Please help! Sep anxiety or dementia? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Please help! Sep anxiety or dementia?

I have a gsd called Mia who is 14 and 3 months of age.
She has started this awful whining between half six and half seven every night. Nothing happens at this time apart from we usually settle down to watch the soaps. At first we thought she was in pain due to arthritis and took her the vets for a check up. I took a video of the whining to show the vet. The vet confirmed she did have arthritis in her shoulders now ( already had it in her back legs) so upped her tramadol dose but did discuss could be other things also. She now has one tablet in the morning, which then lasts 8 hours according to the vet and to then give her the second one to get her through the evening. We thought great, glad we have sorted it. But the whining has not stopped.
My husband is convinced it is behavioural. She will go all day without a murmur then as soon as I'm home it starts. The other night I went out for dinner with friends and my husband said she was quiet the entire time. As soon as I got back she started. The weird thing is she doesn't look at me when she's doing it. Tonight I have tested the theory. Sat here watching t.v. and she starts. As soon as I go into the hall way she stops. As soon as I come back she starts. Surely a dog in pain would continue regardless of whether I was in the room or not? We never hear the whining at night or are ever woken up by it which is another reason my husband says it is not pain related. I have just taken her out for a walk this evening in the hope that might tire her out and make her sleep.
She has been doing this for the last month or so.
Last week me and hubby went on holiday for a week to Portugal. My parents looked after her. When we dropped her off she fell asleep on the rug so rather than have big goodbyes we just snook out. For two days she was fine. Then she stopped eating and refused anything and everything my parents offered. They were reduced to hand feeding her chicken breast and called the vet several times for advice. I had told my vet I would be away and trust her to do anything needed in case of emergency. Mia was an absolute state when I got home and my poor parents nerves were in shreds. She goes to my parents any days me and my husband are both at work. I drop her off at 8 and collect her at 4. She grew up most of years in this family home. But I guess she has always been my dog. When I moved out to live with hubby four years ago my parents suggested keeping her as we work but she got so distressed at seeing me every now and again rather than all the time. My parents are convinced she was pining for me while I was away. She started eating as soon as we got her home but was very off with me. She followed me everywhere, lay next to me but kept giving me filthy looks. It was only today (almost a week after returning from holiday) that I received a greeting on my return from work with a lick and waggy tail.
Is this separation anxiety or doggie dementia? I know not to reward the behaviour by fussing over her but is there anything else to do or not do?

At a loss what to do. It's heart breaking to listen to.
I am ignoring her as I write this and she has now settled...
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 08:48 PM
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Truthfully, with her being over 14 years old she's not going to be around forever so I think assuring the issue isn't from pain (and you have) and then just loving on her and managing her as well as you can for the rest of the time she is in your life is the way to go.

I know for me, having a senior dog is alot like having a new puppy. I really have to change my life for a year or so to revolve it around their needs and adjust when I have to. The older dogs start not hearing as well, seeing as well, and I'm sure they have quite a few aches and pains. Added to the fact they are dogs and have no idea what's going on and why things are changing so it's got to be a bit disorienting and confusing for them.

So just continue to keep ahead of any possible pain. Enjoy as much time as you can for as long as you have left with her.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 12:26 PM
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I think I have a similar problem with my 10 1/2 yr old male. He's always been really good. Very gentle and trustworthy and used to being left at home when we're at work. Over the last 6 months I think he's developed separation anxiety and I've wondered if it's down to him starting to go deaf. He constantly barks from the moment we leave the house, even if it's just for 5 mins and is very needy in the house. I wonder if it's the need for more reassurance from his humans as his body gets older. Although our dogs are expressing it differently maybe it's the same with your dog. An old dog panic? I'm thinking of taking him to work with me but worry about making the SA worse.

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