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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18946
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My 7 year old female Saint Bernard has always been an indoor

Customer Question

My 7 year old female Saint Bernard has always been an indoor dog. She suddenly refuses to come inside, preferring to stay out in the rain all night. She is also off her food, only occasionally eating chicken or sausages. We have brought her to the vet for blood tests and she is currently on Rheumocam medication for arthritis, but this behaviour is new. It's quite upsetting, she's not herself at all. She will turn her back and go to hide in her kennel rather than come into where she usually sleeps. Is there something the vet is missing?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

If imaging has not been done, I'd recommend doing that. It could be a problem with a disc in the back or at her age, it might be a growth. Normally dogs display this distancing behavior when they have an illness and usually one worse than just arthritis. They do this instinctively as in a wild pack situation, a sick dog might be driven out of the pack or even attacked.

So while blood work can indicate a lot of conditions, without imaging, there still might be some health issues that need to be considered here. Hypothyroidism is common in the breed and can cause behavioral changes as well. This does require a thyroid panel be done to diagnose this.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.

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