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NancyH
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Dogs and Panic Attacks

Customer Question

can dogs have panic attacks? I have 3 year old male neutered boxer. He has gone from a crazy puppy to a scared dog. He stopped going upstairs about a year ago because the stairs were too slippery for him. One day he must have slipped and after that he almost purposely slipped until he would no longer use the stairs. Now, he has developed the same fear of the kitchen floor, which is also a hardwood surface. The problem is the kitchen is where his food/water are located and also where we let him outside. This just started a couple of days ago, and he also seems very depressed.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Short term you can use a rug runner so he get through the kitchen on a surface he feels safe on.
In this particular breed I would wonder if he had a hip problem making moving on slippery surfaces scary for him.
Alternatively extra long toenails can make moving on a slippery floor difficult.
If it is strictly a behavior issue then check the advice here or talk to a local trainer
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1612&S=1&SourceID=47
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience: 30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
NancyH and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 Has your dog been diagnosed with any hip problems or other orthopedic issues??


Any reluctance to go upstairs in other situations/houses?


Dr.V

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: Our dog, Jack, doesn't seem to have any problems running or playing. He just freaks out on a smooth surface. Isn't he too young for hip problems? It almost looks as though once his paw touches the surface, he intentionally makes himself slip all around...thank you for your reply too. I've made a vet appointment for him tomorrow, just to have him checked anyway.
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 No he is not too young to have hip problems.  You need to consider the source of the anxiety. Sliding around is not good for any dog, so by virtue of control, a dog doesn't voluntary to go slide around and steps are pretty scary. So your response will be...I know dogs that dont have the issue with the stairs...so thus my next concern.  If your dogs anxiety level is higher than a normal...it can be from two main things...true anxiety, Or anxiety secondary to a familiarized pain.  When a dog is sliding it puts an extra strain on their joints ESPECIALLY the hips. If there is already laxity in those joints or even mild degeneration the pain causes a hyper reactivity to the sensation.


So, I do think an exam is needed...and just take a look at the hips...not so much for intervention now, but so you have an idea of the underlying problem.  I would recommend surfacing the steps...and using runners in the kitchen if you want the dog to be able to use the kitchen.


Dr.Vamvakias

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