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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16180
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog has been acting strange past few days. She usually

Customer Question

My dog has been acting strange for the past few days. She usually follows me wherever I go and has started to go into other rooms to be alone. She has also been pacing around and whining and carrying her favorite toy with her wherever she goes.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

Is she nesting with that toy?

Is Brown neutered?

Any belly discomfort or appetite loss?

Any retching, gagging, vomiting, lip licking or diarrhea?

Any changes to her breathing or paling of her gums?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She is sleeping with the toy. She has not been spayed and is not in heat. There is no appetite loss or belly discomfort when I rub her belly. No retching, gaging, vomiting or diarhea. I did notice her panting some, but not much. Her gums do look a little pale.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

Are you seeing any mammary development? Any milk when squeezing the nipple?

Do you think her gums are paler then usual for her?

Has she had any black stool?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She paces with the toy in her mouth around the house and goes into other rooms away from me and lays down. I also hear her whining quietly while she is doing it. She has seperation anxiety. I also took her out of town with me right before she started acting strange and as soon as we got back is when it started. She had been to that persons house before and she had never acted like this. I know she isn't pregnant, because she is constantly monitored by me. No nipple discharge and have not seen black stool yet.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I don't think her gums are paler than usual.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

I wouldn't assume that recent trip has triggered her signs, since we'd have expected those behaviors when you were away. As well, I am glad to hear that that is her normal gum color (since pale/white gums can be a sign if internal bleeding --though this wasn't something that really fits with her vague signs).

Now the reason for my range of questions is because Brown isn't giving you many specific clues to what is amiss. Her withdrawal from you is a non-specific sign that something is wrong but what that is. Withdrawal is a behaviour triggered by instinct, where the agitated or unwell pack member keeps a distance to prevent putting the pack at risk of predators +/- avoid any bullying. So, the bulk of her signs are vague and only tells that she feels that something isn't right.

Now the reason I asked about her mammary development and spay status isn't because pregnancy is a worry. Instead, we can see dogs be restless, withdrawn, nest, and mother toys when they are developing a false pregnancy. And in many of those cases, they will develop milk. So, we do need to keep an eye on that especially if carrying that toy around isn't the normal for her. And I would just note that false pregnancies do usually settle on their own or there are hormonal treatments her vet can dispense if we do see this progress and she were to have milk.

With all this in mind, we do need to keep a close eye on her. None of her signs suggest an emergency issue but we want to make sure she doesn't develop any of those signs we discussed before. In the meantime, you can try her on a light diet (ie rice with boiled chicken, cottage cheese, white fish or scramble egg) to just offset any GI upset here since it is so common to cause them to feel unwell. As well, we could consider using a de-stressing treatment (ie Adaptil, Kalmaid, Zylkene, Bachs Rescue Remedy for Pets) to allay any anxiety triggering this. If we try these and she settles we are happy. Though if she doesn't or develops some of those signs I noted, then we may need to consider having a full check up to just make sure there is nothing brewing that Brown is struggling to tell us about.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok. I will keep an eye on her and let you know if anything else seems funny or worries me. I have also been very sick with a sinus infection coughing a lot and stuff and my sickness started while I was out of town last weekend and when we got back she started acting funny. She has never acted like this before though when I am sick. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome,

I do think that is the best at this stage and do let me know if you see any other odd signs. Finally, just to note even if she hasn't done this when you were sick before, if you have been unwell this could play a role in her behaviour. She may actually be avoiding you for the same reason I noted that they withdraw (since you aren't behaving as a sick dog would). So, we do want to keep a close eye on her but want you to get well as well for your sake of course but also in case that is why she is so anxious and worked up just now.

All the best for Brown and yourself,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That makes sense. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome. :)

Best wishes to you both,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am sorry, but I also forgot to mention that she does seem like she is pooping as regularly recently.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

No worries,

She is or isn't?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is not. She usually poops after each time I feed her twice a day and she did not go last night and a few other times recently I have noticed the same thing. She has also been wanting to take her toy that she has been carrying around with her outside when she uses the bathroom and sleeps with it tightly by her chest.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Ok, well as long as we aren't seeing >48 hours without stool, we'd not be overly worried. Though if we have a bit of constipation, we can help counter that by treating her daily with a dose of cat hair ball treatment or by adding a fiber supplement (ie spoonful of canned pumpkin, allbran, etc) to her food to help restore regularity. And that way we can just make sure that isn't having any effect on her overall behavior.

Though again with the way she clings to that toy, it does raise our anxiety/insecurity concerns but also it is possible that she is mothering it (so again keep an eye on those mammary glands for the next few days).

All the best,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok I will. Thank you :)
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

You are welcome. - Dr. B. :)