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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28244
Experience:  25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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My beagle of 9 years is acting strange tonight. She crept up

Customer Question

My beagle of 9 years is acting strange tonight. She crept up to our bed (allowed), then bit my hubbies toe when he got near her. Not unexpected, as she had broken hips and protects that area, especially if woken from sleep. 15 min later, I take her downstairs to go potty before crating (typical process) for bed. She was slinking around in the backyard, then, when I called her in (as she was not being productive) she raced past me, back upstairs into our bed (not allowed without our ok - verbal demand to ignored). When I tried to get her back downstairs, she bit my hand. Hubby did mention earlier that he thought he may have seen a fox or coyote in our suburban neighborhood (unusual). Could she be scared of being alone downstairs in her cage?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 1 year ago.
Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.
This is a common trait in some dogs. They develop fears that cause extreme anxiety similar to those anxieties of humans. It is very possible that seeing this coyote has caused these fears. The only way to get her over this is "Desensitization" which means constant exposure until she realizes that these fears will not hurt her. To do this, first avoid these while making your dog comfortable in this situation. You may need help in doing this since when you try, as you have experienced, she is too afraid to understand. Purchase a DAP Collar at the pet store. This is a canine pheromone that acts as a calming agent and will decrease anxiety.
Thundershirts are useful since this is one of the most common fears causing extreme anxiety and can be very effective.
If this is not enough, your vet will have medication to help her past this. Take your gal to your vet for an exam to be sure there is not a medical cause for this and ask about anti anxiety medication such as Fluoxetine or Buspirone. Then expose her to the things he fears over and over, constantly talking in a soft voice and giving treats when he does something positive. Here is a site with more tips:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/fear-of-thunder-sounds-or-noises/page1.aspx
There is also a possibility that she is experiencing a great deal of pain from her hips and may require medication to get her past this.
Does that make sense to you?
Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.
Sincerely, ***** *****
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Loretta