My dog, who usually loves walking, now has a great fear of it- this happened once before, took her to vet and there was NO physical reason for it, EVENTUALLY got over it, but it has happened again- she refuses to walk unless I take her OUT of our environment, by putting her in car and bringing her to a totally new environment- she is a german shepard, akita mix- HELP? Why is this happening- she is very loved, and well taken care of, but she is SO fearful- I am up at 4:30am to walk her and really don't feel like putting her in a car at that time- she gets a morning and evening 45 minute each walk daily
Type of Animal: German Shepard/Akita MixGender: FemaleAge: 4
We have done the reward approach for each little step she takes, we have visited the vet more than once, and taken her to new locations via car. Behavior started suddenly, FINALLY after three months went back to normal, and now has started again (month into the FEARFUL behavior)- She needs the walk for exercise and her mental health, but it is really wearing thin- and we feel badly as she is truly fearful- she is NOT in pain- WHY is this happening- She was a rescue from North Shore Animal League on Long Island in NY- I have had her for over two years, she is a member of the family and we LOVE her so- HELP!!!!!!
Hi there! How long has this been going on?Was there any traumatic event that could have caused this?Thanks!
Hi, Dr. Loretta-
The first time it happened about a year ago, after a vet assessment and no physical problem noted, we took it as a grief issue from the death of my cat, whom Jessie cared about.
This time there is NO traumatic event associated with her behavior and it has been going on for about a month
Thanks for the info.This behavior may be due to something that has frightened him that you are not aware of. This retraining will require medication to reduce his anxiety about this walk. have your vet examine him and then prescribe a medication such as Reconcile or Xanax. This will act as a calming agent and make him more apt to respond to this retraining. This will require short walks at first and then longer ones as he responds. This is a desensitization process and the medications help a lot.If he gets worse, there is also a possibility that he may have a neurologic abnormality that is causing this. This could be a brain injury or even a brain tumor. If he does not respond, have a Veterinary Neurologist examine him.Good Luck!
When I took her to my vet last year about it, he mentioned he really would only like to prescribe the meds if she showed agression which she has not- she is just very timid/fearful. I also don't want her dopey from the meds
It is to a point where she does not even want to get in the car- but once we do get her in, and away from the immediate block where my house is located she seems ok, a lot perkier, tail wagging, etc..
So should I try the meds for a short period to see if it helps?
There are certain medications that will make her groggy but the anti anxiety medications will not make her groggy but will release her fro these fears. This is Xenix or lorazapam. This is a very real clinical situation just as an aggression problem and she needs help. This will help her a great deal.Does that help?
25 years experience in large and small animal medicine.
Yes, it helps and that is what I will do- thank you for your assistance
I really wish you the best of luck!!I can tell how much you love her and since she was a rescue, there could have been something in her past that has helped cause this situation.hang in there!! It is so great that you will go to so much trouble for your friend!!