does over indulge them). Oh - mom just took her food back to her in her crate and she seems to be eating now.


She has been to the vet -- standard bloodwork all came back fine and normal (a couple of weeks ago). Heart has sounded fine to the vet - couple of weeks ago. Mom lives in a small town .. "country" vet. They are open to ideas, but don't necessarily have a lot of equipment available to them for testing -- and at this moment in time, can't say what mom would be willing or able to do .. immediately, nothing, due to weather.


Edie seems fine health wise, she typically eats fine. All mom can think of, immediately prior to Thanksgiving, Edie had started going back to her crate, spending more time alone ... but mom didn't think a LOT about it ...


At this moment, she is back in Missy's kennel in mom's room, currently not panting. We've closed the bathroom door (not sure why mom did that but ...)


If you have any other questions ... I'll try to answer them.


At the moment, this is primarily a concern and "inconvenience" since she isn't "sick" or .. but right now we are just extra troubled by her going out in this snow and just laying down. We'll go get her, but ..... (I ran out, no snow boots (didn't think to bring them with me), just my "hiking boots" and no socks! - while I didn't really get cold, the snow went into and packed all over my boots!) Too bad I don't really have "snow clothes" anymore - this looks like it might be a fun snow to play in!


Sorry for this being so long ... thank you for any advice or thoughs you can share.


Thank you,


Lee: (RR's Busy): Oswald Cobblepot X Lively Layla (10/14/97 - 01/22/10) ; Cool: (P's Cool Runner): P's Raising Cain X My Cool Runner (3/3/97 - 12/26/09) ; Nutty: (Itsanutterbutter): State of the Art X Itsalmostsaintly ; Waterproof: (KB's Waterproof): Oshkosh Slammer X Special Lady* ; Sadie: my sweet silly girl: 5/5/98 - 11/26/05
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No accupuncture around here that I know of .. maybe in KC, but that won't be happening for quite a while with the weather!


No gas ... not sure about bowel movements, though, I think they've been fine - I just haven't noticed today (think she hasn't gone today - but not positive about that).

Lee: (RR's Busy): Oswald Cobblepot X Lively Layla (10/14/97 - 01/22/10) ; Cool: (P's Cool Runner): P's Raising Cain X My Cool Runner (3/3/97 - 12/26/09) ; Nutty: (Itsanutterbutter): State of the Art X Itsalmostsaintly ; Waterproof: (KB's Waterproof): Oshkosh Slammer X Special Lady* ; Sadie: my sweet silly girl: 5/5/98 - 11/26/05
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No words of wisdom here. Kiowa went through about a month long of episodes like that. He would suddenly bolt up and start pacing the house and pant. Then he would want to be in the yard and would dig a hole in the dirt and just lay in it. This was not normal and I took him to the vet twice and nothing seemed to stand out. My vet suggested it might be early onset of a cognitive disorder.

I DID discover one thing that seemed to set off these episodes and it was such benign thing it took me awhile to recognize it. It was during a summer and I had all of my windows open and breeze coming through the house. I have 2 doors in my house that if not fully closed will move with the breeze and make the slightest of 'bumps' against the jamb. It was during a very quiet hour in my house when I realized that every time the wind blew and the door(s) would slightly thump Kiowa would bolt up and begin pacing. It was just a quiet little noise but it really seemed to upset him.

I started calling him to me when he was calm and thumping the door to make the noise and it confirmed to me that that little bitty noise upset him. So I started giving him treats and loves while doing it.

He still doesn't like the noise so I make sure and secure the doors now.....but he doesn't freak out anymore.

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Except for the laying down in the yard, it sounds like the anxiety response many dogs have when there's a thunder storm or rain brewing. Especially the laying in the bathroom. Bathrooms are grounded and more comfortable during storms. Just something to consider, maybe a clue that it's weather related since T-Storm anxiety isn't really about thunder and I have no idea what Kansas weather is like in terms of barometric pressure and electrical charges.

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Guest alannamac

Wow, I'd take her to the vet as soon as possible.....panting is often a sign of pain. These pups are soooo good at hiding their pain unless it's severe. This has been going on for quite some time. The eating and drinking well are a good sign, but I think the vet is a must, her behaviour and the panting indicate she's not feeling good at all.....sounds like you suspect this already though. Could be something simple, or something serious, hard to say until she's inspected by a vet.

Edited to say...sorry, didn't read all the way through....I see you've been to a vet already......2 things you could ask to try....

1) Rimadyl for pain (just an anti-inflammatory) to see if her behaviour changes

2) A very-mild sedative when she has these episodes, to see if it stops, or if the panting continues even though she should be "relaxed"

will give you a clue as to whether this is medical or emotional

Sounds like you're really tuned in to her behaviour and actions, so you should be able to figure this out soon. :)

Edited by alannamac
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Hmmmm, 8 isn't that old, but this sounds like possibly some dementia to me; as if she's forgetting where she is or what she wants to do, or what she meant to do, which scares her, causing the panting and heart racing. I wonder if your Mom's vet would know much about that, or if you could do some reading up on it? Here's some information






Jennie with her hedgehogs and Guinea pigs, and remembering Luna, Queen of the Piggies


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Yes, this initially seems just like a stormphobic dog response.


The panting and behavior are not all the time - just episodes.


She has been to the vet, just a couple of weeks ago - she has no ideas, nothing stands out.


Not sure the last time a UA was done --- no, haven't taken temp (no thermometer to do that here!) .. though, the vet might have at her visit ... I'll have to ask mom.


Will have to watch for the stool observance - not sure if it will be possible too soon! Snow is DEEP right now!


Will have to see if mom has any benedryl to try.


She can be sensitive to changes, she is a bit reserved.


I did forget to tell you this:


Dec 2006, she (and mom's other dogs) stayed at my house, with my girls for 2 weeks (mom in hospital). Then we ALL stayed with mom for 2 weeks. Then I brought Edie and Missy back to my house (left Gracie with mom) for the first 3 months of 2007 (mom out and in hospital and trying to recover). She was absolutely fine at my house. She has done a M&G or 2 before when mom was at my house with them .. she's been fine. Well, a bit nervous since she those were all she'd ever done - and they are usually nervous for the first couple they participate in .. but she went to strangers for attention.


She's still back in the crate right now - but comfortable and not panting. Hopefully she'll be OK tomorrow.


Thank you



Lee: (RR's Busy): Oswald Cobblepot X Lively Layla (10/14/97 - 01/22/10) ; Cool: (P's Cool Runner): P's Raising Cain X My Cool Runner (3/3/97 - 12/26/09) ; Nutty: (Itsanutterbutter): State of the Art X Itsalmostsaintly ; Waterproof: (KB's Waterproof): Oshkosh Slammer X Special Lady* ; Sadie: my sweet silly girl: 5/5/98 - 11/26/05
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Get the vet to do a couple of x-rays of her torso -- all her innards -- heart, lung, stomach, intestines, liver ..... Depending on her size and his equipment, he should be able to get it all on one or two films.


And give her eyes/ears a good luck while you're at it.


Hugs and luck.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest GentleHugs

Kay - Therese here in KC,


A few things come to mind even though she's had blood work done. Have the vet exray her torso like someone else suggested. The day my Jackie took ill, she acted just like this. She had been extremely healthy up until that day. When the e vet exrayed her torso, we found a massive tumor on her heart (almost the size of a tennis ball). He said he didn't know how she lasted that long without showing any signs at all until that day. Jackie was a pretty strong little girl. She was running and playing that morning with her younger sister, Ashley. I'm pretty tuned in to when my kids aren't feeling good but this took me totally by surprise.


Check Edie's paws and see if they feel cold. Also check and see if you can get a strong pulse in the hind legs, too. If her paws feel cold or you can't get a strong pulse in the hind legs - that means she's not getting sufficient blood flow to her legs and they will need to check her heart/lungs. When I felt Jackie's paws - they were cold and that's when we scooped her up and took her to the e vet asap. She couldn't stand on her own. We had to help her up to a standing position. When she walked - she was very slow and acted like she couldn't feel her hind legs. I hope and pray this is not what's wrong with Edie but an exray of the torso should rule out tumors on the heart or in the lungs. I lost Jackie Memorial Day weekend - just before the Abilene gathering and I just lost Heisman October 1st to end stage Wobbler's. Losing both about devastated me.


Second thing - could this be some mild seizure activity going on? Since she's not responding sometimes to when someone calls her back in when she normally goes out and comes back to the door when she's done - she could be experiencing some type of seizure. Got a camcorder around? Video tape her when she's having these *episodes* and then take the tape in to show the vet. Since she came in as a stray before your mom adopted her, there's no telling what her medical background was before she was adopted even though she was medically ok when she was adopted. I was told by my vet that sometimes seizures do not surface until years later if the dog experienced some type of head trauma (kicked in the head, etc) when younger.


Also has she been tick titered lately? What about heartworm? Although this is not the time of year for us here in the plains to suspect heartworm - you never know.


It could be changes in barometric pressure from all these blasted winter storms we have been getting but laying out in the snow if they are sensitive to barometric pressure is not what I think would be a typical behavioral response to that.


In the meantime, I'll keep Edie in my prayers.


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Thank you Theresa -- and everyone. I'll pass on all of your suggestions.


Interesting happening just now --- I played the video in the "A very vocal greyhound" thread ... Edie was back in the bedroom, I am in the kitchen (multiple rooms away). She came dashing out with the sounds --- as did the other dogs! She was quite perky and interested. I played it multiple times and she stayed right here! It stopped and she went back to the bedroom.


I started down the hall, she was standing in the hall, I called her name and she came to me (which she usually doesn't do during an "episode"). Then, I played the video again, she came out ... then wandered over and got a drink. I interacted with her and directed her to the couch (her normal "perching" place!) .. she jumped right up and she's still there right now.


So these things come and go -- and it's been this was for a month now. As I mentioned, I'll pass on all suggestions and I'm sure mom will get things checked out but, I'm sorta leaning towards some anxiety .. just can't, for the life of us, figure out the trigger....


Thank you!

Lee: (RR's Busy): Oswald Cobblepot X Lively Layla (10/14/97 - 01/22/10) ; Cool: (P's Cool Runner): P's Raising Cain X My Cool Runner (3/3/97 - 12/26/09) ; Nutty: (Itsanutterbutter): State of the Art X Itsalmostsaintly ; Waterproof: (KB's Waterproof): Oshkosh Slammer X Special Lady* ; Sadie: my sweet silly girl: 5/5/98 - 11/26/05
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Has this coincided with all the ice storms, snow storms and power outages you've had lately? (not sure where I'm going with this...)


I'd kind of wonder about something neurological, too?

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