Hi, I have a 11 year old male collie cross. We got him from a rescue home and he has always been very sociable with humans - a really lovely boy. However, in the last four weeks he seems unhappy - he goes and sits outside on his own for ages and now just sits in another room when he used to spend time sitting with us. He eats one meal a day (freshly prepared by me), he's drinking fine, hasn't lost weight and still loves his walks. I am worried about him. Any advice would be appreciated. He does have arthritis but is on daily medication for it and in the last month I have also be putting a glucosamine supplement in his food.
Type of Animal: Collie Cross (Border)
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 11
Name of Dog: Bertie
Nothing - at a loss and feel I should take him to the vets
Hello and welcome. My name is XXXXX XXX I am a professional in the dog field for 25 years. It will be my pleasure to help you today.
Given Betie's age and the fact that this is a sudden change in behavior it would be wise to have his health checked.
so you are right in your thinking this is what needs to happen:)
As dogs age they can get canine cognitive dysfunction
what is that?
which would have him act in many ways completely different that what you would normally see
it is a kin of dementia in dogs
similar to what people may get
okay now I think I might cry!
so it is a good idea to have your vet evaluate him
it would mean you have to keep a closer eye on him
He still loves you but you may find him acting differently, some dogs will stand in corners as if they are lost
Coming from a behavior standpoint when the change is sudden it is always suggested to first have an good exam
I know that when he was in the rescue home he was very stressed by the other dogs and it was such a shame because no one would adopt him because of his age. So when we got him I was determined he would have the best life. He loves walks and we give him 3 good walks a day but we live in a flat and we only have a communal garden. He just wants to go there and I worry because he doesn't stray but he used to love human company so much
the fact that he is eating and drinking is a very good sign and the fact that he loves his walks is good as well. Also look in the garden, are there new critters that he is watching?
I also try to feed him good food and veg, and I have been worried that I have been feeding him the wrong things but he eats well etc etc. He just seems really distant I guess
No in the garden he lies down and just looks sad
What I would do tonight: I would check his gums. IF they are pale or white he needs to be seen soon, Take his temperature rectally, if it is above 102.5 he needs to be seen
He may have some underlying infection such as urinary tract that is making him less active than normal
Haven't got a thermometer, but will get an appointment with the vet first thing
That would be the best idea. Can I do anything else for you tonight?
No, thank you - my husband tells me not to worry but my instinct tells me something's not right
In many cases the mother instinct is correct because they usually spend more time with the dog and gets to know the dogs personality. But it could be something very simple that an antibiotic can take care of.
I don't want you to panic, it is way to early for that:)
If it were serious most dogs would stop eating and the thought of a walk would not be appealing either
Thank you so much - I do feel better for getting some advice.
24 years training & behavior,pet first aide, Therapy dog eval., PA Animal Response Team
Hi Julia, I have been thinking of you and Bertie. How did your vet visit go?Sally
Thank you for the update. I am sorry to hear of Bertie's condition and I am sure you are going to keep her very happy for whatever time she does have left.