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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18796
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My dog has suddenly become fearful at night,as if he's afraid

Customer Question

My dog has suddenly become fearful at night,as if he's afraid of the dark, pants and stares.
He is a 7 year old Sheltie. Shat should I do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 months 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. In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient. Did anything happen in the area he sleeps recentlY?How does he act if you take him outside at night? Is he anxious then as well?When was his last vet visit?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 months ago.
Hi again. I was hoping to get a response to my information request but don't want you to wait for an answer. I suspect that your dog may be experiencing Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The first sign of PRA is loss of sight in low light conditions such as at night. You can read more on this condition here: PRA is seen in shelties so this is a good possibility for the symptoms you are seeing. You will need to have your vet check this to know positively. If indeed he is afflicted with PRA you will need to help him adjust. The following page may be helpful to you. In the meantime, a DAP collar available at pet stores and vet offices may help relieve some of his anxiety and help him adjust to his loss of sight. Get this checked first since it is likely. If this is not the cause, come back and we will try and determine the trigger and set up some techniques for behavioral modification to correct the situation. 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 positively so I am compensated for my time.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 months ago.
A quick followup to see how things are going. Were you able to get him evaluated by your vet for PRA? Did the Dap collar help?

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